DREAM HOUSE A Novel of Suspense Rochelle Krich National bestselling author of Blues in the Night Friday, October 31. 9:37 P.M., 100 block of South Martel. A vandal threw a pumpkin through the front window of a house and several eggs at the front door. The police report read like just another Halloween prank-a nasty, petty act. But the attack is one in a recent spate of increasingly violent vandalisms targeting residents who have paid millions of dollars for their dream homes in the ritziest enclaves of Los Angeles. Residents are already seething, hotly divided about the growing number of Historical Architectural Restoration and Preservation (HARP) boards that prevent homeowners from remodeling their expensive real estate, forcing them to preserve the traditional integrity of neighborhoods where Hollywood legends once lived. So impassioned are pro-and anti-HARP forces that Crime Sheet columnist Molly Blume suspects that members from both side of the debate may perpetrating the vandalism that claims new victims almost daily. But the arson that destroys an empty house on Fuller Street doesn't fit the pattern.
What's a girl to do when an article she writes provides an opportunity for a killer to strike or so she thinks Well, if it's Molly Blume, Krich's Orthodox Jewish true-crime reporter and author, making her second smart, exciting appearance (after 2002's Blues in the Night), she'll investigate the crime herself until justice is meted out. When community members in several Los Angeles districts attempt to impose HARP (Historic Architectural Restoration and Preservation) status on their neighborhoods, effectively preventing the rebuilding and renovation of houses that don't comply with historic architectural standards, anger flares and some buildings are vandalized. Molly thinks she has found a pattern in the attacks, and despite pleas from local officials, includes much of her theory and findings in one of her weekly columns. To her chagrin, the next hit results in the death of an elderly man with Alzheimer's whom Molly has befriended in a fire that police classify as arson and that's the clincher that soon puts her on guard as she, too, becomes a target. With sensitivity, passion and an investigative approach that's on the money, the rebellious and independent Molly displays an uncompromising resolve to unearth the truth. Krich provides just enough clues in just the right places to keep readers on their toes, waiting for the resolution while hoping the mystery won't end quite yet. 5-city author tour. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 30, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Dream House by Rochelle Majer Krich
If you had asked me before I heard of Maggie Reston whether a house could be a magnet for murder, I would have automatically thought of The Dungeon, which is what we've always called the coal-gray house on Martel. As it turned out, I would have been wrong, but I would have been in good company. For as long as I can remember, everyone in the neighborhood has hated the three-story cube that hogs sky and sunlight and its gloomy facade, and has speculated about its reclusive owners.
The house has become the stuff of dark legend. As kids, my friends and I, intimidated by its brooding countenance, shivered as we whispered deliciously gruesome stories about occupants we never saw, men who kidnapped children and kept them in a Chateau D'If-like basement. Years have passed. The flowers along the walk, beheaded regularly like Henry the Eighth's wives, have been replaced by threatening junglelike shrubs. But the house's charcoal walls are still decorated from time to time with bright-colored graffiti, probably by a new generation of kids who whisper about the bad guys inside.
I have learned that bad men have become brazen in the sunlight. I have learned that, as Tennyson says, "Woods have tongues/As walls have ears," and that dark houses are not necessarily those with dark secrets. But on that Monday morning I assumed the police report was about The Dungeon:
Friday, October 31. 9:37 p.m. 100 block of South Martel Avenue. A vandal threw a pumpkin through the front window of a house and several eggs at the front door.
It was probably another Halloween prank, I thought, all trick and no treat, a nasty, petty act. According to the police reports I'd read on my rounds of the stations, there had been Halloween vandalisms all over the city of angels--disheartening, but not surprising.