THIS THING OF DARKNESS by Allan Batchelder is a high concept novel if I've ever heard one: What if William Shakespeare faked his death and tried to make a new life in Jamestown? It's an interesting promise that I am arguably spoiling a bit of a reveal but is the chief reason to pick up this fascinating novel. Its title and events certainly give this the appearance of a horror novel but it also works very well as a character study. I am happy to recommend it without further bringing any elements of its plot in on the basis of its research and authenticity of human feeling. Which is not something I normally say about a monster stalking a bunch of English settlers.