Old friends and new, vile fiends. The living, the dead, the undead, and the immortal all existing together in the strange tapestry known as Collinwood. No one is as he or she seems, and secrets are as palpable and elusive as the shadows that lurk in every corner.
Quentin’s portrait is missing, and with every passing hour, his chances for a normal existence grow slimmer and slimmer. He blames Antoinette, who in turn blames her daughter, Jackie, for the disappearance of this most important piece of artwork.
David Collins, besotted by Jackie’s mysterious aura, has sworn to do everything in his power to help her find the picture and return it to its rightful owner. But the only clue is a vision that Jackie has of its location, and it is not very clear.
Meanwhile, other denizens of the paranormal are seeping out of the foundation of the house. Barnabas, who has returned to the world of the undead, now has a companion: Dr. Julia Hoffman, the physician who had made him human again, and in the process turned the curse upon herself. Barnabas still yearns for Antoinette, and will do anything to have her. He despises Julia for her thoughtless decision to enter into his world of misery. His decisions almost costs him his existence.
David and Jackie pursue their own ideas, about themselves, each other, and the portrait. When a short ride in a mysterious green Duisenberg causes them to travel back in time to the 1920s, David finds that many of his forebears had dark secrets of their own. He also finds–a second portrait. But will it do the magic that is needed to restore Quentin to a normal life?
Who is hiding what? Can anyone be trusted? What is the relationship between Elizabeth, the matriarch of the family, and Quentin? What is the shameful secret intimated by Dr. Blair, who ramrods his way into Collinwood, seeking answers and fame?
And always, like the faraway beat of a drum in the night: Angelique, Angelique, Angelique.
David, with the stubborn, hard-headed attitude he’s always had, may be the only person who can get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding his home, and be the sole savior of his family’s lives.
Yep, I’m one of those kids who “raced home every day after school” to immerse myself in the series “Dark Shadows”. This past week I’ve been racing home from work to immerse myself in this book.
Ms. Parker has done a beautiful job bringing these characters back to life. In this, her third book of the series, she has woven a spell-binding story that has captured the true spirit of “Dark Shadows”. The nuances and gestures are exactly what I remember–made more clear by watching the series recently–and even the placement of furniture and room appointments are spot-on.
The story line follows what a “Dark Shadows” aficionado would expect, but where the thread goes is all new.
Any child who was ever a victim of bullying would definitely be delighted by how Jackie solves the problem of the boys who follow her through the woods, their purposes far more sinister than mere taunting.
And the nod to “Casablanca”–I was happily surprised. That was a lot of fun.
There are the original characters, of course, but Ms. Parker has brought us new villains to boo and new heroes to cheer. Her descriptions of, well, everything–from the falling snow to the lolling tongues of coyotes in the woods–are so real and life-like, the reader would swear he/she was right in the middle of the story.
Perhaps you are…
And, just like the series, it ended all too soon. Ms. Parker, I hope you have another story on its way. I miss the world of Collinwood already.