Monday, November 30, 2009

House Above Hollywood, by Velda Johnston [late '60s]

Snoooooozefest. :-( This novel started out promising, but ultimately bombed. There is no "nightmare cult" throughout most of it, and nothing substantial leading up to the heroine's ensnaring. What we have is a gal who goes to California in search of answers to her alcoholic father's apparent suicide (years later) aging silent-movie siren who likes watching TV and answering fan mail...a snide and suspicious nephew who ultimately turns nice and tries to woo the heroine...a young married Chinese-American couple who pretend to have fake Chinese accents in hopes the old mistress of the mansion will feel more at ease with them (-rolleyes-)...semi-weird happenstances...a slightly shady leech with his own new-agey type following who flatters the old dame. The cover art is beautiful. The story is a constant let-down. I give it 2 stars out of 5 for at least having gotten published. :-\


Joshua Perdue said...

I hate it when gothics don't live up to the cover. That's the risk you take in the paperback lottery, though.

Cindy M said...

Hi Josh: Yep. The author had good starter ideas; unfortunately instead of actually developing those ideas she fell back on rehashing a] alcoholic father: suicide or no? b] the heroine's love interest was a jerk but now he's nice c] the Wongs are a cute Chinese-American couple d] Malon Thorne is a leech who has a radio program... Even 3/4 of the way through there's still no evidence of "a nightmare cult" except for vague references to Thorne's new-agey following and his 1 or 2 vague references to "the dark in things." Whatever. :-p