The Dark Mansion by H.R. KayeBy H.R. Kaye (Olympia Press; 1968/2007)

The set-up of this late-sixties quickie is strikingly similar to that of the Swedish film THE SINFUL DWARF: a depraved couple kidnaps several nubile young women for use as sex slaves in a vast country mansion where a psychotic dwarf is on hand to keep the girls in line. Of course there’s far more to this tale, which in common with most Olympia Press publications pivots on perverse sexuality and undergoes quite a few twists–twists that unfortunately aren’t at all difficult to predict.

The protagonist is the sweet and naïve Dolly, who gets lost on a drive to Florida. She winds up at the mansion in question, where she’s taken in by the patriarchal Victor and his wife Anastasia. The latter is apparently “the most elegantly beautiful woman Dolly had ever seen.” It seems Anastasia is in love with Dolly, who harbors definite lesbian tendencies. This helps ease the shock when Dolly learns of her true purpose as one of several house sex slaves/prostitutes–and her brutal disciplining at the hands of the aforementioned dwarf!

But Dolly is actually quite resourceful, and turns the tables on her captors. First she seduces the dwarf, who after eating Dolly out during a discipline session becomes an entirely different person. Under Dolly’s command the dwarf kills Victor, leaving Dolly, who by now has become quite comfortable in this madhouse, and Anastasia to run the household. The only problem is that Anastasia is merely using Dolly to consolidate her power over the mansion’s occupants–but not so fast! Dolly, as we’ve seen, is far from the naïve innocent Anastasia takes her for…

The above could conceivably have made for a darkly erotic romp of the first order (a la JEANNE’S JOURNAL or MOJU) but the writing just isn’t strong enough. The sex scenes, as you might expect, are fairly inspired, but the rest of the book feels amateurish and perfunctory. It doesn’t appear that the pseudonymous H.R. Kaye completed too many drafts of this manuscript, which reads more like an extended treatment than a proper novel.