Having played and run Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu back in the ahem, well, a few years ago now, I wanted to see what the fuss was about with this updated version.
Well, for a start, Trail of Cthulhu isn't an update of the original. Instead Ken Hite presents a much more focussed game saturated in Lovecraftian atmosphere that concentrates on what was best about Call of Cthulhu by pushing the investigation aspect to the forefront. Magnificently, he does this without sacrificing the power of the action sequences or the drama of the characters.
The characters in particular, with their drives and obsessions, reflect the flawed heroes of Lovecraft's work beautifully, and give the GM plenty of hooks on which to hang spectacular and dramatic plot turns.
Reading the book is a pleasure. Its tone is doom-laden yet somehow hopeful, and the rules are explained with simple examples used sparingly to clarify the few more complex concepts, such as the excellent Sanity rules.
The artwork evokes the period and the uneasy feeling of horror lurking just out of sight.
In summary, I can highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in playing or running games of supernatural horror where investigation plays as strong a role as action, and the characters drive the plot rather than the reverse.
Now, there appear to be nebulous tendrils unfolding from the impossible geometries in the corners of my vision, straining toward the only illumination in my suddenly chill room. I'll be all right as long as the light doesn't go ou--
[5 of 5 Stars!]