There are so many delicious things in the plot synopsis for The Spite House, that I found it completely impossible to resist. A man fleeing his life under mysterious circumstances with his two daughters in tow – check! A job offer to stay in an old house with “pronounced paranormal activity” – big check! An intriguing entrepreneur with a spooky past? Shut up and take my money!
Due to Eric Ross’s initially undisclosed predicament, he can only take “under the radar” jobs, and is struggling to support his two daughters. The youngest of which, Stacy, has to remain hidden. Ross applies for a high-paying, potentially life-changing position to stay in a haunted house, owned by aging entrepreneur, Eunice Masson. However, Masson isn’t entirely honest about the house is, putting Erick and his family in more danger than they ever expected.
The Spite House is incredibly gripping. I immediately sympathized with struggling father Eric, and the mystery of his sudden flight kept my attention. His unconventional family situation provides a pivotal plot-point, and merges beautifully with the haunted house narrative. Eunice Masson is also an incredibly interesting character. Johnny Compton has created a truly immersive, terrifying world.
I would recommend everyone choose the audiobook option for this book, as Adam Lazarre-White’s narration is incredible. His performance of each character is masterful. A truly addictive listen.
This is not a novel of jump scares from the outset; this is a mysterious, uncanny slow novel, with an incredibly rewarding payoff. Rich characters, a compelling plot, expertly written. An incredible debut from Compton, and another fantastic release from Tor Nightfire.
The Spite House is released on February 7th, 2023. Thanks to Tor Nightfire and Macmillan Audio for the advance copy.
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