Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"The Devil Child" by Parley J. Cooper

Published:  1972
Setting:  Modern Day

Nights are filled with sounds, but the familiar sounds seldom wake the sleeper.  It was not the groaning of the old house that had awakened the distant corner  of the house, something had moved and created an unfamiliar disturbance.

Outside, the storm continued after it's daytime rest, but it was dying out.  The wind was but a whisper through the tree branches;  the rain a mere mist, dripping from the waterspouts onto the wooden casts below.

...the light moved steadily across the room until the demon's legs were within sight.  They were covered by a long, white gown which flared outward with each step and clung to the shape of the legs.  They moved across the room toward the writing table, and stopped not more than a foot from my cramped form.

...the demon moved quietly away, toward the opposite door- Aunt Veeva's door.

Unable to remain in hiding any longer with Aunt Veeva in danger, I lifted the tablecloth and started to cry out a warning.  But the cry died in my throat.  I could only stare in disbelief, a heaviness weighting me beyond its support.  A chilling shudder passed through my entire body and I turned cold as one alive can become.

Entering her bedroom, the light held firmly before her, walked a silhouette with silver hair and thin, wasted arms- Aunt Veeva, herself!

Book Blurb


Lillith was young, strangely pretty, and different.  The townspeople called her a witch because she lived in the ominous, walled mansion known as Clarke House.  Her aunt, with whom she shared the shadowy darkness of Clarke House, called her other things.

Lillith was little more than a slave to the old woman who had raised her, held to her by an unspeakable bond.  She knew fear her every waking moment, terror every night, yet she did not know herself.  Then one day something so horrifying happened that she was forced to seek the truth.

But in a house shrouded in nightmarish deceits, the innocent and the curious were damned...

Setting:  A dark, musty dilapidated old house that sets at the edge of the woods, alongside a river full of green and wild things.

Plot:  Lillith Clarke is a young, strange girl.  Raised by her demented Aunt, she;s been brainwashed into believing that she is cursed, a witch to be shunned from society.  Her only friends are an old, suspicious witch who lives on the edge of their property and an elderly man whom fishes on Sundays at the river that runs the length of the estates property.  Lillith has no communication with the outside world, groceries are delivered and bills are paid by mail.  Lillith has no other family...her mother is presumed dead after a long illness, her brother arrested for the death of his mother's former lover.  But there are secrets, that when uncovered, can change the fate of Lillith...

Gothic Elements:  a sickly, overbearing Aunt.  Murder.  Locked rooms.  Dead bodies locked in chests.  Old, musty house.  Witches.  Family secrets.  Deceptions and lies.  An abused and neglected child.  Suicide and death.  Being locked inside a room with no way to escape.

Romance:  There actually was no romance.  I suppose this book would better be described as "Gothic Horror."

This book is a quick and enjoyable read.  It is very descriptive.  In fact, during the first thirty pages or so the book is much, much too descriptive when concerning the hills, the river, and nature.  Yet, when you get to the meat and bones of the story you'll be pleasantly horrified by this story, the secrets, the deception, the sick and twisted heart of Aunt Veeva.  While reading this book I felt a great sense of compassion for the main character, Lillith, yet she also angered me with her silly fears and gullible fancies.  Overall, if you enjoy gothic romance/gothic horror, you'll probably enjoy this book.  Though, as I mentioned before, there is no romance here.

My Rating:
3 Stars

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