Pete Rawlik’s first novel Reanimators is the perfect example of how to write a book in in a shared universe (in this case, H.P. Lovecraft) and tell your story without descending into pastiche (Derleth, I’m looking at you).
Dr. Hartwell’s parents are killed by an abomination resurrected by Herbert West, sending Hartwell on on a quest for revenge, not justice. In his pursuit to discredit Herbert West, Hartwell finds himself plunged into an Arkham that is a composite of the events in Lovecraft’s stories. As events unfold, Hartwell evolves from wanting to discredit West to besting West and begins his own expermentations in reanimation. As one might expect, things do not go well for recipients or dispensors of the glowing green reagent.
This is a fun book for those familiar with Lovecraft and his disciples; the text is liberally sprinkled with references. But as long as you know who Dr. Herbert West is, the book stands on its own merit as a novel and as a homage to the pulp era.