Review Blog

Sep 17 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

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Penguin, 2010. ISBN 978 0 14320404 6.
(14+) Basis of the story by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, this tale of the friendship between Tristen Jekel and Jill Hyde, two people in their senior year at school, parallels the original story in their search for the elixir which will make them enough money to solve all their problems. Both students are obsessed by the story which involves both of their ancestors, and for Tristen in particular, the stories from his grandfather scare him when thinking about what his family has done, and about his own future.
Winning a chemistry competition will ensure Jill's continuing uni fees and so she persuades Tristen to enter with her, exploiting the chemistry information left by her dead father, who she knows was working on the original experiments. But Jill's mother collapses, and this puts her in the hands of Tristen's father, a psychologist with his own agenda.
This is a most intriguing horror story, full of twists and turns as the friendship between the two teenagers develops and then fades while they go about their experiments. The discovery of the doctor's journals reveals the lengths he is going to uncovering the experiments and where they will lead, and so the tale comes to a thrilling climax.
An engrossing tale, well told, with enough turns for the ardent horror addict, but with a tweak that may take the reader back to the original novel for comparison.
Fran Knight

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