Book Review: Grimalkin Manor by Sherry Roit

16498097Title: Grimalkin Manor
Author: Sherry Roit
Genre: Horror
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The case seems simple enough: prove to a wealthy client that his mansion is not haunted. Five American ghost hunters and one English psychic converge on the old house to complete the routine task. One night, like so many others they’ve spent, to put to rest the frightening rumors. Apart from the clashing of personalities, nothing will happen. Or so they assume. It would seem Grimalkin Manor has other ideas… and she knows their secrets.

I found Grimalkin Manor at a book fair, and was pleasantly surprised by the synopsis. I thought it would be a delightful ghost story, and looked forward to reading it. However, once I started reading, I was a tad bit dissapointed.

The storyline was interesting, about a group of ghost hunters heading out to investigate a haunted mansion, and a gifted psychic who would accompany them on their trip. While the story was intriguing, the characters were only remotely interesting. They each had their own quirks and history. Zoe was like a mother figure to everyone, but had a secret crush on Jonas who either didn’t know or didn’t want to acknowledge it; Jonas was struggling with having recently divorced his wife; Mike was troubled by secrets he couldn’t tell and often lashed out; Aaron struggled with who he was and how he got into ghost hunting, and James, the psychic, was troubled because of something in his past, and because of his abilities.

However, the background stories never really read like full stories. It feels as if we’re getting half of it, but not always the whole story. Not all characters were likeable, and I had trouble connecting to some of them. The most interesting character by far, was the house itself, but there too I felt like we didn’t get enough background story to fully comprehend what was happening.

The narrative was all right for the most part, but sometimes it jumped from one character to another. It was an okay read, but this diffused some of the suspense for me.


Book Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

18241263Title: The Fall

Author: Bethany Griffin

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Madeline Usher is doomed.
She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.
Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.
In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

I have a hard time putting my thoughts about The Fall to paper. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it, but on the other hand, some minor parts of the book annoyed me.

Madeline Usher is doomed. Her house, the famous House of Usher from Poe’s classic, is haunted. The house itself is sentient, a being with a mind of its own, and while Madeline at first thinks the house loves her and wants to protect her, now she’s not so sure. Her brother Roderick claims the house isn’t haunted, that it’s all in her mind, but her Mother and Father knew about the curse too, and tried to protect them from it. Her Mother managed to send Roderick away, but for Madeline, the house’s favorite, running away isn’t that easy.

The book jumps from Madeline as an eight-year-old to Madeline at age ten, fourteen, eighteen, and as such, the story is a little disjointed. But then again, with an unreliable narrator like Madeline, whose own mind is equally as disjointed, this actually added to the suspense of the story. Soon enough, I was just as confused as Madeline was. And as macabre, weird things start to happen, I understood Madeline’s constant fear, and her inability to do something about it as the House of Usher controlled her.

I enjoyed how the book one time blamed everything on Madeline’s growing insanity, but then again mentioned the curse and ghosts, leaving it to the reader to decide what to believe. The book was creepy, but not as creepy as I had hoped. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I didn’t really understand what had happened until I read it again.

What annoyed me was Roderick. He barely protected his sister, and overall, he was lacking as a brother, refusing to believe Madeline when it mattered the most. Despite that, I really enjoyed the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, although not extremely creepy, horror story.

Book Review: Elysium Dreams by Hadena James

ELYSIUM_DREAMS_oversizedTitle: Elysium Dreams
Author: Hadena James
Genre: Horror
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.

Elysium Dreams is the second book in a series, but I read it as a stand-alone and it worked just fine as such. Aislinn Cain and the rest of her team at the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit haven’t been home for more than two days when they get a call. They need to head to Alaska to capture a serial killer who stalks skins his victims. Yes, yikes. On top of that, Aislinn isn’t fond of cold since she suffered hypothermia once, and ALaska is just about the last place she wants to be.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Not only does the author have an engaging writing style that truly pulls the reader in, the story is just that good too. The pacing was very fast, with the killer taking a new victim the same day a previous one was found. The investigation is puzzling, and there’s a continuous sense of suspense and foreboding, making it impossible to stop reading once you get started.

I also really enjoyed the characters, in partiuclar Aislinn. She has a lot of baggage, and she’s a high-functioning sociopath, which sort of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. She sometimes has to force herself to feel. Her flawed personality makes her intriguing, though, and stand out from other detectives.

If you love thrillers, or serial killer horror, I would highly recommend this book.

Book Review: Catacomb (Asylum #3) by Madeleine Roux

23429355Title: Catacomb (Asylum #3)
Author: Madeleine Roux
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Sometimes the past is better off buried.
Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they’re just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed.. And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again—someone who died last Halloween.
As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate—a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Now, Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.
In this finale to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, found photographs help tell the story of three teens who exist on the line between past and present, genius and insanity.

