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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Hunter's Green by Phyllis Whitney


Open Road managed, apparently, to secure the rights to Whitney's backlist and is issuing them in groups with lovely new covers. The first round released on 7/4/17, and includes this book as well as Domino, Black Amber, The Turquoise Mask, Poinciana, Blue Fire, & Vermilion. I bought this one, as well as Black Amber, to dip my toes back in the Whitney waters.

I simply cannot remember which of her books I read during my teen gothic phase, when I devoured Whitney, Holt, and Mary Stewart, so this may - or may not - have been the first time I read this book. I did not like this one nearly so well as The Window on the Square, which is my favorite Whitney so far - I tend to like historical gothics more than contemporary gothics (even if contemporary gothics are sort of historical documents at this point, being set in the 1960's - 1970's).

This one also didn't completely work for me in terms of the suspense element. It was a long time developing, and wasn't ever really convincing. Those aspects of the story seemed disjointed. I could see where the story was going, but it never really seemed to get there. The main character, Eve, was mostly annoying, and the "hero," Justin, wasn't particularly appealing.

From the perspective of nostalgia, though, it was a winner. Whitney wasn't a fabulous wordsmith (she was no Mary Stewart, for example), but she was a solid writer in the American gothic romance potboiler style. I miss the writers of the 1960's & 1970's - they were all conversant with grammar and other conventions of writing, and their books weren't just sex scenes joined by a few lines of text to get us from one interlude to the next. I'm not a prude, but I'm completely over this aspect of modern romance. 

I may give Black Amber a go next.