House of small shadows by Adam Nevill – 5*
I recently read one of the authors latest novels under a watchful eye for review via netgalley. It really reminded me of my love for the genre, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to include more horror in my reading pile! I also wanted to distract myself from 2017 by falling into a good story.
This novel is very protagonist based & essentially that is what makes it work so well. Everything about the protagonist Catherine is surrounded in mystery, unhappiness and a general eerie feeling. Catherine is written so very well, that it is possibly up there with my favourites. Catherine suffered a childhood marred by bullying & suffering. Her only childhood friend a disabled little girl named Alice disappeared in a cloud of mystery. As an adult Catherine is plagued with ‘trances’ leading me to believe she has suffered mental health problems. She has worked hard to overcome them & other issues in her life and now has a new job as a valuator for a small firm.
Catherine is asked by her boss to value the objects of the late M.H Mason at his estate The Red House. Now this is where the novel really ramps up the creepy factor!
Catherine attends at The red house, which has been kept in its original Victorian style and is met by the mute housekeeper Maude & M.H Mason’s niece and beneficiary Edith. Edith is a cantankerous old battle axe, but Catherine ultimately see’s the potential of financial gain for her firm, from the sale of the items up for valuation. So whilst feeling uncomfortable & weary herself agrees to stay. ( This is the part at which I screamed at the book……….NO ………DON’T STAY). The items for valuation include taxidermy animals, antiques & puppets! The description of the items & house did not scare me as such, there is just this constant eerie feeling throughout the novel.
To say anymore would be to provide spoilers but the mystery at Red house is thoroughly haunting & I would recommend to fans of horror and anyone looking for something different!
An impressive read and I will be adding ‘no one gets out alive’ & ‘apartment 16’ to my TBR pile! 5*