Now, this was an interesting novel. I was very excited to read it from the little synopsis I was sent about it.
--Margot and Myron Spielman move to a new town, looking for a fresh start and an escape from the long shadow of their past. But soon after they buy Rawlingswood, a foreclosed mansion rumored to be haunted, they realize they’re in for more of the same…or worse.
After a renovation fraught with injuries and setbacks, the Spielmans move in to the century-old house, and their problems quickly escalate. The home’s beautiful facade begins to crumble around them when their teenage son uncovers disturbing details of Rawlingswood’s history—a history of murder, betrayal, and financial ruin. The Spielmans’ own shameful secrets and lies become harder to hide as someone or something inside the house watches their every move.
As tensions build between the family members, the home’s dark history threatens to repeat itself. Margot and Myron must confront their own ghosts and Rawlingswood’s buried past before the house becomes their undoing.--
Reading that, I thought this would totally be my kind of book. I want to point out a couple of things that I thought were really cool and unique about this novel. First, at the front of the book, we get an actual floor plan of the sprawling mansion, level by level. Then, the writer, instead of using plain chapters and numbers, took the liberty of using the history of the families that lived there and the time frames they were there. For example, we start out with chapter one, titled House for Sale and then underneath that the date of April 7, 2018. The author does this throughout the whole novel, using the last names of each family that had lived at Rawlingswood and the dates, allowing us to follow each family’s experience while living at the house. Furthermore, the author bounces back and forth between all the different families so we get to experience their time at the mansion, past and present together, as it all unfolds.
The incredible amount of suspense is another score for the author here. It’s not nail biting, pull your hair out, on the edge of your seat kind of suspense. I would describe it more like a constant feeling of suspiciousness and uneasiness, a feeling foreboding and darkness looming over as you read what these characters are going through. That feeling of eeriness follows as you read through each page, tugging on you as you keep pushing forward through to the end.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found it extremely difficult to find a good place to stop because it seemed like something enticing and interesting happened in every single chapter. It reminded me of that feeling you get when you are watching a television series and you just keep watching episode after episode, binge watching because you HAVE to see what happens next. It’s horrible to have to choose at which cliffhanger to stop reading because you have real life things to do. It was also very easy to get caught up in the story and the characters of this novel. You find yourself feeling a range of emotions throughout the novel directed at all different characters.
I would definitely recommend this to those of you who like thrillers and subtle suspense. If you’re into things like urban exploring, abandoned buildings and things like that (which I love to watch those kinds of videos on YouTube) then I think you would really dig this book as well.