The Vanity Rooms by Peter Luther - A Review
The Vanity Rooms is the third episode in the Honeyman saga in which a de-frocked Baptist minister battles an old, demonic Welsh priesthood.
The Mourning Vessels
The estate agent begins to pay attention when she learns that he is an aspiring writer and his name is Kris Knight. She remembers her client telling her:-
" He is wanting to be artist.
His name is chesspiece."
She drives at speed across Cardiff Bay to ''The Gathering'' an 18th century dwelling with stunning interior decor and a sinister past. An inscription in the hallway reads:-
" It became customary to gather in front of the Huts or around a large tree: song and dance, true children of Love and Leisure, became the amusement or rather occupation of idle men and women gathered together. Everyone began to look at everyone else and to wish to be looked at himself, and public esteem acquired a price. "
The one who sang or danced the best, the handsomest, the strongest, the most skilful, or the most eloquent came to be highly regarded, and this was the first step at once toward inequality and vice: from these preferences arose vanity and contempt on the one hand, shame and envy on the other. "
But there is no pressure to take the vacant room:-
" We can leave if you want ", she said.
" What? "
" Kris, " she said....." It's important that you know that. In fact they told me to say that. You dont have to see the room. You can just go. "
But Kris Knight does not leave soon enough and he becomes embroiled in the machinations of Temple 1313. Believing initially, that he has found a benign and benevolent sponsor for his artistic endeavours, he is convinced that his boundless ambition will be rewarded with success and popular acclaim under their guidance. The sinister ''cellphone'' he is given and the extraordinary ''real life'' chess game that he is forced to play soon disabuse him of this notion. He comes to realise that, in order to escape, he must master the game or face a life of hellish servitude.
This is ''sophisticated horror'' and Peter Luther continues to provide his growing audience with exquisitely crafted and electrifying supernatural thrillers.
Whatever your take on the authors fantastical plot devices and whatever you make of his twisted and macabre supernatural themes you will not be able to put this book down until you reach the last page. Be warned! You too will become a temporary tenant of ''The Gathering''.