39. The Legacy – John Coyne
It’s the old “invite a bunch of people to a house under the guise of giving them an inheritance” story. House on Haunted Hill, House on Skull Mountain, there are more, it’s a thing. But this one has the weirdest cover ever – a white Persian cat’s head on top of a zombie hand with red nails, the cat’s head is stuck on the wrist, so it’s like Thing in costume for Halloween. The box for the movie haunted me back in the days of video stores. I am ridiculously allergic to cats but I like them (and after ten plus years of immunity treatment, I can actually hang out in the homes of persons with cats for a while) and so that cover was unnerving on a couple of levels. I still haven’t seen the movie, but I love Katharine Ross, so maybe someday I actually will watch it. Reading it didn’t really help me understand why that exact thing is on the cover. I mean, I know what it is, but, on the cover? Really?
This book is super 1970s. There’s a fashion designer, a music executive, misogyny, and not everyone who shows up to inherit knows why they’re there. The pacing was pretty slow and it didn’t really ratchet up the tension when the guests started dying. I think on the whole I could use this review some random person on a message board left for my book Dawn of the Interns to sum things up: “It is worth to read.” It IS worth to read if you want a dose of the 1970s and like those stories about people grouped together in rich people houses to “last through the night.”