Jessie Lilley
Buddy Barnett
Brad Linaweaver

November 2009     Web Edition     Issue #3

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Hotel Sinister

A Jack Shandler Novel

by L.J. Dopp

reviewed by

Jessie Lilley

Cover Art by L.J. Dopp

This isnít the first time Iíve discussed Doppís delightful character Jack Shandler. It probably wonít be the last, either. For now, permit me to remind you of Ė or point you for the first time to Ė Brad Linaweaverís comments on this series, as well as my own review within these pages of Babylon Moon. Just click on the red ink in the previous sentences and off youíll go to learn more about our Jack.

But to the point, Shandlerís latest foray into the occult takes place at a haunted resort in the mountains above Cedar City, UT. Itís got lots of ghosts. These ghosts are, one may think, on vacation from a long-closed amusement park in that bastion of vacation-dom, Asbury Park, NJ. (I guess going down the Shore wasnít good enough for these ghosts.) But one would be incorrect. In fact, many of them were imported. It all makes perfect sense I assure you, but if you are going to get the details, you have to read the book.

The timeline is a year after the beginning of Babylon Moon. Shandler is wrapping up for the day. The phone rings. He answers it. Itís a woman. She wants to hire him. He accepts. It doesnít take long before he wishes he hadnít, but itís too late now and heís in the thick of it. Ghosts, villains, celebrities, carnies, bodies, disappearances Ė oh, itís got it all. And as usual, the story flies along at top speed and the only reason I put the book down before it was finished is because I had to catch my breath!

The man can write. Dopp that is. Dunno about Shandler. I believe heís still trying to unload the book he wrote a year or so back. Regardless, Dopp can and as heís the guy who wrote this story, I will continue to sing his praises. Once again, he has dragged me from my comfort zone and tossed me into the most eclectic mix of horrors Iíve come across since Poe or Lovecraft; and with far more humor.

In my last review, I wrote: ďIím looking forward to finding where L.J. Doppís fevered imagination brings us next time.Ē Well. I found out. And Iím ready for the next one. Hopefully Mr. Dopp will continue with this series. God knows I love it. I think you will too.

L.J. will have copies of his Jack Shandler books and 11 x 14" art prints at his table at the 41st annual Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show, Sunday, March 8 (see advert below). Or, order your copy today at Lulu.