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Dark Shadows: Heiress Of Colinwood by Lara Parker (book review).

October 25, 2019 | By | Reply More

Victoria Winters returns to Collinsport but the family are missing and there’s a gruesome surprise in the kitchen. Welcome back to ‘Dark Shadows’, a delightfully over the top melodrama which kept viewers absorbed in the late 1960s, while it threw the kitchen sink at the script. Since its original death, it has refused to lie down.

A re-boot with Brit Ben Cross in 1991 failed to bite but Big Finish have made a series of audio dramas with the original cast that have brought in new fans. Despite the damp squib of the 2012 movie, audience engagement remains high.

Victoria’s original role was as governess to the young David Collins. She’s been away, lost in the past with her lover and husband, Peter. Once again she is flung forward in time and finds she is a reporter on macabre murders at a Bangor radio station. Called to Collinwood by an attorney, she finds herself heir to the house and fortune.

Stunned by the condition of the house, Victoria feels there has been evil committed. She’s reluctant to contact the vampire Barnabas because of his hypnotic hold on her feelings, but desperate times…

If you want a heads up on the backstory of ‘Dark Shadows’ there are excellent Wikis that will blow your mind. Seriously, it makes UK soaps pale by comparison. How this got past the uptight brigade I’ve no idea. A daytime drama made with vampires, werewolves and time travel, oh my.

If you’re a fan, you’ll know that Lara Parker played the witch Angelique in the original run. She’s reprised her role with Big Finish, too. This is one of four original novels by Parker and it throws everything at the plot with occasional seeming dead ends, indulgent asides and general vapour inducing scenarios. In other words, what’s not to like?

This perfectly embodies the bat-shit crazy plots of the soap, sorry, daytime drama and the reason why viewers lapped it up. You can feel the blood pounding, the bodice heaving and sharp intake of vampire non-breath. It’s an indulgent romp around New England and you’ll enjoy the gallop.

Sue Davis

October 2019

(pub: TOR/Forge, 2016. 315 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $15.99 (US), $22.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-7776-0)

check out website: www.tor-forge.com

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Category: Books, Fantasy, Horror

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