Desperate to hide from society and the flashbulbs of the paparazzi until his features recover, his manager points him in the direction of a spectacular mansion, hidden in a part of the city so secret that it doesn’t even appear on a map...COLDHEART CANYON!
This Utopian playground once belonged to the beautiful silent movie star Katya Lupi whose demure manner on screen was in total contrast to the the sultry vamp she exposed during the numerous lavish parties she would host for her ‘A’ list friends. These were the kind of parties where drugs and orgiastic exploration were extremely high on the menu ( if not the only thing on the menu )...but other things existed here too...darker things...devilish things...which never left.
Seventy years on and the mansion’s demonic secrets are about to reveal themselves to Todd Pickett in ways he could never have imagined...not even in his most bizarre or erotic nightmares!
Well, for a kick off...this book is wonderfully depraved. So if the notion of that makes you feel uncomfortable maybe it’s best if you don’t read the rest of this review...oh and don’t buy the book either because the eroticism would probably kill you.
In his own deliciously distorted style Clive Barker allows us an inside view of modern Hollywood in all of its perverted glory. The sins of Tinsletown are laid bare here and Barker pulls no punches with his acidic digs at glitterati both past and present with their oversized vanities and oversexed ambitions. 'Coldheart Canyon' is the perfect place to harness such libidinous licentiousness and it’s not only the living who exploit the primal throb which undulates throughout the mansion. The place is saturated in menace and the macabre and Todd Pickett is not only subjected to it...but becomes party to it enjoying twisted sights and sensations that would fracture the sanity of most men...but then again Todd isn’t like ‘most men’...
The story line doesn’t just lean on Todd though, there are several plot threads weaving their way throughout which tease and taunt the other until eventually they all meet in a kind of glutinous globule of the weird. The entire mansion experience is one of Horror where you are subjected to Devils and Debauchery, Monsters and Madness, Ghosts and Ghouls, Deformity and Decadence but essentially.....Sin, Seduction and Sexual Slavery! Those scenes in the book are so hot I practically scorched my fingers as I turned the pages! (several times over).
'Coldheart Canyon' holds many secrets, not all are of this world. Evil and corruption are set into the very foundations of the mansion and demonic forces exist at the sulphuric core of the building whilst other monstrosities rage without. Just exactly what we’ve come to expect from Barker...Surround Mayhem!
All that being said, the book isn’t perfect, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed 'Coldheart Canyon' I did feel that he rambled a tad here and there at the beginning but not enough to dissuade me from carrying on I must quickly add.
Barker’s ability to project freakishly bizarre imagery as graphically as he manages via the written word can only stand as testament to his exceptional skill as a writer...may his mind create our nightmares for many years to come.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars
By The Grumbling Gargoyle