I’ve had it with the Asylum series. When I picked up Catacomb, I at least expected it would somehow be connected to the other books, but apart from having the same main characters, there is no connection at all, except an extremely loose one. The mystery doesn’t build on upon the storyline already set out in book one and two. Instead, we get a new location, a new villain, and whatever ties there still are to Brooklyn and the asylum, they’re so disjointed they make no sense and make for some extreme coincidences that aren’t believable at all. Since this is fiction, I’m willing to stretch my imagination but this is too far-fetched, even for me. On top of that, we find out more about Dan’s past and it’s so utterly and totally ridiculous. Dan sure is some special cookie – now he has a crazy great-uncle who did terrible experiments on people in an asylum, but his parents were journalists murdered on the job by some strange cult that enjoys using human bones in their insane rituals.

Instead of continuing on the legacy left behind by Dan’s great-uncle and exploring that more, this book takes place in New Orleans, where our three friends hang out because Jordan is moving there. On the way there, some stuff happens that is supposed to be freaky but isn’t, and there, they stumble upon the Bone Artists, and a sinister connection to the past. They also meet some people who are so boring and one-dimensional I’ve already forgotten their names, and I finished the book last week.

Everything that happens is so unlikely I just wanted to rip my hair out. That is, along with how disjointed the plot is, my major issue with this book. It just screams deus ex machina. Things happen randomly and Dan happens to be where he needs to be every freaking time. I can forgive a coincidence or two, but this was just too much.

The lack of overarching plot is so annoying. Every book you pick up reads like a new book. Well, fine, but I’m not willing to buy that every city has some crazy cult running around. I can buy that once, but not twice.

On top of that, Dan and his friends just get flatter and flatter. They had sparks of personality in book one, but by now they’re so dull and one-dimensional you might as well replace them by cardboard figures. They don’t develop. They don’t change, they don’t grow. I barely got to know them, and I spent three books by their side.

All in all, this series started out great for me, but went downhill fast. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially not if you’re looking for horror! Despite the creepy cover, there’s not an ounce of creepiness anywhere in this book.


Book Review: Sanctum (Asylum #2) by Madeleine Roux

18812716Title: Sanctum (Asylum #2)

Author: Madeleine Roux

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they’d love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it’s here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.
Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.

I’m not sure how I feel about Sanctum. I enjoyed the first book in the series, and was eager to read more about Dan and his friends, and their weird connection to the insane asylum. I honestly expected the largest part of the book would happen in aforementioned asylum.

However, it seems like the author grabbed some creepy ideas at random and threw them all together. No problem with that, except that it ended up making the book not scary at all. At some point, it mentions creepy clowns, but then never really goes anywhere with it. We see all these amazing, haunting black and white pictures of people working at a carnival, and there is mention of a carnival, but it ends up being a significantly smaller part of the book than I thought it would, and it doesn’t really become creepy. On top of that, I wonder in how much the carnival was actually necessary. It ends up leading to a weird, confusing storyline that takes away a lot of the suspense building up during the first book.

Then there’s the brainwashing/CIA angle, and I thought that was completely out of place. In book one, we got a madman trying to brainwash people for his own sadistic purposes. That’s creepy. When you add in brainwashing/CIA, it just turns ridiculous. You can’t have crazy doctors, carnivals, the CIA and creepy cults in one book without it becoming laughable at some point. I loved the ghost story unfolding in the first book, but now it turned out to be something more psychological, and it lost my interest almost completely.

When I picked up this book, I expected it to be another creepy paranormal read, in the same vein as its predecessor. Unfortunately, it’s not. Parts of it are boring, some parts are totally random and don’t have any connection to previous events. It almost felt like I was reading a completely different series. The worst part? It wasn’t scary at all. A dissapointment. I bought the third book on a whim (I bought book one, loved it, and then purchased two and three) so I’ll read it just for the sake of finishing the series, and hopefully it’ll be a better read than this one.

Book Review: The Girl from the Well

18509623Title: The Girl From The Well

Author: Rin Chupeco

Genre: Young Adult, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

The Girl from the Well has been on my wishlist for over a year. Figuring out I’d never get my hands on it if I didn’t help destiny a little, I finally purchased it from Amazon a few weeks ago. From the mmoent it arrived in my mailbox, I finished it in a few days. The story is just so good, the characters so intriguing, and the use of Japanese folklore and legends gives it an unique, creepy vibe.

I’m a huge horror buff, but Japanese horror is usually so creepy I can’t always stomach it. But reading about it? Sure thing.

Okiku is a centuries’ old spirit. After getting murdered, she’s determined to find child murderers and punish them, and setting the children’s spirits free. But then she sees Tarquin, Tark as his family calls him, a fifteen-year-old boy covered in strange tattoos. Okiku senses another presence lingering near Tarquin, and it’s not a benevolent one. The tattoos are strange and eerie, and everyone seems to avoid the boy. Okiku’s interest is triggered, and she starts following him.

