Book Review – The Haunting of Sunshine House (Ghosts of Los Angeles Book One) by Dominika Best

First published, 2018

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The story takes place in an assisted living facility in Los Angeles. A former venue for drinking and good times, the old hotel has long been allegedly haunted by many of the luminaries who used to stalk the halls and bar in years gone by. However, as much as none of the current living residents would mind running into Marilyn Monroe on the way to the Day Room, the hauntings have taken a sinister turn of late with a number of the old folks turning up dead from suspected heart attacks. But what is the unexplained needle mark found on the latest victim? And when loveable rogue and resident Barney brings in a team of ghost hunters, will they find the real threat comes from the living or the dead? Is it more a question of a haunted individual than a haunted hotel?

I really enjoyed this novel from Dominika Best. It’s always jolly to discover an author with the first of a series of books. The writing was startling and fresh, the darker elements were shudder-worthy and the characters were evocatively captured. The scenes set in war time Poland were devastatingly powerful. I also felt that the haunting of Nurse Lou was very well captured.

“Lou Fairbanks’ eyes opened to complete darkness. An unseen force pinned her body to the bed. She craned her head around to see what sat on her chest, but she had no control over her body. The fear paralyzed her. A woman’s giggle came from somewhere to her right and then the click clack of heels rushed toward her.

“She choked on her own spit, trying to scream. A gargle was all that came out. Lou strained as hard as she could to turn her head, but her body would not obey. A pathetic scream finally wheezed out of her as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“The footsteps closed in, and the evil leaned over her. Her time had come. Death grasped her throat and forced her mouth open. She screamed.

“Lou woke to the sound of her screams, her body sprawled on the landing of the staircase. The harsh light from the wall sconce drove daggers into her eyes, and she closed them against the pain. The back of her head throbbed. Another concussion but not the worst she’d had.”
12% in, Chapter Five – Midnight Wanderings, The Haunting of Sunshine House (Ghosts of Los Angeles Book One) by Dominika Best

I knocked a star off for extraneous and misplaced apostrophes (‘parent’s’ when referring to something belonging to both parents, ‘Nazi’s’ as a collective, ‘DVD’s’ and ’80’s’, for example), the moving accent on the word ‘séance’, and a German couple whose last name started as ’Schreiber’ but somewhere along the way turned into ’Schrieber’.

Ignoring the minor editing issues, a promising start to the series.