The House Review

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Rating: 5/5
Source: Netgalley


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...
Jack and Sydney are young couple who have scrimped and saved and have finally been able to ditch the house mates and move in together. Living with house mates can be a nightmare in itself, it seems unfair that the couple's problems only start when they come across The House.

I was immediately taken in by Jack and Sydney even though they are just a normal couple. They have their differences but it doesn't matter. "She stops me gazing at my feet so much; I stop her floating off into the sky." Despite Jack trying to rain in Syd's enthusiasm with his own concerns about the place, they put in an offer for the hell of it, no guarantees with the amount of interest on the property has, Jack feels safe the real estate agent will let Syd down gently so he doesn't have to.

Not-a-spoiler-alert. Jack's plan doesn't work out. 

The format of the book is endearing, and I don't mean that patronisingly. Jack and Syd are telling their story themselves, through prose (for reasons you will later understand), including talking to each other through the chapters. From Syd's P.O.V. - "'The house stood alone as though shunned.' Who do you think you are, Jack? - Stephen King?" These moments are part of what really drew me to the characters, it's another storytelling technique more than just an inner monologue. 

'There was nothing on the landing. I mean, there was, but I didn't see it then.' Give Jack a break, Syd, that sounds like Stephen King level horror to me. Lines like this had me on the edge of my seat -not out of excitement, but pure anxiety kept me from being able to 'kick back relax with a good book', as they say.

For moments like this and darker moments still; this story isn't for those of you who are faint of heart. The book has more than a couple of moments that'll give you arrhythmia for sure. Almost every chapter ends on a hold-your-breath cliff-hanger that keeps you reading even when you promised you'd stop after the next chapter -sorry mum, I'll do the dishes tomorrow and the day after to make up for reading all day today. 

As well as being intense, The House is written so poetically, but with just enough references to pop culture that you don't feel like you're reading something pretentious or alternatively something trashy -it's just right. Being written in first person you may expect some of that beautiful description to be lacking in places, very common of suspense novels; a lot of building up then a lot of nothing. Honestly, the prose doesn't suffer as the book goes on, nor at the hands of the action.

The House kept me guessing. It's not about what you think it is, then it is and then it isn't again. Everything is cleverly plotted and the story, much like the characters, go full circle in terms of their development. Without spoiling the ending, beginning, or the middle for that matter, I highly recommend that you seek out The House when the eBook is released in August (paperback November 2nd), you won't be disappointed. Simon Lelic is a really talented author and I'll no doubt be looking into more of his work soon.

1 comment

  1. Greetings,

    My name is Monika Berdnik and I am self-published author from Slovenia, Europe. Since I was not able to find your email address I am writing to you here. Recently I just published my first book, so I don't need to state just how new I am in the publishing world. I have always wanted to be an author and finally, I found the courage to release a book.
    The reason I am contacting you, is because I was hoping, you could review my eBook, available on Amazon. Currently is free, until May 20th and I am just desperate for readers and reviews.

    My book is titled The murder card and it is set in dystopian 22nd century. If you are interested at all, I am sending you the link to it below.

    Best regards


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