Review – The Forbidden – by F.R. Tallis

The Forbidden

Short Summary:

Doctor Paul Clément witnesses a ritualistic murder while working for a mission hospital in Saint Sébastien, and is sworn to not speak of what he has seen.  After returning to Pairs, the ambitious doctor grows intrigued of the study patients who have apparently died, been brought back to life, and whilst suspended between life and death, experience what they believe to be heaven.  Clément attempts a daring experiment in order to confirm these extraordinary reports, but the outcome is wholly unexpected.  When he is resuscitated, he brings something back with him…


The Fordibben is a well written story that captures the city of Paris and the culture perfectly set in the 19th Century.  All the characters are well thought out, and the protagonist of the piece, Doctor Paul Clément, is someone who you will feel sympathy for throughout the whole novel.  The elements of dark magic and demonic possession are equally balanced between the story telling, and not too in your face like some books can be.

F.R. Tallis has a certain style of Gothic class about his writing, which really stands out, especially with the explanation of the gargoyles at Notre-Dame.  The mood is creepy yet sophisticated.  There are true elements of horror included, and some horrific scenes of imagery without being too over the top.


An enjoyable read that somehow feels refreshing being set in the 19th Century, when superstitions were at a high as well as people not being afraid to question religious views.  The exorcisms may appear too familiar to some, but I put this down to popularity of the subject, and I believe that Tallis handles this well without treading on previous material.

Recommended to those who are looking for a fresh take on Gothic Horror.

Other similar stories by this Author:

The Sleep Room

Read this if you liked…

The Devil Rides Out – Dennis Wheatley