Richard Young is on vacation in Cornwall. His friend, Magnus, has lent him his family home of Kilmarth with one request: be part of a secret experiment. Magnus, a professor of biophysics, has created a powerful hallucinogenic drug with the side effect of allowing the user to view scenes from the past as if one was there in the flesh.
Richard finds the drug at first terrifying but exciting. Unseen, he follows a man named Roger, the steward for a hellish woman, the Lady Champernoune. Trip after trip, Richard returns to the 14th century, witnessing murders and brutality. The lure of the drug is too much for Richard even though there are startling after effects and dangers in being 'out of it' in the modern world.
I could understand the appeal of the drug to Richard. His real life is at best dull. He's left his job and his wife is nagging him to move to the States. The couple have little in common. They hate each others' friends and argue constantly. He has nothing in common with his stepsons either. I was as entranced as he was by the medieval intrigues but hoping nothing bad would happen to poor Richard.
At first, I was confused by all the names of the medieval characters. There was so much going on all at once and I was plunked down in the middle of it with Richard. But then I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Definitely a great story by duMaurier.
For the RIP Challenge.
4/5Also Reviewed By: Puss Reboots