Sunday, October 4, 2015

"The Devil's House" by Julia Tremonte

Published:  1974
Setting:  Modern Day


The eerie moonlight flooded the hallway where she stood, covering everything with a thin veil of translucent gauze.  How strange everything seemed in this light.  How unearthly the formal living room looked.  The massive pieces of furniture crouched in the corners, as if waiting to spring out at her.  She looked down the hallway toward the kitchen.  It was a long tunnel of darkness- an endless tube of gloom that seemed to be drawing her forward.  Almost against her will.

A sudden sound made her whirl around.  Directly behind her, framed in the doorway, stood a tall figure dressed in a black cloak.  A pointed hood shadowed the face, and only the large, burning yellow eyes were distinct.  Sally was too frightened to make a sound.  The figure raised a hand and pointed a long, bony finger at her.  The voice was like a moan:  "You are ours."  As the words were spoken, the eyes of the creature grew in size and intensity, burning into Sally's soul.

It was only then that the strangled fear managed to wrench itself from her throat and escape as a horrified scream...

Back Cover Synopsis:

Whispering Voices From Beyond

As night  creeps into the old, timeworn house, Sally huddles in a corner, alone.  Without any apparent reason, her husband has strangely disappeared.

Outside the window, hovering trees make low, morbid sounds as they beat tormentingly against the glass.  Oh my god!  She wonders in terror, Could there be voices in the cellar?

Sally rushes to the phone, her heart pounding wildly, like a fish dying in a pit of sand.  The phone is dead.  The lines have been cut.

Frantically, she stumbles around the house, locking the doors and windows.  Then, moving stealthily into the kitchen, she grabs a knife, hiding in the folds of her skirt

Trembling fiercely, Sally edges toward the basement door.  She opens it but hesitates at the top of the stairs.  Abruptly the lights go out.  A faintly sweet smell assails Sally's nostrils as her body convulses with sobs.  Emanating from the depths of the basement, a yellow glow dances in the black air.

"Sally, Sally, Sally," chants a chorus of soft voices rising from the darkness below...

The Devil's House.

Best Gothic Elements:  witchcraft and witches, evil emblems, mysterious murders, religious sacrifices, spells, family secrets.

This book was just okay.  To be honest, it was rather flat.  The characters were never really explored.  Nor was the backstory.  And the whole idea with the evil being, or apparition was never resolved.  I was left wondering if it was her husband, or really the ghost of the evil man who once inhabited the house.  I had a hard time completing the book, it was just boring.  Wouldn't recommend because it barely kept my attention and the mystery wasn't tight enough to keep a feel of suspense going.

My Rating:
2 Stars

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