Title: The Open House
Author: Sam Carrington
Genre: Psychological Thriller
# of pages: 384
Release Date: 10th Dec 2020
Published by: Avon UK
Amber Miller is getting separated from her husband, Nick Miller. Everything between them is amicable. Amber has met with Richard and plans to move to Kent. The only thing that stopped her was their Devon family home. She needed to sell it and then share the proceeds with Nick. However, she isn’t getting many viewings for the house to sell. Carl Anderson, her estate agent, proposes an open house. With much reluctance, Amber agrees. But she has a terrible feeling about the event. So, on the day of the open house, Amber looks through her front door camera. Looking at the video, she notices that thirteen people entered the house but, only twelve came out. Though it was disconcerting, she shrugs it off as wrong counting.
Every day, since open house, there is something amiss. She keeps losing stuff and then they reappear. With the house is not gaining any traction in the market, and something bizarre going on the house, it feels someone doesn’t want Amber to leave the house.
Amber and her mother-in-law Barbara Miller narrates the story. Barb fills in the gap in Amber’s account, making both of the narratives intriguing. Barb is a woman whose sole motive in life is to look after the happiness of her son and grandsons. Nothing deters her. She keeps pushing Amber and interferes in her life.
Amber keeps bending backwards to accommodate people. The entire process of selling the house and moving to Kent is taking a toll on her. With weird things happening around her, she cannot meet Richard, which makes her crabbier.
Carrington created a tense atmosphere where the readers can get the impression of something strange going on in the house.
Once the mystery unfolds, it becomes a roller coaster ride of revelations. With every piece of mystery unveiling itself, the reader feels a jolt.
In the beginning, there are a lot of characters to navigate. But towards the end, the reader realizes there are only a handful of people who continue until the end. Few of them did not have any part to play. Some did not get enough space at the end, like Davina. She played an important role until the midway. But by the end, she disappeared.
The ending is power-packed with a lot of mystery unfolding before the reader. The reader might get a lot of information in a single throw. Also, Amber could have acted differently.
The central theme of the book revolves around assumption amongst family and how sometimes no explanation can derail relationships.
The Open House is a psychological thriller with twists that you will never see them coming.
Thank you, NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.