Wednesday, August 7, 2013

'Shadowplay' by Marvin Werlin

Published:  1977
Setting:  California, Modern Day


Christine Glenville is desperate to flee a troubled past in San Francisco so she readily accepts a job as  at the rambling Deveraux mansion as assistant editor to classic film fanatic and director Max Deveraux.

At first glance, Christine notices that Deveraux house is the exact replica of the Manderley house in Rebecca.  However, the illusions don't stop there, each and every room in the house (even foyers and dining areas) are replicas of rooms from famous, classic movies and everyone seems to have their own particular role. 

Max Deveraux and his wife love theatrics and often social gatherings are turned into eloquently played-out acting skits, for which several end in blood and murder.  However, the macabre only deepens.  Christine soon learns that danger lurks in the darkened corners of lonesome foyers and the caves of Deveraux beach still echo of the mysterious death of a young girl who played the role of previous assistant to Max Deveraux.  Then there's the shy, mysterious beauty who conceals her mental illness while playing the role of Max's niece.

Eventually Christine realizes she's in over her head with a scheme of characters that include a jittery housekeeper who is anyone but who she appears to be, a violent ballet dancer who makes an attempt to silence her, then she witnesses cold blooded murder in a theatrical skit that went awry.  Before she knows it, shes tangled in a game of wits and is fighting for her life as the final curtain closes and at last Deveraux mansion is brought to it's fiery end.

Very engrossing read and definitely recommend!

5 Stars

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