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The Bloody Doll: The Sublime Adventure of Benedict Masson

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THE BLOODY DOLL: “La Poupee Sanglante”, the classic novel of vampirism and serial murder by Gaston Leroux, author of The Phantom Of The Opera, is finally published in a new and completely unexpurgated translation. One night, the voyeur Benedict Masson spies on Christine, the watchmaker’s beautiful daughter; after witnessing the watchmaker murder Gabriel, her handsome lover, he is propelled into a fantastic carnival of encounters with a series of grotesque characters, including a voracious, ancient vampire known as the brucolac, and his servants, the sinister members of an oriental death cult. Masson must now attempt to find the answers to several vexing questions. Who was the mysterious Gabriel – in what way might he be connected to the watchmaker’s experiments in mechanics and his claim to have achieved perpetual motion? What has this got to do with the sinister Marquis de Coulteray, the watchmaker’s landlord? Why have a series of young women disappeared in the vicinity of Benedict’s villa in the countryside? But nothing is ever as it seems in the world of Gaston Leroux. THE BLOODY DOLL was written in the aftermath of the trial and execution of Henri Désiré Landru, also known as “the French Bluebeard”, one of the most notorious serial killers in French criminal history. A mixture of detective fiction, horror and romance that will be familiar immediately to readers of Leroux’s more famous works, the book will also appeal to fans of Poe, Conan Doyle and Stoker, refracted through a lens of early 20th Century proto-steampunk pulp fiction. It can be read as either a satire on the famous case of Landru, or simply enjoyed as an incredibly entertaining, blood-splattered adventure from the archives of a master storyteller.

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