Friday, April 2, 2010

Book 35 of 2010: The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton

Lisa Morton’s first novel, The Castle of Los Angeles, takes place in a castle with both numerous artists and a theater. Beth Ortiz has just moved into the castle in order to take over the theater, which takes up the lower portion of the castle. Beth witnesses strange things happening in the castle and starts to wonder if it might be haunted. After asking around she finds out that, yes, the castle has been said to be haunted for a number of years. Soon even stranger things start occurring, and Beth decides to figure out what exactly is going on. At the same time, she is trying to piece together a brand-new play, inspired by disappearances that have been taking place nearby.

Last year, one of my favorite reads was Morton’s Stoker-winning novella, The Lucid Dreaming. This year, The Castle of Los Angeles may very well be one of my favorites. This novel has a little bit of everything and is written beautifully. Morton creates a cast of characters that typically wouldn’t mix. For example, the main character, Beth, befriends a prostitute early on, which leads to the whole idea of the big production that her theater takes on. Additionally, the eccentric characters that inhabit the castle cover a wide range of talents and don’t always appreciate the talents of others. One particular character I have in mind here is Jessamine, an artist within the building who can be a bit unapproachable at times and whose artwork Beth finds intriguing. The strong casting and realistically creepy haunting scenes sprinkled throughout make this a powerful novel. Morton has a very strong future ahead of her in writing horror if she continues as she has thus far. She’s definitely an author that belongs on everyone’s personal bookshelf. Highly recommended!

Includes: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Sex, Mild Violence

Review also posted at

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