I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing my review of The House as part of this EPIC blog tour!
Published: 17th August 2017 (Penguin)
Whose story do YOU believe?
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 outside their back door.
And now the police are watching them.
So, when this book started I had absolutely no idea what was going on, I couldn’t keep up with the dual narrative, couldn’t work out whether we were in present day and felt it was jumping around – in other words, what an absolutely fantastic start to The House!! I was drawn in right from the very start, wanting to know what was going on and what the heck had actually happened….and this feeling continued through to the very end!
After a chilling opening paragraph, the story is opened by Jack’s narration and we are thrown into the thick of the events with the police outside the house. Jack also gives us the background as to how they came to purchase a house full of junk and taxidermy!
Sydney (or Syd) then picks up the narration and it’s clear from the outset that she is highly annoyed by something or someone…..her anger comes across in both her tone and the number of expletives she uses in a short space of time! Jack and Syd are writing down thoughts and events but it’s not clear why they are writing things down or even what the current status of their relationship is.
Given the dual narrative, we are privy to both character’s inner most thoughts and feelings, and due to the fact that they are writing things down, these emotions are very raw and unedited. The author does a fantastic job of writing from two very different voices, both in terms of how they process their thoughts into words as well as their different personalities – Syd is highly strung and always, metaphorically, up for a fight, to jump to the defensive however Jack is more laid back – happy if Syd is happy….hence why they ended up with the house in the first place.
As well as being a fantastic psychological thriller, this book is also as creepy as hell in places…..even though Syd makes it very clear from the start that it’s not a ghost story, at times it feels just like that, waiting for someone or something to jump out of the shadows.
Lelic has crafted a thriller, brilliantly interspersed with horror elements, which cleverly unravels the story line through the dual narratives – at a point where you think you have it sussed what is going on, Lelic will throw in another curveball!
The House brilliantly written with a fascinating narration style which kept me guessing right through to the end – absolutely chilling!
You can read an extract from The House over on Simon Lelic’s website
Simon Lelic is the author of The House, Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasy New Blood 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.
Simon is married, with three young children, and lives in Brighton, England. Other than his family, reading is Simon’s biggest passion. He also holds a black belt in karate, in which he trains daily.