DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

The Manor
Scott Nicholson
Pinnacle/ 384p /$5.99
(September 1, 2004)
ISBN: 9786015802 (mass market paperback)

Book Cover Mason Jackson, a working-class sculptor on a grant, and a gaggle of stereotypical character-artistes (the creative gay couple, the wounded-wife dilettante, the sexually and literarily impotent Great Novelist and his latest young girlfriend, the famous photographer-poseur, the exotically beautiful and talented-but-yet to-be-fulfilled female) are on retreat at isolated Korban Manor. Anna Galloway, a dying parapsychologist who has repeatedly dreamed of the place, is also a guest. The manor and its environs are connected to civilization only by an old wooden bridge. Therešs no electricity, but the house has plenty of always-lit fires, strange servants, and spooky portraits of Ephram Korban, its original lord and master. Ghosts and the weird abound and the coming "blue moon of October" means things will get stranger still. Working through Miss Mamie, the manoršs mistress, Ephram Korban has scheduled a comeback using all the assembly of creative folks as fuel. As with his first two novels, Nicholson derives his most effective touches (here, the faithful backwoods witchwoman, Sylvia, with her herbs and charms and spells and Miss Mamiešs far from benign "folk-art" dolls) from Appalachian folklore. His writing never soars, but it is solid. The Manor is better than most of this era's mass market paperback originals, but only slightly less predictable. If you have a hankering for genre-style horror to stuff in your trick-or-treat bag for Halloween, you'll be entertained by The Manor. (Written for CFQ Oct/Nov issue, 2004)

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