Book Review: The Ghost House by Helen Phifer

17981829Title: The Ghost House

Author: Helen Phifer

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There’s not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force. But when she agrees to look after her brother’s farmhouse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves her more than a little spooked. She knows it holds the secrets to a dark past, and she has to find out more. What was the terrible truth that Alice uncovered? And how could what happened to her over 100 years ago help solve the murders of young women in the town?
Annie needs to stop the serial killer before she becomes his next victim –- but the past comes back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.

When I started reading, I was immediately pulled into the story. The Ghost House offers a relatable heroine, Annie, who unwillingly gets thrown in the middle of a horror movie when she promises to take care of her brother’s farmhouse, near a dilipidated, crumbling old mansion. The mansion calls for her, but the moment she walks inside, strange things happen. She finds the diary of a former resident of the house, Alice, which she brings along to the farmhouse. She starts reading the diary and discovers more and more horrific clues about the mansion’s troubled past…

But in the present day, the mansion isn’t safe from perils either. A serial killer out to destroy young women has made the mansion his working area. The ghost of the mansion has found a tool to do his bidding…And now he’s seen Annie, he has got his eyes set on her. He will destroy her, no matter what it takes.

I loved the premise, the idea of the past interacting with the present, of reincarnation, of vengeance. I kind of wished that the guy who Alice fell for would’ve sort of loved her back, even if it was in some twisted, weird way. I thought so at first, what with him taunting her – this could be some strange way of showing he actually liked her – but when it was revealed it was money he was after all along, that was a bit of a let-down for me. Sick, twisted love is more intriguing and unique than money issues.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story, the characters and the plot. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some plotholes. Like: what really happened to Alice? Maybe we’re not meant to find out, but I would’ve wanted to know.

Apart from that, I liked the book. It was an atmospheric, spooky read, ideal for the season. I could’ve done with a bit more ghosts and a bit less crime novel though.

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