Clive Barker - The Scarlet Gospels - Brazil, 2016.The Scarlet Gospels” is a dark and macabre novel written by Clive Barker, published in 2015. Clive Barker, known for his works in horror and dark fantasy, crafted this novel as a sequel to his earlier works, particularly “The Hellbound Heart” and the subsequent Hellraiser mythos. The story follows the infamous character Pinhead, also known as the Hell Priest, a high-ranking Cenobite and the iconic antagonist of the Hellraiser series. In “The Scarlet Gospels,” Pinhead embarks on a destructive quest, seeking to bring about a new level of hellish chaos by obtaining ultimate power. He plans to unravel the mysteries of magic and achieve dominion over all realms, including Earth and the afterlife.

The narrative introduces a notable character, Harry D’Amour, a private investigator with a history of confronting the supernatural. D’Amour becomes a pivotal figure in the battle against Pinhead, drawn into a world of terror and occult secrets as he fights to prevent the horrors unleashed by the Hell Priest.

“The Scarlet Gospels” was like a dark secret kept in the shadows for what felt like forever before it finally saw the light. Clive Barker’s health made everyone doubt if it would ever hit the shelves and he hinted it might be the last Hellraiser tale he’d tell, as if bidding farewell to a part of himself.

If you haven’t dived into the Hellraiser comics, jumping into this story might feel like a blindfolded leap into the unknown. It portrays Hell more like the intense drawings from the comics rather than how it’s shown in the movies or the original novella, “The Hellbound Heart.”

The content of the book feels like classic Clive Barker with the depiction of Hell like only Clive Barker could imagine. If you have never read a novel from Clive Barker you might want to pick up something else first. I would suggest The Books of Blood as the content of the book might disturb you.

The book successfully ties together two of his most famous characters, Pinhead known from The Hellbound Heart and the Hellraiser series of movies and Harry D’Amour from the movie Lord of Illusion, The Last Illusion (from The Books of Blood Volume 6) and Everville. The book is not for everyone. Die-hard fans of the movies will be wondering what exactly is going on with Pinhead and I will admit the ending did feel a bit rushed. I would have loved to have it bit more fleshed out – especially with the way it ended. But then again with a book this long in development it would make sense that it would not live up to all the hype.

But, all said and done, “The Scarlet Gospels” is a must-read for die-hard Hellraiser enthusiasts who’ve explored the comics and the movies. Just step in with realistic expectations, and you’ll likely be captivated by the wicked delights Barker has cooked up.

Author Clive Barker
Languages English
Publisher Pan Books
Number of Pages 432

rating 4/5

You can read the book here.