30 Nov 2010



When Lucas inherits Stoneborough Manor after his Uncle's unexpected death, he imagines it as a place where he and his close circle of friends can spend time away from London. But from the beginning, the house changes everything. Lucas becomes haunted by the death of his Uncle and obsessed by cinefilms of him and his friends at Stonesborough thirty years earlier. The group is disturbingly similar to their own, and within the claustrophobic confines of the house over a hot, decadent summer, secrets escape from the past and sexual tensions escalate, shattering friendships and changing lives irrevocably.
..... from the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: Even now, I can remember the first time I saw the house as clearly as if there were a video of it playing in my head.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: I felt, more than heard, the first opening pulses of the house's secret rhythm. There was something sly in it now, knowing, taunting.

Not a bad debut novel by Lucie Whitehouse though I can't help but think it will probably appeal more to women than men as it is usually women who walk into a house and feel it's vibes - this feeling, I believe being an integral part of the story, the thing that makes the whole story work ... or not.

The author's power of description are quite something to read, at times the feeling of menace was so great that the hairs on my arms literally stood up and yet there was just something lacking, something that I can't quite put my finger but probably has something to do with the fact that nothing was unexpected, that almost all the way through you could tell what was going to happen next with the ending predictable quite early on.

The characters, though believable (we all know of people like them I'm sure), weren't particularly great either being somewhat stereotypical and predictable and, to be honest, generally not very nice.

All this said, I think given the right team this could make a spectacular film, probably one of those rare instances when it is better than the book, as the feelings of menace were really great and would, I think, come across well on the big screen.

The House At Midnight was a reading group read.


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Great review of this one! I love the sound of it, and I totally get the whole "vibe" thing in houses...sometimes it's creepy! :)

budh.aaah said...

Its just my kinda book. Would love to read. Great review - you brought the fear factor totally to life :)

Jenny said...

I do love when a book can make the hairs on your arms stand on end, but it's too bad the characters were a bit lacking, it's hard to connect with characters that are generally unpleasant. Thanks for this honest review Tracy!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I do believe that it needs to go on my winter readin' list!

God bless and have a beautiful day sweetie!!!

Gina said...

Hmm..you know I get what you mean on the menace...it even comes through in the summary and one liners you provided. Not certain if I shall read this particular one but will definitely take it into consideration. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

Nikki-ann said...

Sounds like something I'd enjoy, thanks :)

The Bookworm said...

I think it sounds interesting.
Great review ;)

Misha said...

I loved this book too but I was really creeped out. You should read The Lake of Dead Languages and Dismantled too .