From its new headquarters, the Human Protection League (colloquially known as “The Lovecraft Squad”) must regroup against the rising tide of supernatural threats from such clandestine cults as The Olde Fellowes and The Esoteric Order of Dagon, who worship a group of ancient deities known as the Great Old Ones. As their unholy acolytes prepare to resurrect these multi-dimensional gods from their imprisonment beneath the earth and beyond the stars, the universe hovers on the brink of an Eldritch War such as it has never known before. The only thing that may stand between victory or the enslavement and eventual destruction of the human race itself is a man out of his own time—a writer, a visionary, a dreamer on the night-side . . .
For the second book in the Lovecraft Squad series, following the novel All Hallows Horror, Jones has rounded up a host of science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers to contribute to a hard-boiled, shared-world riff on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, master of eldritch horror. In 1937, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover forms the Human Protection League (HPL, get it?) to combat monstrous incursions from another dimension. One of his early recruits is Lovecraft himself, whose fictions turn out to have a basis in reality. Nathan Brady, the league's first agent, finds this out as he battles warring New York gangsters to uncover a nest of horrors beneath a Broadway theatre. During the Korean War, junior G-Men assist the league in catching a dream thief in disguise in their small town. In a James Ellroy/Lovecraft mash-up, Howard Hughes's wisecracking fixer, Arty Burns, tries to prevent demons from mentally invading red scare Hollywood. Some ghost hunters, including a league infiltrator, get more than they bargain for when they investigate a haunted house. And, in 1963, the HPL blasts two female agents into orbit to rescue Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin from the horror known as "the color out of space." The stories stretch from the 1920s to the present, but a certain sameness ultimately settles over them. The best of the works try to address Lovecraft's inherent racism and unusual biographical details. This book can best be appreciated by those already familiar with the Cthulhu mythos, but newbies will still enjoy the pulpy adventures of the league.