Thursday, January 8, 2015

'The Tormented' by Dorothy Daniels


Published:  1969
Setting:  Historical


Slowly, by themselves, the lamps went out and the room was filled with flickering. ominous shadows. Even the air was hushed. It grew cold -- a clammy coldness that held me in a vise.

The room suddenly became alive with an icy wind. Each cold blast seemed to originate in the middle of the room and spread to the four walls. As the wind screamed I heard a shrill voice howl my name over and over again.

As if in answer a glass case lifted from a table and hurled itself toward the mantle and crashed.


I was petrified...



After the untimely deaths of her loving parents, Sharon is forced to sell The Pillars, her father's beautiful Louisiana estate, in order to settle her debts.  Yet a strange twist of fate brings her back to The Pillars, not as a mistress but as a
caregiver.  It's not long after her arrival that Sharon realizes that the Beaumonts want more from her than a tutor for their child...much more.  

The house is haunted by a restless, angry spirit that spins a chilling wind as it smashes furniture and assaults the members of the household.  What's more terrifying is the entity screams for Sharon in an agonizing screech.  The longer she extends her stay, the more Sharon feels her presence is resented by someone in the household.  Could it be Emily, the cold mistress of the house or her hateful spinster sister Sarah?  She is sure it is not Craig, who demonstrates a great affection for her in opposition of his careless wife, and his brother Bart seems to have a great affect for the girl as well.  

Then Sharon learns of the beautiful Janelle, the love of Bart's life whom was torn to shreds by a pack of wild dogs that still roam the grounds.  It is only after attempts were made on Sharon's own life that she decides she must learn the mystery of the ghost, and the the identity of the person who wishes her dead... 




Setting:  A southern Louisiana Mansion

Plot:  A young woman returns to her heritage as a tutor to a little girl only to find herself enmeshed in the mystery of a vicious haunting with an entity that calls her name in anguish and a tale of sudden death.

Gothic Elements:  southern mansion, Louisiana (bayou), ghosts and demons, hauntings, poisoned food, death occurring from a pack of wild dogs, graves and graveyards, a friendly but gossiping cook, a drunken gambler who weaves himself in and out of the story, a loveless child, a cold domineering wife, a bitter spinster

Romance:  Occurs between the main character and the head of the house, particularly in the last thirty pages of the book.  i have to admit I wasn't sure which man would catch her attention until nearly the end of the story.


I thought this was an excellent read.  It was more of a gothic horror than a gothic romance, as the romance really didn't bloom until the last thirty pages or so (though this seems typical of most vintage gothics).   This book had a bit more paranormal than most vintage titles, but made for a quick and interesting read.  I would recommend to fans of vintage gothic romance and to those who enjoy a good ghost story.




My Rating:
4.5 Stars

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