21/12/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin
The latest client of the John Jarrold Literary Agency is UK fantasy and horror novelist Rod Rees. His novel Dark Charismatic is set in the London of 1878, this is a reworking of the Jekyll & Hyde story, told through the eyes of Henry Jekyll’s cold, aloof and religious wife, Margaret.
Rees has also created a new order of humanity, taking his lead from Stevenson’s novel but expanding its ideas greatly in the social, sexual and other areas. Although the main thrust of the book explores of the propensity for evil that exists in everyone, it does so in a way that is authentic to the era and captures the black humour which sustained the working-class during those difficult times. However it remains a book about evil: as Hyde says, there is no good in Man, just a deficiency of courage to embrace wickedness.
‘Rod’s novel is a true tour de force,’ said John Jarrold. ‘In terms of the way he conjures nineteenth-century London, builds his characters and tells his story – as well as his invention – it’s gripping from beginning to end.’
Rod Rees has spent his time travelling throughout Africa, the Middle East, Bangladesh and Russia, finding himself living, en route, in Qatar, Tehran and Moscow. He has built pharmaceutical factories in Dhaka, set-up a satellite communication network in Moscow, conceived and designed a jazz-themed hotel in the UK and created one of the most successful counter-trade operations ever seen in Africa. Living and working throughout the world has convinced him of one thing: that all Men are created equal in their duplicity and their ability to say one thing and do another.
Rod Rees has written one other novel and numerous short stories under a nom-de-plume (which he will keep to himself until his children are older!) but Dark Charismatic is his first book under his own name.
He lives in Norfolk where he acts a roadie to his lovely wife Nelli (a jazz singer and jewellery designer) and his two children Kit (saxophone and talking) and Ellie (bass and sarcasm). He spends his days writing, waiting for the return of democracy to Great Britain and the classification of ‘The OC’ as Class-A addictive substance for the under 16’s.
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