Paybacks are a Bitch
Book Review by Joe Castel
In Daniel P’Lopez’s first novel, a group of Montana teenagers stumble upon an abandoned house that they regrettably make their private weekend hideaway. What these adventurous trespassers don’t know is that what happens in the Vendetta House stays in the Vendetta House— permanently.
Although the classic slasher-horror genre is not this reviewer’s idea of escapism, Lopez has created a gripping tale about teens caught up in a vicious cycle of vengeful violence.
The bloodletting begins when a loving family, the Bergans, is savagely slaughtered by vindictive killers. Years later, a group of high school kids rediscover the rustic house and turn it into party central for the weekend. What they soon find out is that they are not alone and their intrusion is an invitation for murder and mayhem.
P’Lopez has a knack for shredding scenes of tranquility and bliss with razor edge terror. He seduces the reader with meticulous details about success and happiness of a rural family, than shatters it with explosive brutality.
Interestingly, the Bergans’ massacre is a lesson of American success when it is built upon the misfortune of others. Tragically, this initial act of carnage has lethal repercussions a generation later. Sure to entertain die-hard horror fans, The Vendetta House is a suspenseful tale of vengeance gone wrong,
ADELANTE: Why’d you choose the horror genre as your first piece of serious work?
Daniel: Because I grew up watching the horror flicks when I was a kid, (Laughter) so I guess they stayed in my mind and I just decided to write one of my own.
ADELANTE: Where’d you get the story idea?
Daniel: Basically from watching all the other horror movies, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Prom Night.
ADELANTE: I was impressed with all the detail that went into the story. It was very visual.
Daniel: I looked at it as a movie, so I wanted the readers to see what I saw in my mind.
ADELANTE: How long did it take you to write?
Daniel: I started it at 16, a sophomore in high school and I’ve worked on it, off-and-on, for the past 13 years.
ADELANTE: Do you identify with any of the characters in this story?
Daniel: There is a character named Danny that is supposed to represent me.
ADELANTE: How come there’s no gay relationship?
Daniel: Because I started this story as a teenager and at that time I wasn’t out as I am now.
ADELANTE: Is your next book going to have more of a gay twist to it?
Daniel: Yes my second story is gay oriented.
ADELANTE: Really, what’s that about?
Daniel: It’s called The Story of Myles. It’s more dramatic, tragic.
ADELANTE: What do you think there is to be learned from The Vendetta House?
Daniel: Well in society not all life is good. I mean there’s a dark side to life, and the murderers represent that dark side. The main killer in the story has a mental illness where this person is confused about who is to actually pay for what has happened.
ADELANTE: And what are you trying to say about revenge?
Daniel: That revenge could be your down fall. Or sometimes it can back fire.
The Vendetta House