Published by Penguin
Ebook : 17 August 2017 | Paperback : 2 November 2017
About the book:
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.
And now the police are watching them…
The marketing for this book was very intriguing. First in the post arrived a key, with a code to a website link which when unlocked, then showed details of the book. Genius!
The proof cover doesn’t give anything away so when I started reading I went in blind – and was very quickly hooked. The story is told by both Jack and Syd in turn, each recounting events and their thoughts as journal entries. Sometimes this format can be difficult to connect with but this was well done and worked well for me. You didn’t get a complete retelling of the story but an insight into their personalities and backstory and also their comments on what each had written about the other.
The story began with a creepy premise. When Jack and Syd move into an old house, complete with the previous owner’s contents and belongings, it all felt a bit weird. After all, who sells their house and doesn’t take their things with them. Apparently the seller had a change of personal circumstances and decided to offload the whole shabang. Anyway Jack and Syd have a monumental task on their hands, trying to clear out the unwanted items, including some taxidermy animals (yuk!). However when Jack goes up to the loft whilst trying to discover the source of a particularly nasty smell, what he discovers is rather unpleasant and decidedly sinister.
There are various strands to the story and at first I couldn’t understand how they connected to the house. There are some disturbing themes here too, no spoilers but what kept my interest was how these threads would come together and what the impact would be on our two main characters.
This was a suspenseful and twisty read but not quite what I expected. I was anticipating that the story would focus more on the house and that there would perhaps be a supernatural/horror element, but instead it took a slightly different turn and focused primarily on the two main characters and how events in their past and present impacted. I felt that far from being a main character, The House was relegated to the role of an extra.
Despite my slight confusion was to where the story was heading, it turned into a very good dark and disturbing read which I enjoyed. There were some truly horrible characters here and if you’re like me, you will be silently wishing every last plague and pox on them whenever they appear. In my opinion it was more of a crime/suspense thriller than a true psychological one but whatever, it still makes for a tense and chilling read.
One thing is certain. I will be #LockingMyDoors!
My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and for the invitation to take part in the blog tour.
At the time of this post, The House, can be downloaded from Amazon UK for just 99p
About the author:
Simon Lelic is the author of three previous novels: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasy Debut Dagger), The Facility and The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012). The House is his first psychological thriller, inspired by a love of Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King.