The House books –

What If Your Perfect Home Turned Out To Be The Scene Of The Perfect Crime Londoners Jack And Syd Moved Into The House A Year Ago It Seemed Like Their Dream Home Tons Of Space, The Perfect Location, And A Friendly Owner Who Wanted A Young Couple To Have ItSo When They Made A Grisly Discovery In The Attic, Jack And Syd Chose To Ignore It That Was A MistakeBecause Someone Has Just Been Murdered Right Outside Their Back DoorAnd Now The Police Are Watching Them

10 thoughts on “The House

  1. says:

    This thing I ve planned for so carefully it has all gone drastically, horribly wrong Well, this proved to be a very difficult review for me to write Not because I didn t like the book, obviously I didn t just like it, I enjoyed it so much that I started composing bits and pieces of my review at around 50% mark The problem is that there are so many twists and turns and hidden secrets in the story that I was terrified I would slip up and spoil everything So, this is going to be short.We follow the story of Syd and Jack, a young couple who has just been offered a deal for a house that they ve never believed would come to them The house is an impressive building, in a beautiful London neighbourhood and it is as if it chose them for its owners However, Jack has a feeling that there is something dodgy with the house and especially with the circumstances under which the previous owner left all of his belongings behind to start a new life in Australia following a woman he met online.The writing style is something that I haven t seen recently and it is engaging and makes the book flow nicely It is an exchange in written form between Syd and Jack, their experiences before they met each other, their life together, an attempt to clarify their thoughts and make sense of the things that have happened to them.Because of this technique, we don t have elaborate speeches and complex descriptions We have clear interactions and everyday language, but given in a coherent way, as if we re eavesdropping the discussion between two people, as if we re reading their diaries.There is nothing pretentious and Simon Lelic has done a wonderful job.To say anything about the characters is a risk, because I m unable to refer to them without giving away parts of the plot I m just going to say that Syd and Jack are people you will care about and they will lead you safely throughout the story Syd was especially interesting, a complex character that was well matched to her vulnerable, thoughtful partner.Also, there are two fathers whose behaviour is going to a make you furious, and b give you nightmares.The moments where the writer takes us back in time and lets us into the past of the characters are amazingly composed and they are integral to the whole story They aren t just background information, they are linked to the troubles of the present Here is where writers show their ability to go back and forth in time, all the while keeping the readers interested and invested in the plot I m saying this because one could risk a comparison between The House and The Upstairs Room And yet, these books couldn t have been different The House achieved everything The Upstairs Rooms tried to do and failed.Simon Lelic has created a unique thriller It starts with suspicions that something paranormal might have taken over the house, it has strong elements of domestic thriller and themes like violence, secrets, despair, the wish to right the wrong and learning to live with wounds that refuse to heal It is a novel that will not disappoint you and thank God I concluded this review without any spoilers.Many thanks to Penguin UK and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. says:

    This is a wonderfully dark and twisted psychological thriller by Simon Lelic It shifts and runs into unexpected places, different from the blurb given about the book Jack has uncomfortable feelings about a London house that his girlfriend, Syd Baker, thinks is perfect for them To their surprise, given they tendered a lower offer, the owner chooses them When something is too good to be true, they should have been wary, but they move in without a second thought The previous owner has left behind all his belongings, which the happy couple begin to sort through However, there are strange sounds, and gruesome discoveries in the attic There is a child s treasure box with a familiar name on it The story begins with the police watching the house, with Jack and Syd writing down their experiences of living there, with the occasional contentious perception This is a novel about the past haunting the present with its firm and tenacious grip.The narrative is delivered through our couple, Jack and Syd, documenting how their lives begin to spiral out of their control Jack is a housing officer who goes out of his way to help his desperate clients He is not close with his middle class parents who disapprove of Syd Syd s past contains trauma and drug taking, making her a volatile character, but she is committed to Jack, hoping for a settled future with him Syd s mother visits and recognises a picture on their wall Syd finds herself becoming close to Elsie Payne, a young girl that lives locally We learn of the details of the historical past of Syd and Jack, and how it connects to their dire present situation This is a story that covers the issues of dysfunctional families, fathers, trust, loss and the search for justice, by whatever means possible.Lelic has a gripping writing style that just grabs the reader right from the beginning His plotting is remarkably well handled, and the narrative is so compelling, tense and suspenseful, driven by the well executed twists I find psychological thrillers a hit or miss affair, this is a hit in every sense, I can see this being a bestseller, and deservedly so What is really outstanding is the characters of Jack and Syd, they are superbly developed, particularly Syd A morally ambiguous and brilliant read that I highly recommend Many thanks to Penguin for an ARC.

