Mysterious footsteps in the night terrify Victoria Winters in the dangerous corridors of Collins House.
|Dark Shadows Novel: Victoria Winters|
|Title:||Dark Shadows Novel: Victoria Winters|
|1st printing:||March, 1967|
|Next:||Strangers at Collins House|
Still trying to uncover the secret of her own identity, Victoria Winters continues her life at Collins House. The unexpected arrival of mysterious strangers at the brooding manor instills terrible fears in her.
Horrified at their lies and their evil, menacing gestures, Victoria wonders if these guests have come to kill her. Terror shrouds Collins House as Victoria find herself the prey of these cruel tormentors.
Victoria Winters receives a letter from Ernest Collins. Ernest, a cousin to Roger and Elizabeth has been living in New York City for the past several years. Vicki and Ernest share a brief romantic history with one another, but Ernest was pressured to leave Collinsport after being implicated in the suspicious suicide death of a woman named Stella Hastings.
Soon after, Vicki learns that a new family will be spending the summer at Collinwood. Henry Francis, an old college friend of Liz's is bringing his invalid daughter, Dorothy, to Collinwood to recuperate from post-operative brain surgery. Roger Collins begins having a relationship with Henry's other daughter, Rachel Francis.
In the midst of all of this, Vicki begins seeing strange phenomena around the estate. She notices a shadowy figure stalking her on Roger's boat, and she sees ghostly images appearing in several windows at the great house.
That night, someone attacks Vicki in the upstairs hall of Collinwood. They sling a silk stocking about her neck and try to strangle her. Vicki survives, but the attacker disappears. She tells Elizabeth about the event, and wants to contact the police. Liz is nervous about letting police officers into her home, and she tells Vickie that she would rather keep the matter under wraps.
Frustrated beyond measure, Vicki decides to leave the house to spend some time in town with her friends. She meets with Will Grant, the Collins family lawyer, his cousin, Nora Grant and a local artist named Paul Caine. Both Will and Paul have an interest in Victoria, but she is too scared by recent events to even begin contemplating a new boyfriend. Besides which, she still has long-distance feelings for Ernest Collins.
More and more strange events continue to take place and everybody begins to suspect everybody else. Henry Francis suspects Paul Caine of being a silk stocking murderer from Philadelphia, and Will Grant begins to suspect both Paul and Henry of being up to no good. Elizabeth suspects that the Collins’ groundskeeper, Matthew Morgan, may be responsible for attacking Vicki. Vicki grows increasingly paranoid and even begins to distrust Roger and Elizabeth.
Vicki eventually discovers that Henry Francis is not all that he’s reputed to be. His daughter Rachel, is not his daughter at all, but is in fact his wife. His other daughter, Dorothy, is actually a rich heiress named Grace Fontaine. Henry and Rachel kidnapped Dorothy and kept her drugged into a constant stupor so that they could blackmail the Fontaine family for money. Henry had decided to disguise Grace as an invalid and sequester her away at Collinwood, knowing that Elizabeth would brook no outside interference from the authorities.
Vicki learns of this scam and threatens to expose Henry and Rachel. Henry chases Vicki out of Collinwood and onto the docks where Roger keeps his boat. He is prepared to kill Vicki, when out steps Paul Caine – the aloof local artist. Paul is not an artist at all, but is in fact an undercover detective. He has been trailing Henry’s activities for some time now. The two get into a shootout on the boat, and Paul delivers a fatal gunshot into Henry's body.
After the dust settles, everything begins to slowly return to normal (or at least, as normal as things are apt to be at a place like Collinwood).
- Ernest Collins (Behind the scenes only)
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Victoria Winters is the 2nd book in a series of continuing novels written by Marilyn Ross.
- Collinwood is referred to as Collins House in this story.
- This story is not compatible with the continuity supplied by the television series. It takes place in June of 1967, but Matthew Morgan is still alive and the Collins family has yet to learn about Barnabas. Also, Sarah Johnson has yet to become the Collins family house keeper in this novel. This novel is only compatible with the continuity shared by the remaining Paperback Library series of novels.
- There are several unrealized plot points that are thrown at the reader and never really addressed. Ernest Collins is mentioned several times in this story, but does not make an appearance and has virtually nothing to do with the story whatsoever. Also, the inclusion of Stella Hastings is something of a red herring. References to her character are used as merely a plot device and have little bearing on the genuine thrust of the story.
- Henry Francis, Dorothy Francis, Rachel Francis, Paul Caine, Will Grant and Nora Grant are all unique characters exclusive to this novel and have never appeared in the actual Dark Shadows television series.
- At no point does Marilyn Ross ever refer to to the title character as Vicki. She is always addressed as either Victoria or as Miss Winters - even by other characters.
- 1st printing: March 1967
- 2nd printing: June 1968
- 3rd printing: October 1968
- 4th printing: October 1968
- 5th printing: December 1968
- 6th printing: March 1969
- 7th printing: April 1969
- 8th printing: July 1969
- 9th printing: November 1969
- This story takes place over the course of two weeks in June of 1967.
- Vicki is said to be 20-years-old at this time, and has been working at Collinwood since the previous October.