The best parts of the book were the ones focusing on Japanese culture, and the ones actually happening in Japan. I loved reading about the country, the ancient legends, the mikos and how they perform exorcisms, and so on. The book is creepy (what did you expect), but it’s also original, has great writing, and is overall, a very enjoyable book, and certainly different from most other YA horror books.

If you’re in the mood for some genuinely creepy horror, I recommend this book. I already ordered the sequel.

Mini-Reviews: Convalescence, The Lives Between Us, Your Heart & Mind


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Convalescence

Author: Maynard Sims

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Who will protect the children?

Fourteen-year-old James has seen his family wiped out by tuberculosis in the England of the 1960s. When he is sent to the country to convalesce with his Uncle Thomas it seems a welcome respite. But his uncle is strange, and clearly has a dark secret. The huge house is secretive too, with whispers and cries in the night. Gradually James meets other children, some real, some apparently ghosts, but all of whom have been hurt by the uncle. Will James be next?

In an eerie novella of repressed depravity, Maynard Sims conjures nightmares from the fears of childhood.

Review: An excellent haunted house story. I felt sorry for James, who has been through so much already, and then is put through even more when he meets the kids that haunt his uncles home. I liked the depravity angle, the summer house having secrets too, and the gothic feel that hid in this novella. A quick, suspensful, chilling story.

Your Heart and Mind

Title: Your Heart and Mind

Author: C.J. Maritz

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A reader-friendly self-help guide rated 5 stars by Readers’ Favorite. This thought-provoking book is about the choices and opportunities inherent in the human condition.

You, and your life, are the products of decisions made in the past. You made some of those decisions, and some were made by others. The effect of poor decisions would have compounded and diminished your greatness and state of your life.

In order to improve your experience of your life, you should focus on those decisions that are within your control. Your decisions on time, loyalty, reinvention, support, willingness, simplicity and other aspects can radically improve you and your life experience. You want to steer yourself in the direction that satisfies your heart and mind, and ensures contentment.

The book’s messages are to the point, impactful and powerful. The book is the second in the series. The first book is “YOUR Heart & Mind: 11 Tools To Improve Your State of Being, for Yourself & Others”.

Review:  I struggled to finish this book mostly because I felt like it didn’t give me any insights I couldn’t have already figured out myself. The arguments aren’t very deep, and the writing isn’t coherent either.

The Lives Between Us

Title: The Lives Between Us

Author: Theresa Rizzo

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Reporter Skylar Kendall has run from commitment all her life, pushing people away before they leave her, until her niece worms her way into Skye’s heart and settles in tight. Skye relaxes into a career she enjoys and relishes being a doting aunt.

Then her niece becomes gravely ill. Unable to bear yet another loss, Skye is determined to find a cure, but the girl’s only hope lies in the embryonic stem cell therapy Michigan Senator Edward Hastings repeatedly opposes. When Skye fails to find alternative treatment in time, she vows to end the senator’s political career.

Curious about the woman behind the scathing articles on his best friend, Mark Dutton pursues Skye. Dating Mark gives her access to Hastings’s life and secrets that would launch Skye’s career and satisfy her need for retribution… Only she hadn’t counted on falling in love.

Can she avenge the lives lost to politics at the expense of her new love and friends?

Review: The main character comes across as very selfish at times, and it’s hard to relate to her or understandh er point of view. The whole debate about embryonic stem cell therapy was interesting for a while, but got boring toward the end. I did enjoy the romance part, with Skye and Mark. Overall, not too bad, but I didn’t love it.

Mini-Reviews: Time to Die, Lost Girls, Sentinels


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Time to Die

Tite: Time to Die

Author: Caroline Mitchell

Genre: Paranormal, Thriller

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

He will predict your life… and your death. Don’t ever cross his palm with silver. He will reveal your most shameful secrets. He will predict your death. He is hiding a secret. He is hiding a monster. And all his predictions come true. Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven. As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all … Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards. Time to Die is an absolutely gripping serial killer thriller with a breath-taking supernatural twist. What readers are saying about Caroline Mitchell ‘This is a fantastically written story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and I really didn’t want to put it down’ It’s All About the Books ‘I absolutely LOVED how Caroline tortured me as I waited for all to be revealed … With a brilliant cast of crime characters, and a plot that was enough to make me feel dizzy, this was a compelling book that I just couldn’t get enough of.’ Becca’s Books ‘If you’re looking for a brand spanking new crime wave-breaker, then look no further than the obsessive-compulsive Detective Constable Jennifer Knight – a determined wearer of killer heels with an intuition like no other on the force’ Little Bookness Lane

Review: I love serial killer stories with a paranormal twist, and “Time to Die” certainly didn’t dissapoint. Jennifer Knight is one of the most intriguing detectives I’ve read about lately, and despite being strong and intelligent, I enjoyed how she also had some flaws. The serial killer in question was intriguing too, and I enjoyed how the author included tarot cards into the story. As a tarot reader, I loved seeing my two hobbies mix! The story was suspenseful from start to end, and I’m already looking forward to the next book.