  3. says:

    3.5 STARS When Jack and Syd buy their first home together in London, they feel like they ve hit the jackpot It s a big rambling old house, and although it needs lots of work, they got a really good deal because the owner wanted a young couple to have it, and accepted their lower bid But you know the saying If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is Well that s certainly the case here Jack though, took an instant dislike to the house he found it dark and creepy, and that was even before he made a grisly discovery in the attic They decide to keep the discovery to themselves, but keeping this secret means they ve made a really bad call, leading to some life changing events.The narrative is told in the form of individual journals written by Jack and Syd It was an intelligent if unusual style of writing, but I quickly got used to it and actually enjoyed it It certainly gave great insight into their lives, both in the present and in the past The characters are a little strange, but work well within the storyline It had a fairly creepy feeling, especially at the beginning, and produced some really tense moments together with an all pervading air of menace There were some good twists and turns Although it wasn t the most gripping psychological thriller that I ve read, it was certainly gripping enough to retain my attention Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK for my ARC I have given an honest review in exchange

  4. says:

    4.5 Dark and Twisted Stars .5This book was originally titled The House I believe this is actually a apt title this book is about Jack and Sid finding their dream house a house really out of their price range yet unbelievably they get it. at first they feel lucky although Jack is never quite sold on the house The house is also filled with all the possessions and furnishings of the previous owner who moved to Australia and left his belongings behind at first they were having fun going through the former owner s belongings having fun playing the vinyl records, but then they encounter a strange smell and then things go sideways and bump in the night..The beginning of this book is told very cleverly Jack and Sid are co authoring a manuscript to give to the police. explaining all the events leading up to the discovery of a murdered neighbor in the alley behind their house I thought this was very effective you got a glimpse into both Sid and Jack s perspectives it was almost as though you were reading their journal or they were talking directly to you. I found both Sid and Jack s characters quite interesting although I was always a little sure that Jack was being honest Sid was a little bit of a mysteryDon t want to go too much into the plot just know it is full of twists and turns and quite dark there is also abuse, so if this is something that puts you off a book I would not recommend.Something I found interesting is in the beginning I was thinking is this a ghost story Did I misread the blurb, I had read it many months ago then I read the authors notes at the end of the book and this book did in fact start off as a ghost story but then it took a turn I d classify this as a domestic thriller with a dab of psychological thriller thrown in so if you are a fan of either of these genres I would strongly recommend. thank you so much to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book

  5. says:

    3.5 I haven t been very lucky with thriller so far this year but I m very happy to say this one was worth the read The writing style won t be for everyone, it s very casual and mostly in the form of journal entries However my main criteria for thrillers is to be surprise by at least some of the twist and I thought I knew what was what I was wrong If you re looking for a book you won t want to put down, I recommend it Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. says:

    2.5 starsI do believe my expectations were too high.The story begins with an intriguing scene that caught my interest right away, one of the characters declares The thing I ve planned so carefully has gone drastically, horribly wrong The beginning was great and I loved set up of how a new couple Jack and Syd were shopping for their first home in London Syd falls instantly in love with the house, while Jack has his reservations The house was described as being abandoned by the owner who fled to Australia to find true love, leaving all his possessions and a cluttered mess behind.They buy the house and strange things begin to happen I was thinking this was going to venture into horror or perhaps paranormal..smells penetrating the walls, gruesome discovery in the attic, and strange happenings What started out as a dark thriller took a turn and became of a domestic abuse type story thriller I wanted to find out how this twisted plot played out, but in the end this one left me underwhelmed.Thanks to Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. says:

