The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
When Allison Parker, a young model, returns to NYC after her father's funeral, she finds the perfect brownstone apartment. But what about the old blind priest who never leaves the building or her other, equally strange neighbors? What secrets is the building hiding?
Some books stand the test of time. Others remain a product of the time they were written. The Sentinel is one of the second type.
The setup for this book has a lot of potential. A woman moves into an apartment that seems to be a bargain and a lot of crazy shit happens. Too bad the rest of the book doesn't come close to living up to the potential of the setup.
From the beginning, I wanted to be interested but I didn't care about any of the characters enough to be invested in the story. Allison was an uninteresting doormat, Michael was a douche nozzle and he and Allison had zero chemistry. I had trouble believing they even knew each other, never mind them being in a relationship.
The paranoid, "is she going insane" angle of the book had potential but the cat was let out of the bag too quickly. The blind priest was the most interesting part of the book but not enough to save it.
As I said before, the book is a product of the time it was written. It feels like it was written specifically to capitalize on The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, and other devil-themed works of the 1970s.
The writing was unremarkable and the transitions between scenes were rocky. By the time the big revelation happened, I didn't care anymore. The detective angle in the background felt like padding to me. I already hated Michael. It didn't matter to me if he killed his ex-wife or not. Also, who brings a chisel to a break-in without something to hit it with?
Hate is a strong word but I can't think of anything good to say about this book except that the premise was promising and another writing could probably make hay with it. It really didn't work for me and I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone unless they want to read a shitty haunted house story for some reason. One star out of five.
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