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.
What I Thought:
The House is an incredibly difficult book to review, simply because it gets right to the action and there is so much potential for spoilers!
What I can tell you though, is that it’s a really original take on the epistolary novel, being written in journal entries back and forth between Jack and Syd, the young couple who have bought the house in question.
In the very first entry, Jack explains that the police are watching them, and then the story unfolds from Jack and Syd’s purchase of the house – which seems like a character in its own right. After a gruesome discovery in the loft, which Jack keeps hidden, some unexplainable things start to happen.
The journal entries work really well, as the way it’s set up gives Jack and Syd a right to reply to each other – for example, Jack uses some flowery language about Syd in the first few entries, and her reply is basically ‘Erm, no, that’s stupid’ which sets the tone for their relationship and the pressure that they’re under now that the police are watching them.
With this, though, comes the spectre of the unreliable narrator – I read a brilliant discussion about unreliable narrators earlier in the year, citing some of the best modern examples of that type of character and Syd and Jack can definitely join their ranks!
The use of the house as a character works well too, the descriptions of this house that is sold lock, stock and barrel and filled with taxidermy, family photos and loads of junk, as a brooding presence is very well done and it’s a shame that this drops off a little in the second half.
As this is a thriller, there is an inevitable twist, and when it comes in this novel it is pitched very well – I had thought I knew what was going on in the book, but it was a surprise to me! As a seasoned (read: old) reader of crime and thriller novels, I like to think I’m not easily decieved. Turns out I can still be led down the garden path!
For lovers of the thriller genre, The House is definitely a recommended read and it’s out now in eBook. If you prefer to wait for the physical copy, that’s out in November, published by Penguin.
This review is part of a blog tour for The House, which has been and is running on the brilliant blogs below – do take time to check them out…
Note: I received a copy of the book for the purposes of the blog tour, and to provide an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.