Saturday, December 14, 2019

Eerie House of Echoes an Enjoyable Gothic Romp

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

"Ben had wanted a house with a story, but this one had too many of them" (326).

The Tierney family is in desperate need of a change.  Ben's struggling to get his third book written, mercurial Caroline's just been laid off from her New York City banking job, and 8-year-old Charlie is being bullied at school.  It seems like the perfect time to make a move.  When they find a decaying 200-year-old mansion in the small Adirondack town of Swannhaven, they purchase the home with the aim of renovating it themselves and turning it into an inn.  The more they settle in, however, the more strange things begin to happen in the house and the deep, dark forest that surrounds it.  As the Tierneys unravel their house's mysterious history, unlocking chilling secrets from its past, they realize their dream home might just become their worst nightmare ...

All a designer really has to do to draw me to a book is put an old, crumbling house on the cover.  If the plot summary mentions a creepy forest, the possibility of ghosts, and/or the discovery of juicy secrets, I'm a goner.  House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy grabbed my attention with all of the above.  It didn't disappoint with its creepy, atmospheric setting; its sympathetic, intriguing characters; and its surprising, twist-filled plot.  Even though it's not exactly an edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled thriller (at times it's unnecessarily wordy), House of Echoes had me burning through its pages to find out what was going to happen next.  I have some issues with the ending, mostly because it left a lot of questions unanswered.  Goodreads shows that Duffy has an upcoming novel called Louder Echoes.  I can't be sure it's a sequel, but I'm seriously hoping it is.  I need answers!  All in all, though, I enjoyed this one.  I'll for sure keep an eye out for more from this talented author.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of The Shining by Stephen King, The Invited by Jennifer McMahon, and The Widow's House by Carol Goodman)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of House of Echoes with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. The author and book both new to me.

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  2. I'm a sucker for books like this one, too. And all it takes is that house on the cover. :)

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  3. I really like that cover - and I really dislike a book that doesn't clearly tell me it's part of a series if it's going to leave issues unresolved at the end. I don't think that's playing fair.

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