Finding Poe

A Tale of Inspiration and Horror

Fiction - Horror
214 Pages
Reviewed on 09/28/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Finding Poe: A Tale of Inspiration and Horror is a horror novel written by Leigh M. Lane. Lady Karina had been accustomed to a life of privilege as a member of the titled nobility until Brantley, her new husband, committed an act that would propel him on a desperate race to a haunted lighthouse off the coast of New England, and a hunt for the buried treasure he knew was nearby. It was a most bizarre situation for a lord and lady to find themselves in, but Brantley seemed more than satisfied with their new, if disheveled and mildewy, quarters. Lady Karina was perplexed by the changes in her husband, and her confusion over the entire state of affairs quickly turned to terror as Brantley became increasingly disoriented, violent and paranoid. To make matters worse, she kept falling prey to a series of horrific dreams: dreams of drowning, of murder, of a doppelganger with an evil husband who would lock her in a room and keep her submissive with strong potions, of a maelstrom swirling to her doom. When Brantley met his end, she found the letter he had addressed to a Mr. Poe in Baltimore. While she still blamed her husband for bringing her on this desperate and ill-fated adventure, she was determined to fulfill his last request. Karina set off on a train to Baltimore, not knowing what or who she'd encounter along the way.

Leigh M. Lane's darkly surreal fantasy novel, Finding Poe: A Tale of Inspiration and Horror, is a haunting homage to the classic horror writer that immerses the Lady Karina and the reader in a series of inexplicable and often interlocking dream-states. As occurred with a number of the characters in Poe's dark short stories, Karina is haunted by guilt over her after-the-event complicity in her husband’s crime, and the actors in her fever-delirious dreams often serve as her judge, jury and executioner. A lifelong admirer of Edgar Allan Poe's tales and poetry, I appreciated Lane's canny allusions to so many of them in this dark, imaginative and most impressive novel. As I read, I couldn't help but think what a great time Federico Fellini would have had adapting Finding Poe for the screen and what a marvelous production it would have been. And fans of the 1960s underground cult favorite, Carnival of Souls, will find car crash survivor Mary Henry's profound dislocation and frantic confusion eerily echoed in Lady Karina's plight. Finding Poe: A Tale of Inspiration and Horror is most highly recommended.

Mary C. Blowers

Everything about Finding Poe by Leigh M. Lane intrigued me — from the title (I love Poe stories) to the cover to the story itself. Even the word “cerebral” in the published name is intriguing. It starts when Lord Brantley and Lady Karina of Norland, almost newlyweds, begin planning a trip to America, more of a move really as Bentley decided he wanted to be a lighthouse keeper in New England. Not just any lighthouse, a haunted one. Once his mind was made up, there was no changing it. Of course, there was the murder to cover up and an urgent need to flee the authorities. Something inhuman lived in the lighthouse, and perhaps in the whole surrounding area. Karina encounters inexplicable circumstances and ultimately is tasked with delivering a sealed envelope to none other than Mr. Edgar Allen Poe.

Leigh M. Lane has done an amazing job making this story flow. So many things are going on that, rather like a movie I’ve seen recently, I may need to read it several times to pick up all the different levels and nuances. The movie I am thinking of is Inception, and, like that movie, Finding Poe takes place in a world where the reader won’t be sure what is real, what is a dream sequence, and what is something else. It is a touch hard to follow, but pay attention, it really does line up in the end and (I think) I’ve figured out where it’s leading. A very enjoyable read and I finished it quickly.

Melinda Hills

Lady Karina’s life has certainly taken a strange turn in Finding Poe by Leigh M. Lane. Escaping a scandal in their native land, Karina and her upper class husband, Brantley, take up residence in a dilapidated light house off the coast of the United States. Brantley’s behavior deteriorates as he becomes consumed with the mystery of the lighthouse and Karina begins to wonder if she is also losing her mind. Subject to horrific nightmares, Karina suffers through numerous time loops in which she envisions horrible deaths. Unable to stay at the lighthouse any longer, Karina takes a letter she finds among her husband’s effects and heads to Baltimore to deliver it to Mr. Poe, a man she does not know. Her path is difficult as she encounters strange characters and countless threats to her health, mental state, and even her life. Finding the recipient of the letter, though, doesn’t end the string of odd events that batter Karina’s fragile psyche. The ultimate question is where will it all end?

Leigh M. Lane has created a dark tale, deftly weaving tidbits of Poe’s masterpieces into the experiences of the main character. Finding Poe takes you on a convoluted path that may be madness as Karina suffers from repeated nightmares and horrific treatment by strangers. While some readers may find the repetition tedious, I find that it adds to the overall effect – the spiral of madness that threatens to suck the character into her own version of hell. Imaginative, detailed, and definitely frightening, Finding Poe is a horror tale that rivals the classics. A great tale. It really makes you (the reader) question reality!