Title: The House by the Cemetery
Author: John Everson
Publication Date & Publisher: October 18, 2018, Flame Tree Press
Genre(s): Mystery & Thrillers
Length: 256 pages
ISBN: 13: 9781787580008
My Rating: 3.5/5.0
Description (from Goodreads):
Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead… she doesn’t intend to stay that way.
The House by the Cemetery by John Everson reads a lot like a horror movie. I could picture it all unfolding vividly in my mind as I read through (sometimes horrified, sometimes laughing) page after page of this thriller.
This book has all of the necessary components for a good spooky read: witches, murder, haunting, psychics, mystery… So it’s a good Halloween pick. I actually got scared a couple times while reading in the dark, so maybe leave the lights on if you want to sleep at night!
I enjoyed the characters in the book and the attention it brings to the lack of diversity and stereotyping in the horror genre. While there’s no way for me to know if the author purposefully meant to do so, I thought he did a good job of “calling-out” some things while not taking away from the story at all.
The main character, Mike, is a carpenter that’s hired to work on the abandoned house his friend plans to open a haunted house in. Mike is pretty much terrified of the house, but agrees because he’s in need of the job. For the most part, I liked Mike, but at times he seemed way too gullible. Unless he was under some sort of a spell, I just don’t see him actually agreeing to some of the things he does.
A problem I have with the mystery genre in general is that I hate guessing “the mystery.” This book has quite a number of twists that didn’t really surprise me. That being said, there were other aspects that did… One of the hardest parts of reviewing a book like this is not giving away spoilers, so that’s about all I can say here.
While this wasn’t my favorite mystery/thriller novel, I’d still recommend it for adults that enjoy horror movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, since the book definitely has the same tone/vibe. Because of sexual content/suggestion and the level of blood & gore description, I’d definitely only recommend it for adults though and wouldn’t recommend it for my teens.
Thank you Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free digital review copy of The House by the Cemetery. This in no way influenced my review.
What do you think of The House by the Cemetery? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!
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