Genre: Horror – Mystery
Series: Dark Shadows #4
Publisher: Tor Books (November 8, 2016)
Author Information: Website
Length: 320 pages
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Dark Shadows was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was growing up back in the dark ages of the 1980s. Reruns of the show always seemed to be on the tv after school and kept me glued to the couch. Hell, I even loved the 1991 remake. (Wasn’t a big fan of the 2012 movie, though I loved Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard.) So when the opportunity to revisit creepy Collinwood came along, I had to take it.
Things start off with Victoria Winters having left the 18th Century and returned to the present of 1972. Her time in the past still a vivid memory, but one which is slowly fading from her mind, as she returns to her normal life as a news reporter for a television station in Bangor, Maine. Soon, however, a letter finds her and implores her to come to Collinwood due to important business, and so Victoria finds herself drawn back into the tangled web of the Collinses.
Returning to Collinwood immediately immerses Victoria in the mysterious goings-on there: ghostly sightings, the eternal Barnabas Collins, and a neighbor, who is the twin of our heroine’s lost Peter Bradford. But most troubling of all is the disappearance of the entire Collins family! Everyone going missing, and no one knowing where they went. This fact causing a will to be triggered; a will which names Victoria as the heir to the Collinwood Estate. All she has to do to inherit: prove her identity.
To do this, Victoria determines to travel to places in her past. The orphanage where she grew up, as well as several other important locales. And, naturally, what she finds out is not what she (or readers) was expecting at all!
Like most horror/mysteries, this novel is a slow burn: it starts out slow, feeding you tidbits of information, introducing (or re-introducing) characters, then picks up toward the end, as it speeds to its stunning conclusion. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially if you (like me) enjoy the creepy world of Dark Shadows. I can, however, see many readers who will long for more excitement, more action, earlier in the narrative. But that isn’t the kind of story Lara Parker has penned, which is actually very fitting since Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood reads like a logical continuation of the story line from the actual series.
Overall, this novel is a wonderful return to the world of Dark Shadows. While the setting is modern 1970s (instead of the 18th Century past which I always preferred) with characters who have definitely evolved, the atmosphere and mood of the original tv series is wonderfully captured and replicated in print form, as well as the story a fitting evolution of the ongoing tale. With that in mind, this is a must read for all Dark Shadows fans!
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.