Hungry like the wolf? Then snarf up the ‘Dark Shadows’ novel ‘Wolf Moon Rising’ and get your fix of the irrepressible daytime drama show that transfixed America in the 60s and 70s. Lara Parker, who took the part of Angelique in the long running ‘Dark Shadows’ series, wrote this and gives us a great feel of the supernatural soap.
Centring first on the travail of the vampire with a conscience, Barnabas Collins, we find that a long life has its own problems. He’s feeling a bit rough as Dr. Julia Hoffman, who first tried to cure him of vampirism, then managed to get him to turn her. Barnabas, not happy at being stuck in a perpetual partnership, secures her into his own coffin and chains it up. Putting a ball and chain on his ball and chain it might be said.
Quentin Collins has problems, too, as the painting that keeps the wolf from his door or rather from him has seemingly been destroyed. The monster inside him is taking over and he’s bound to hurt the ones he loves the most.
Meanwhile, the 16 year-old David is very taken with the daughter of the lodger staying in the Old House. Jacqueline is a beautiful but troubled girl and she is worried for her mother, Antoinette, especially when she seems to be at the beck and call of Quentin Collins. But more than that, Jacqueline is possessed by the spirit of the evil witch Angelique, who has caused so much trouble for the Collins family in the past.
Things can only get worse when Quentin Collins decides it would be an awfully good idea to have a séance in the Collins house. When David and Jacqueline get propelled backwards in time to the 1920s, they have to cope with past betrayals and try to survive the night.
Whilst this is unlikely to win any awards for originality, ‘Wolf Moon Rising’ actually does a good job of shedding some light on the tangled concerns of the Collins family. It gives time to Barnabas and Quentin and incorporates many of the themes that were used to so entertain the viewers in years gone by.
The novel attempts to look a little deeper at the circumstances of the curses that the two Collins endure and it captures the spirit of the soap much more easily than ‘that’ film. The dialogue is occasionally overwrought but, again, this is the way the show goes. You can never have too much melodrama in your life, darling.