Imago Mortis -The Novel


Imago Mortis is the Role-playing Game I’m working on: I already said that. But where does the whole project come from? Here is the Italian novel from which we got the idea: Imago Mortis by Samuel Marolla.

Augusto Ghites is a junkie. His drug: the ashes of the dead. His trip: reliving the lives of those whose ashes he sniffs and interacting with their ghosts.

To obtain those ashes – to get his fix – he needs money. And there’s no better job for someone who can talk to ghosts than that of a private eye.

When an old prostitute hires him to investigate the death of her colleague, Ghites thinks that it’s just an average, everyday case. But together with the King Lizard, he will discover that there are forces at play that are well beyond his capabilities to control.

Set in a decadent Milan and told in perfect noir style, this horror tale introduces a dark and self-destructive occult detective in the best hard-boiled tradition.

I honestly think Samuel Marolla is one of the best Italian horror writer, perhaps the best. He also see himself not as “just an Italian author” and his Publishing House has a motto I really like:

Acheron Books

Speculative Fiction, Made in Italy, Shared Everywhere

In more simple words, he does not write “Italian horror stories”, but “horror stories, made in Italy”: there is a subtle difference, if you know what I mean.

mmWhen I first read his novel Imago Mortis, I was astonished: inside the book there were all the things I usually search in a great story: a dark world, a great character, a complex plot, full of twists, something new and unexpected, a greater evil. And IDEAS.

Imago Mortis is weird, is pulp, is dark, is amazing, is hardboiled, is noir, is horror. One of the best horror novel, made in Italy, you can really read right now. I can’t say about the quality of the English translation, cause I read it in Italian, but I guess Samuel found a great translator, before starting to sell his book to international readers.

I am a party to the entire operation, so instead to present the book personally, I prefer to reblog an external review, taken from A novel glimpse:

Review: Imago Mortis by Samuel Marolla

from the blog: A Novel Glimpse


I have to admit I was a little nervous going into reading Imago Mortis. Paranormal/horror stories are not normally my thing. I scare easily and tend to gravitate to light and fluffy romances. That being said, I agreed to read Imago Mortis because I’m always up for trying different genres. You never know what you’ll like if you don’t try it, right?

The first thing I noticed when I started reading Imago Mortis were the amazing descriptions. There were intricately detailed descriptions of everything! From the city of Milan to the seedy characters Ghites interacts with, everything is beautifully described. While it was helpful in getting acquainted with the setting and characters, the descriptions did distract from the story a bit. At times, it was hard to pay attention to what was happening in the story because I was so overwhelmed by the lengthy descriptions of where Ghites was or who he was with.

As for the story itself, it was definitely creepy! A private investigator who communicates with ghosts to solve crimes is one thing. A private investigator who snorts dead people’s ashes to do so is entirely another! The things Ghites sees were so disturbing. I’m hoping I don’t have nightmares from those visions!

To be honest, Imago Mortis wasn’t a book for me. It wasn’t that it was poorly written. The writing was beautiful. It was just too creepy for me. I’m sure there are a lot of horror buffs out there who would love it, though!

Read the whole review

So, we are working on this fictional matter, to create a great hardboiled-horror Savage Setting. We are changing and adapting all the things we have to, to honor the novel but also to give the players what they need to play great adventures, without knowing the novel itself or finding the game be too “bookish”.

If you can’t wait for the release of Imago Mortis RPG and need some inside view in this dark world and ghasly mood, read and enjoy the novel:

Imago Mortis on Acheron Books

Imago Mortis on

You can also find it in any online store you are used to buy books…


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