*Starred Review* Readers of this thoroughly upsetting horror-mystery hybrid will find their nightmares imprinted with several unshakable images, the worst of which is that of a withered child hunched over a bed, vomiting bile into the mouth of a sleeping girl. The childâ"known as "the Lot Ghost" by students of England's esteemed Harrow Schoolâ"is revealed to be an early gay lover of Lord Byron, brought back to bloodthirsty life by the arrival of 17-year-old Andrew Taylor, who has fled his American school following a disastrous drug incident. Andrew is the spitting image of Byron, which gets him cast as the lusty poet in a school production written by housemaster Piers Fawkes, ex-genius and current alcoholic. Two boys who befriend Andrew are abruptly taken with a horrific respiratory illness, the details of which dovetail with the play's foremost concern: Who was Byron's greatest love? Evans' crackling literary mystery is resolutely academic; part of the climax actually involves the writing of an essay. If that sounds dry, fear not: the scourge of tuberculosis provides visceral, icky counterpoints, while Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levels of gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously written to boot. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.