Ran McGhie’s luck takes a turn for the better when he inherits a house from a relative he didn’t even know he had. A struggling writer with mental health problems, Ran has barely been getting by, and now he learns his mother came from money and his estranged great-uncle has left him a huge mansion.
Ran is ecstatic when he sees Newton Hall. Not only has it an extensive library but also a swimming pool and a TV room with a huge screen. He indulges in the vast collection of volumes, just as his ancestor would have expected of him. His new home makes Ran content and he neglects his medication, feeling he doesn’t need it anymore.
He explores the large corridors of the gloomy house and soon strange things occur. A woman starts visiting him, awakening his dormant sexuality. Or is she merely a hallucination because he is not taking his drugs anymore?
Ran finds clues about the woman that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has left in his journals. But how much can he trust a man he never knew and can he rely on his own feelings and sanity?
Malone’s pacing is impeccable, never dragging along or blowing up the story with superfluous information but keeping you tight to its troubled and very sympathetic protagonist.
House of Spines is a sexy, Gothic ghost story that balances between chilling and titillating. Set in an obscure dream home ideal for such a creepy tale it’s the perfect combination of old-fashioned ghost story and a modern thriller. Horror as well as crime fiction fans will have to prepare for more than one surprising twist.
House of Spines is one of my favourite books of 2017 and the perfect read for a gloomy autumnal day.