On November 7, 2000, Herbert West was reborn in my writing room. I was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s six serialized stories published in 1922 under the title “Herbert West, Reanimator.” Herbert is a compelling character, and I ended up writing his entire life story: four novels, in which a scientist obsessed with reversing death is transformed into a physician of last resort.
From ancient Arkham to the agony of the Great War, from Acadie to the islands of the West Coast, a brilliant but amoral physician is subjected to travails and entanglements, to become a source of healing — and of peril.
Book 1: The Friendship of Mortals
Herbert West can revivify the dead – after a fashion. He persuades Miskatonic University librarian and aspiring alchemist Charles Milburn to help him, but risks their friendship for the sake of his experiments. When West prepares to cross the ultimate border, only Charles can save his life — if his conscience lets him.
Book 2: Islands of the Gulf Volume 1, The Journey, and Book 3: Islands of the Gulf Volume 2, The Treasure
Damaged by death and revivification, Herbert West renames himself Francis Dexter and leaves New England. His travels take him to Bellefleur Island, on the west coast of North America, where he becomes a country doctor and struggles with partial amnesia, irrational emotions, a difficult love affair and a healing power over which he has no control. Only when he surrenders to the unknown does he realize his true power.
Book 4: Hunting the Phoenix
Journalist Alma Halsey chases the story of a lifetime to Providence, Rhode Island and finds more than she expected – an old lover, Charles Milburn, and an old adversary, renegade physician Herbert West, living under the name Francis Dexter. Fire throws her into proximity with them both, rekindling romance and completing a great transformation.
The complete series is also available as a “box set” (ebook only).
If you just can’t get enough of Herbert’s story, there are also the Supplements.