Lost Girls

Title: Lost Girls

Author: Angela Marsons

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

Review:  I requested this one because the two kids kidnapped and only one returns plot reminded me of one of my favorite Criminal Minds episodes. Boy, I wasn’t dissapointed in the least! The writing was excellent, the plot was brilliant and put me on the edge of my seat, and raised my heart beat to at least 150 for most of the book. The characters are amazing, the plot is fast-paced, the twists are surprising and all in all, this is an AMAZING book. If you love thrillers, I suggest you go read this one RIGHT now.


Title: Sentinels

Author: Matt Manochio

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

These are no ordinary killers.

They don’t distinguish between good and evil. They just kill. South Carolina’s a ruthless place after the Civil War. And when Sheriff’s Deputy Noah Chandler finds seven Ku Klux Klansmen and two Northern soldiers massacred along a road, he cannot imagine who would murder these two diametrically opposed forces.

When a surviving Klansman babbles about wraiths, and is later murdered inside a heavily guarded jail cell, Noah realizes something sinister stalks his town. He believes a freed slave who’s trying to protect his farm from a merciless land baron can help unmask the killers. Soon Noah will have to personally confront the things good men must do to protect their loved ones from evil.

Review: A fast-paced, gripping horror story set in 1870 that combines a great story with excellent characters. The time period, around the Civil War, was interesting too, and despite some historical inaccuracies, I did enjoy this. Horror the way it should be.

Book Review: Asylum by Madelein Roux

13597728Title: Asylum

Author: Madeleine Roux

Genre: Young Adult, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.
As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Asylum is a chilling, creeptastic novel about Dan, a high school student attending a summer program for gifted students at a college in New Hampshire. The college used to be an asylum, and parts of the basement still hosts the old chambers. Dan is geeky and a bit of a loner, so he’s thrilled to meet gorgeous, outgoing Abby, and her friend, Jordan. The three of them form a close bond, and they even take some classes together. But one night they go exploring in the basement of the asylum, and that’s when things start to go wrong.

Dan is tormented by nightmares, people get hurt, and the three of them receive strange messages that could be from the beyond. On top of that, we see a glimpse of Dan’s past, his visits to a therapist, and some reasons are alluded to, but unfortunately never fully explained.

The creepiness is high in this one, and the author does a great job describing the creepier scenes. However, the characters were problematic. Dan has so many secrets shrouding his past it’s difficult to connect to him. For a large part of the book, I thought he would be an unrealiable narrator, and this also kept me distant from him, but at the same time, heightened the mystery. Jordan and Abby felt a little underdeveloped, and their behavior was all over the place – some thanks to the asylum, some of it seemingly random.

I felt like a lot of things weren’t explained yet and some issues could’ve been explored further, but overall, I had a fantastic time reading this. Plus, the photographs gave the book a nice touch.

Mini-Reviews: The Dead House, If You Wrong Us, The Girl With No Past


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Dead House

Tite: The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

Review: I enjoyed the book’s unique format the most, with the newspaper clippings, screenshots…this gave the book a realistic feel. The main character is compelling, and the way the author describes her dissociative identity disorder added an interesting angle to the book. However, the reason why is a little flat, and the book lacked creepiness.

If You Wrong Us

Title: If You Wrong Us

Author: Dawn Klehr

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

“An intricate psychological page-turner that explores the darker side of vengeance and reads like Gone Girl through a teen lens.” – Kirkus Reviews

Becca and Johnny become entangled after a car crash steals the lives of two people they love. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this.

As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond—intense, unyielding, and manic—takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other.

Or so they think.

In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they’ve come to believe about the crash. Question is: will they learn the truth before it’s too late?

No. The question is: when they learn the truth, will they care?

Review: The first half of this book had all the ingredients for being a fast-paced, chilling psychological thriller, but unfortunately this unraveled during the second half. The climax was underwhelming, and it didn’t tie up all loose ends. The dual narrative worked well, and the characters were intriguing though. Enjoyable, but did not fulfill the high hopes I had for it after reading the first half.

The Girl with No Past

Title: The Girl With No Past

Author: Kathryn Croft

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Review: It seems the opinions on this book are divided, but I’m fairly in the “I love this” camp. The back and forth between past and present works surprisingly well, and I could really connect to the main character, and understand most of her motivations. The author kept me guessing until the end, and overall, this was an amazing reading experience.