Publication date November 2nd, 2017
Goodreads: See Review
Plot at a Glance:
Londoner’s Jack and Syd are looking to start a life together and escape their own oppressive pasts in the process by buying a home together in the heart of the city. It should be the fresh start that they’ve both always dreamed of: the perfect home, in the perfect location, and a friendly owner that wanted a young couple like themselves to have it.
But after a grisly discovery is made in the attic, Jack and Syd’s happy home begins to feel less like salvation and more like a terrible mistake. As strange events begin to swirl about them both, unexplained noises in the night escalate to a murder, right in the alley behind their home and the couple search for an explanation that the world at large will believe as the police close in.
Damn, this book was GOOD!
Fun fact about me first: I’ve been dying to crack into the suspense/thriller genre again for a long time now, so when I came across this book on NetGalley I had to put in a request for it and was elated to find that I was approved. It shot up my TBR list just because it fit the bill for what I was craving perfectly, and boy am I glad it did because Simon Lelic’s prose alone was enough to keep me totally invested in this story from start to finish.
“When you’re caught inside a dungeon, even the faintest flicker in the dark is like a promise of daylight. And if it turns out not to be, if it turns out instead to be a burning staircase… Well. You take your chances anyway.”
I cannot say enough good things about Lelic’s command of language and the conversational tone of his prose. Written in an alternating first-person point of view between Jack and Syndney’s perspectives, The House was totally gripping from start to finish. First-person point of view and I sometimes have problems. I find that a lot of newer authors writing from this POV tend to focus too heavily on action and forget to include prose that engages your mind. Lelic never does. The plot moves along at a snappy pace the entire time, but the prose never suffers. In fact, it’s quite beautiful throughout.
Plus, the story is absolutely peppered with little landmines that urge the reader onwards. Fair warning, the places this story goes end up being quite dark, but the journey is well worth it. I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through.
I can’t say enough good things about the characters of Jack and Sydney. I feel like they were both especially well developed. Not going to lie, of the few suspense/thrillers I’ve read before, the leads have been mostly contemptible. Here though, I feel like their characterizations totally make sense given all that we come to know about them. I was rooting for both of them from start to finish, and that’s really the most that I can ask for of any story, isn’t it?
I’ll admit that while I’m not well versed in suspense as a genre (yet- although I’d love to get more well acquainted in the future!) I think Lelic has a very promising future ahead of him. The House is full of compelling characters and twists and turns that really threw me for a loop. I loved this book enough that I plan on buying a physical copy when it releases, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the thriller genre at large. The only reason I’m faulting it half a star is that there’s a subplot with Jack about halfway through that I felt could have been done without, but it really didn’t detract too much from the story at large.
= 4.5 stars out of 5!
Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books (UK) for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
*Note: I’ve included a short quote from this novel that may be subject to change before final publication.