Fiction · New Title Tuesday · Reader's Advisory

The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan – New Title Tuesday

The Dead House  may be his debut novel, Billy O’Callaghan is a seasoned writer and this novel showcases the author’s compelling talent.  While it is tempting to label The Dead House  as a ghost story, it’s just as much psychological mystery and Irish history.

Pic Dead HousePublisher’s Summary:

Sometimes the past endures—and sometimes it never lets go.

This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O’Callaghan’s hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.

While The Dead House  is definitely a tale about a haunted place (and haunted person), it is also much more.  Descriptions are lovely and not overwrought., as in this foreshadowing as the narrator, Mike, says goodbye to Maggie after the weekend celebration.

Out in the distance, the water was deepening its colour, compressing more intently with every tidal pull from the shade of stone to that of unlit sapphire, and I could feel the insinuation of its crashing deep inside myself.  A churning, as if I’d come to some brink and was about to be pulled in, as if I needed that.

If The Dead House  were only about a menacing ghost, it still might be an intriguing read.  But with themes of friendship and love as well as a study of how people deal with regret.  Mike is in fact confessing this story.

If you enjoy reading about the Cornish coast and pre-Christian Ireland, then The Dead House will not disappoint.

Happy Reading, Susan C.

You Might Also Enjoy:

Heart Shaped Box Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn’t think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner’s ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne’s discarded groupies, and that the old man’s ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter’s suicide. Judas isn’t quite the cad or Craddock the avenging angel this scenario makes them at first, but their true motivations reveal themselves only gradually in a plot that crackles with surprises and revelations.

Stopped Heart

 

 The Stopped Heart by Julie Myerson – In this dark and mesmerizing novel, a grieving couple seeks refuge in a country cottage. But the cottage has its own history of tragedy. Are the chilling memories trapped within its walls becoming their new reality?

 

 

 

The Innocent Sleep

 

The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry – When a couple’s lost child resurfaces they are forced to embark on a journey into their shared past –one rife with dark secrets and lies.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s