I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for chilling psychological thriller The House of Ashes by Stuart Neville. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.
About the book:
An old woman haunted by her past
A young woman fighting for her life
For Sara Keane, it was supposed to be a second chance.
A new country. A new house. A new beginning.
Then came the knock on the door.
Elderly Mary Jackson can’t understand why Sara and her husband are living in her home.
She remembers the fire. She remembers the house burning down. But she also remembers the children. The children who need her. The children she must protect.
‘The children will find you,’ she tells Sara, because Mary knows she needs help too. As Sara becomes obsessed with what happened in that house nearly sixty years ago, and the family wiped out in one bloody night, she begins to see things. Things that can’t be real.
In a story that spans six decades, the truth will not stay buried, and the ghosts of the past can never remain in the shadows . . .
About the author:
Stuart Neville’s debut novel, THE TWELVE (published in the USA as THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST), won the Mystery/Thriller category of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was picked as one of the top crime novels of 2009 by both the New York Times and the LA Times. He has been shortlisted for various awards, including the Barry, Macavity, Dilys awards, as well as the Irish Book Awards Crime Novel of the Year. He has since published three critically acclaimed sequels, COLLUSION, STOLEN SOULS and THE FINAL SILENCE.
His first four novels have each been longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and RATLINES was shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.
Stuart’s novels have been translated into various languages, including German, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, Greek and more. The French edition of The Ghosts of Belfast, Les Fantômes de Belfast, won Le Prix Mystère de la Critique du Meilleur Roman Étranger and Grand Prix du Roman Noir Étranger.
His fourth novel, RATLINES, about Nazis harboured by the Irish state following WWII is currently in development for television.
The House of Ashes by Stuart Neville is a spine tingling, fast paced and atmospheric read that had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Told in two timelines, the story follows Sara Keane in the present day and Mary Jackson and her childhood experiences in the past.
As she moves into her new home with her controlling and, to be quite frank, not very nice husband, Sara is hoping the move is going to offer her the new beginning she craves. But when elderly Mary Jackson turns up on the doorstep unable to understand why Sara and her husband are living in her home, Sara soon becomes obsessed with what happened in the house nearly sixty years ago. And then she begins to see things. Things that can’t possibly be real…
Moving backwards and forwards between Sara in the present and Mary’s childhood memories of the past, The House of Ashes is an emotional but terrifying read that held me captive within its pages from beginning to end. As the shadows of the past are slowly revealed, the two strands of the story come together in a way I could never have expected.
The House of Ashes is a chilling and addictive read that drew me in from the very first page. Both Sara and Mary were characters I couldn’t help but root for even when (especially in Sara’s case) their actions left me feeling more than a little frustrated. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but Stuart Neville’s writing is so good that it most definitely won’t be my last!
A dark and thrilling read, The House of Ashes is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.
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