A self-centered adult film star crashes his car into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide - for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul. Then a beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and tells him that they were once lovers in medieval Germany.
If you want another modern-gothic tale that has a little bit of everything (romance, mystery, etc.) check out these suggestions.
In 1865 Boston, the efforts of literati like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and James Russell Lowell to present the first translation of Dante's Divine Comedy are roundly resisted until police need their expertise to solve a series of murders imitating the tortures in the "Inferno."
Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.
When Elspeth Noblin dies, she leaves everything to the 20-year-old American twin daughters of her own long-estranged twin, Edie. Valentina and Julia, as enmeshed as Elspeth and Edie once were, move into Elspeth's London flat and through a series of developing relationships a crisis develops that could pull the twins apart.
After a young woman finds letters in her late father's library, she goes on a pursuit to find the truth about Vlad the Impaler.
A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.