Paradise is the name of a very secluded, very exclusive and expensive Caribbean resort village for the pampered rich. The inhabitants of the luxury cabins on this remote island are real horrors in themselves: a surgery enhanced old lady with her stud toy boy, an aging gangster with his underage hooker playmate, a honeymooning gossip columnist with a cocaine habit and a very rich wife...
There's also a brutal psychotic killer on the island, waiting to pick them off one by one.
The island staff are routinely swapped on Mondays, just when a huge storm hits the island, ensuring that the relief staff from the mainland are unable to land. The guests on the island are trapped. Someone has sent a message to the mainland saying the jetty is damaged and can't receive the new staff...then the radio is smashed to bits. And the killings start.
This was a great fun read. Basically it's Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Niggers' but with lots of sex and gory murders. And in the best tradition of whodunnits the killer isn't revealed till the very end. There are lots of music references - one couple meet a very sticky end while Rod Stewart is playing on the stereo!
Nothing complicated here, the characters are interesting and superficially pretty awful people (just how we imagine celebs to be). Strangely you find yourself rooting for them by the end.
this and The Road were supposed to be the books to make LJ as a big time horror writer. a four book contract on large-ish advances, and a push from the publishers. it never happened - the contract got cancelled though the advances were paid, and both published and written books never got out of the warehouse. The Road is more personal, centring on the welsh landscapes that he loved, and where the James family holidayed. it's slower, more about build than climax, and is perhaps best tackled in a reflective mood. this is the more 'fun' read.
Just tore through this one and really enjoyed it. It reads like a literary equivalent of an 80s slasher movie, or perhaps more accurately an Italian giallo. Reminds me a little of Mario Bava's brilliant 'Bay of Blood'. Some very nasty sequences, full of pop culture references, and whilst 'false endings' can be quite common, this book has a 'false beginning', a brutal set-piece that gets you in the mood for what's to come.
Like nightreader says, the characters are all pretty much scumbags. The one who dies last is one of the least obnoxious, but still, you don't exactly warm to him. And either I'm getting smarter in my old age, or the identity of the killer really is plainly obvious from about halfway through the book! There's a socialist, kinda Class War angle to this story, which appeals to a red like me, and from what little I know of LJ, probably gave him a little righteous chuckle too!
A much easier read than (the brilliant) 'Let's Go Play At The Adams'' by Mendal Johnson which I read just before. I'll do an in-depth analysis of that one when I get time, thought it was remarkable. Now I'm on a James binge and am ripping through Caleb Thorn 3, which is excellent, I don't want it to end! I think Caleb's a good sort, a real stand-up guy. I warm to him, the Oedipal cold-hearted motherf**k*r! Not sure whether that's the idea, though...
Just finished this one and I quite enjoyed it. I too, guessed the killer from about the halfway point. The book is gory but not too tasteless there's one scene involving the use of a video camera which I found very disturbing...
Blimey! This one's a bit of a corker. LJ shamelessly robbing the title of an English literary classic for a gory and tasteless slasher. You've got to applaud. There's a Liz (a female jockey!) and a gangster called Joe McGlagen. Watch out for that champagne bottle. Ouch! Halfway through and I haven't a clue who the murderer is. Well I have, but I bet I'm wrong.
Loved it. As un-PC as you can get, the sleaze borders on the ridiculous, and the begining is a hilarious take on the stereotypes of the Slasher movie which didn´t age a day. In fact it read like a blueprint for the numerous Profiler series on tv. (Which isn´t a compliment. If you watch an ep of Wire in the Blood or Criminal Minds, you know what I mean.)