I did enjoy the book a lot, but it required a tad more suspension of disbelief than the average thriller of the period, and it did also leave me wondering what it would have been like in the hands of, say, Sydney Horler... oh yes... that might have been worth a look!
I'll go along with that! All these years on from first reading his outrageous 'vampire' extravaganza, The Curse Of Doone and I'm still in therapy.
Finished Whitney Strieber's The Wolfen in the early hours, certainly among the most absorbing (relatively) modern werewolf novels I've read, along with Thomas Tessier's The Nightwalker (very damaged Viet vet arrives in London during the summer of punk.)
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
I read it a few years back when I found a copy of the Ash-Tree edition in a local second hand bookshop. Overall, I was a bit disappointed - it seemed to have a very long, drawn-out "set-up", which probably would have worked much better if I hadn't already known what the story was about. And the ending, I thought, was ridiculous - especially the ease with which the main character got the police to agree to his "theory" and his plan for dealing with the situation. I think the book it most reminded me of was Richard Marsh's The Beetle, which, when I eventually got round to reading it, I also didn't enjoy nearly as much as I had hoped I would.
Never even see, let alone read a copy, but here's Neil Barron's Shorts and sweet review in Horror Literature: A Readers Guide (Garland, 1990).
"Mystery story in which disappearances following auto-mobile accidents are traced to the activities of the sinister Dr. Woolf, who turns out, unsurprisingly, to be a werewolf. Better than The Wolf In The Garden, but not as good as Greye La Spina's Invaders From The Dark or Jack Mann's Grey Shapes."
E. F. Bleiler concludes his synopsis in The Guide To Supernatural Fiction (Kent State University, 1983) "Routine mystery, ending sloughed off rather hastily, without much thought."
I've never read it either, but I've just found it at the Internet Archive in various electronic formats (https://archive.org/details/doorunreal00bissgoog), as well as an audiobook version (https://archive.org/details/door_unreal_1508_librivox).
Those Victorian penny dreadfuls are pretty hard going - they were serialised in weekly penny parts and the publisher would keep the hacks writing them until sales started to drop, then they would wind up the story. That's why some of them - like Varney the Vampire - are so long and tedious. Mind you, Reynolds is better then most of them.
I had a great time with Varney The Vampyre. Read it in that beautiful three volume Dover edition with the original illo's which, incredibly, I found on the shelves of the old Whitechapel Library (R.I.P.) next door to the Art Gallery. Those were the days! Doubt I'd have the stamina to repeat the experience and, welcome as it is, the shelf-busting Wordsworth edition is 1166 pages of relatively tiny print.
The Dover edition was reprinted last year, though it's now two volumes instead of three. I ordered both volumes from the Edward R. Hamilton "Bargain Books" catalog last year, though it's no longer available from there. But I think I would need new glasses before I could read it.