    This is a domestic psychological thriller, heavier on the domestic side which kind of threw me for a loop I always love a dual perspective novel, and this one added another dimension the first part of the story is told from journal entries and the conversational tone of the narrative was unique This one just went in a different direction than I was expecting, and I think that because my expectations weren t met, I was a bit thrown It is difficult, as an avid reader of this genre, to be surprised and it is truly because of my personal expectations that this one didn t head where I thought it would go I encourage readers to try this one for themselves Thank you to Netgalley, Berkley, and Simon Lelic for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  8. says:

    A truly unique reading experience with some fantastic twists that had me up late finishing See my full review on my blog When I first started to read The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic, I honestly didn t know what to make of it Lelic uses a really interesting style with this book, where for about the first 2 3 the two main characters are writing back and forth journal entries trying to explain what happened and what led them to the first big twist no spoilers, sorry What was interesting, though, was that their journal entries almost sounded like they were reading each other s as they wrote, even though their intended audience was a third party Sometimes they d respond to what the other said in a very humorous way I really ended up enjoying it Though I m not sure I completely trusted either narrative, since they repeatedly mentioned that they were leaving some things out Discovering those things was half the surprise, though Jack and Syd have found their forever house After looking at houses all over London, Jack and Syd finally find the house THE house The forever house that they can grow old in Sure, the house is dark and a little creepy, but it is large and in a good neighborhood and they get an offer accepted almost immediately Strange, though, that they offered jut under asking, with several other buyers on the market Don t worry, the agent tells them The owner took a liking to Jack and Syd He chose them out of all the offers And then Jack makes a shocking discovery After a horrible smell starts to emanate from the attic, Jack goes up to investigate And then he finds it the discovery He can t tell Syd what he found, though It will only upset her And he can t tell her about the sounds he hears at night when he can t sleep Meanwhile, Syd has formed a friendship with a young girl across the way She can t be bothered by the problems with the house And yet, why does the former owners picture look so familiar And then a dead body is discovered outside the house, and Jack and Syd realize they should have told the police what was going on from the beginning, before it was too late ReflectionIf that summary seemed confusing or disjointed, don t worry That is sort of the thing with this book I actually found myself repeatedly going back to the plot summary because I couldn t figure out if I had missed something It takes a bit for the pieces of the puzzle to reveal themselves with this one But it is intentional At first it will feel like a ghost story In fact, I wondered if perhaps it was a ghost story And in a way it is The author says at the end that he has always wanted to write a ghost story, so he wrote this Because after all, ghosts are just things from our past that haunt us And that is truly what this book is about I wish I could talk about the plot, but I absolutely refuse to give away any spoilers This book is really fun in the reveals I had to read it closely, because the twists and knowledge bombs get dropped so quickly They are easy to miss if you don t pay attention And the characters are all keeping things from each other, and sometimes from the reader But the way the final twist comes together is just fantastic I really enjoyed the ending of this one.Thank you to the publishers at Berkley and to Simon Lelic for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. says:

    It s impossible to start this book and not become addicted to it instantly The way the book is written Jack and his girlfriend Syd, write their side of the story as a journal in alternating chapters just intrigues you so much you have to keep reading What is it about the house that s so troublesome What s that smell Who is Elise Admittedly I would have liked a little goings on with The House since that s the title of the book initially you believe that because there s a grisly find in the loft that the story will take off in that spooky direction but sadly it doesn t This is much a character driven novel which still definitely works, and because of the way the book is written you are sent deep inside the heads of Jack and Syd and therefore know exactly how they re feeling and what they want you to see.This book may not be quite as riveting or compelling as some psychological thrillers during the main part of the story but it s still a very intriguing and entertaining read which you want to see to the end nonetheless And the ending, well I didn t suspect it would go that way and found it very fitting to the main plot This is the first book I have read by Simon Lelic and I d happily read his work again, the new slant to the unique way he has written this book was quite daring but it worked and I would recommend this book as a really good physiological thriller 4 stars

  10. says:

    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 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 out of 5 starsSee this review and like it on my blog Book Bastion Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.