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Title: The House on the Lake

Author: Nuala Ellwood

# of pages: 400 pages

Genre: Psychological Thriller (NetGalley)

Date of publication: Feb 20th 2020

Rating: 4.5 stars


“That’s all I can think about as I sit here huddled in the corner. I close my eyes but I can still see it, a dark crimson stain on the new-fallen snow.”

Lisa is running away with her son Joe. Confused and unsure she arrives at Rowan Isle House in Yorkshire Dales. A trusted friend gave her the location of this place and told her it can be her “safe house.” Once she enters the home, the sense of safety is soon superseded by an unnerving thought. She has an eerie feeling once she steps in, with windows sealed tight. And most of the mansion is in a dilapidated condition, the history of the house soon catches up on her. The house has it’s dark past and filled with horror. Will this darkness engulf Lisa and Joe?

The chapters shuttle between the past and the present. Rowan Isle House is the uniting link between them. An 11-year-old narrates the past and in present by Lisa. Well-developed with a modest pool of characters. The author added extra flavour by giving remarkable details.

The central theme is the abuse that ranges from a child to a married woman. It shows its far-reaching effects. It has a ripple effect and hurts everyone in the periphery. There’s also subtext on PTSD.

Unputdownable is the word I choose for the book. This is my second book by the author and I devoured every single page of the book. The mystery is fascinating from the start. The book has pace where you forget the concept of space and time. It has elements of mystery and suspense. Alongside it also bears upon the intense human emotions. As a reader, you will realize the author has done her share of research while touching the sensitive topics such as PTSD and abuse. Nuala Ellwood has an innate sense of storytelling. She captures your attention with her words, her characters and the setting of the story. There’s no way you can escape. The ending takes you by complete surprise and it’s a fair ending.

The house on the lake is a ravishing book with intense mystery leaving you mesmerized.

A highly recommended for crime fiction fans. You will be exhilarated once you finish the book. And for the people who did not read The Day of the Accident, you owe yourselves both the books.