Garland and Geoffrey are lovers during the turn of the century. They met in college while Geoffrey was giving a poetry reading. It was love at first sight and, ever since, the pair have been inseparable. While they are unable to make their relationship known, Geoffrey and Garland share a residence and, even now after four years, are still very much infatuated with one another. Their plans to take a tour to Greece and Egypt on a vacation are disrupted by the death of Garland’s cousin, a death which leaves him the inheritor to his great-uncle’s estate.
Instead of ruins and museums, the two men are greeted with a different sort of monument as they arrive at Heatherford House. Rather than love at first sight, Geoffrey’s initial reaction to the house is one of revulsion, a sentiment shared by Garland. If Heatherford House were a person, it would be a narrow-eyed and unpleasant one, unwelcoming to visitors and desiring only privacy and isolation, welcoming company only when it must. Geoffrey hates it, and wishes desperately to take Garland far away from his great-uncle and this unhappy residence, but there is always something preventing them from leaving.
Call of the Night Singers is one of those books that is best suited to be read with no warning. It has a lovely gothic atmosphere and a pleasantly uncomfortable setting that reminds me very much of the Cthulhu mythos, full of Dutch angles — or the literary equivalent — and narrow, darkened hallways where the shadows are too dark, too damp, and the sounds outside the window are only slightly less threatening than the presence behind your shoulder.
The mystery of the book is the lure, drawing you in with writing that beautifully fits the 1899 period of the story. Geoffrey’s voice, his descriptions, the way he presents himself, and his relationship with Garland are spot on. This book was fun to read and had a suitably macabre ending. It’s a lovely little creepy story and if, like me, you’re fond of nineteenth century horror stories, then pick this one up. It’s a quick read, but well worth it.