Edward Lee – Flesh Gothic (Leisure Books, 2005, 404 p.)
Hildreth House isn't like other mansions. One warm night in early spring, fourteen people entered Hildreth House's labyrinthine halls to partake in diabolical debauchery. When the orgy was over, the slaughter began. The next morning, thirteen of the revelers were found naked and butchered. Dismembered. Mutilated. But the fourteenth body was never found.
The screams have faded and the blood has dried, but the house remains … watching. Now five very special people have dared to enter the infamous house of horrors. Who – or what – awaits them? And who will live to tell Hildreth House's ghastly secrets?
Edward Lee tries hard to shock as usual, but what should be fun remains strangely limp, right down to the end. It's Hell House meets Hustler meets Rosemary's Baby, up to a OTT fictionalized Althea Flynt. It is too long, and the porno-people as freakshow representation is wearisome. Why is it that people like Lee who want to be so taboo-breaking at the end give the impression of being just as repressed, hypocritical and puritan than your average republican congressman?
This was the last hurrah of the mass market horror paperback. A few years later Leisure/Dorchester went belly up. The quality was less than stellar, aside from a few nice reprints there was a lot of dross, but it was at least a visible program and a chance for new writers.