Author: John Inman
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 330 Pages
At a Glance: This is a very well written horror story by John Inman, and ranks right up there with Stephen King, in my opinion.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Jim Brandon has a new house, and boy is it a pip. Built high on the side of the San Diego mountains by a legendary B movie actor of the 1930s, Nigel Letters, the house is not only gorgeous, but supposedly haunted. As a writer of horror novels, Jim couldn’t be happier.
But after a string of ghostly events sets Jim’s teeth on edge and scares the bejesus out of his dog, Jim begins to dig into the house’s history. What he finds is enough to creep out anybody. Even Jim. It seems long dead Nigel Letters had a few nasty habits back in his day. And unhappily for Jim, the old bastard still has some tricks up his sleeve.
As Jim welcomes his ex, Michael, and a bevy of old friends for a two-week visit to help christen the new house, he soon realizes his old friends aren’t the only visitors who have come to call.
Review: First, I have to warn readers there are some extreme cases of abuse in The Boys on the Mountain, so it may be offensive to some. It is descriptive, shocking and scary. This is a very well written horror story by John Inman, and ranks right up there with Stephen King, in my opinion. It drew me in from the start, and I couldn’t stop reading no matter what happened. In a way, it’s a sad tale too, as we have heard of such abuses in this day and age, and I can’t even begin to imagine how this would have been handled in the 1920s and ‘30s.
Most of the time setting for this tale is the 1940s, during World War II. Many of these young boys were homeless and used their youth and beauty to earn money just to stay alive. Timmy (TJ) Johnson, Kenny, Arturo, Charlie Simms, Jeremiah (Jerry), Josh, and Joey; and the exception, Allan Crisp—these are only a few of the boys who faced horrific tragedy.
During this time, Nigel Letters was aging, and work in Hollywood had disappeared for him. He amassed his wealth as a B-horror movie actor in the ‘20s and ‘30s, but left the Hollywood life to live in the secluded mountains of San Diego, where he committed suicide.
Seventy years later, we find Jim Brandon and his faithful dog Rex moving into Nigel’s eighteenth century Mexican hacienda. Its purchase price was worth it to Jim, as it gave him the solitude he was looking for. And, the house was supposedly haunted. Being a horror story author, what more could he ask for, as eerie occurrences start when Jim and Rex spend the night in the carriage house? At which point he also gains some interesting information from Caroline, his housekeeper, as well as ninety-six-year-old Clarice O’Donnell.
There is a lot of humor in this story when Jim’s friends Michael, Lyle, Frank, and Stu show up and practically move into his home, which helps to balance out a lot of the horror in the plot. As a horror story fan, I was really pleased that Jim’s friends didn’t call him crazy or didn’t believe what he was telling them. There was great camaraderie between all the friends—no one ran off screaming. The rekindled romance between Jim and Michael was a plus to the story too, as Michael showed how much he was willing to sacrifice to be with Jim again.
You can buy The Boys on the Mountain here: