The Ghost House – Helen Phifer

The Ghost House Photo

I bought this book purely for the cover, its gorgeous and the fact that it had the word Ghost in the title, well I just had to buy it. I didn’t even bother to read the back before I bought it, and I was pleasantly surprised by the story. The Ghost House actually came out in 2013, but I am apparently way behind the times and have only just got round to reading it. It is part of the Annie Graham series, of which there are five books. The most recent came out this year. So I plan to buy, read, and then review the remaining four as soon as possible.


Goodreads Synopsis:

There’s not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force. But when she agrees to look after her brother’s farmhouse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves her more than a little spooked. She knows it holds the secrets to a dark past, and she has to find out more. What was the terrible truth that Alice uncovered? And how could what happened to her over 100 years ago help solve the murders of young women in the town?
Annie needs to stop the serial killer before she becomes his next victim –- but the past comes back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.


As I mentioned before I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. It had been sat of my shelf for quite some time and I wanted something quick and easy to read. It most certainly did not fail me.

Firstly, I love Annie Graham. She is a normal and down to earth, a realistic representation of a modern day woman. She is also quite funny. Her gay best friend Jake is fantastic and also rather funny, I love that although the book is at times a rather sinister thriller/horror, there are elements of comedy throughout.

The book weaves elements of the late 1880s (I am somehow drawn to all things Victorian, without even realising it) into present day. The paranormal aspects of the book were great and made it an original take on a well known historical character. This meant there was a twist halfway through that I really wasn’t expecting, which is always a bonus!

The parts of the book that go back to the 1880s were my favourite. In the past we meet Alice who is so sweet and endearing. We also meet Edward who is cruel and calculated, and at times genuinely scared me a little bit. There are only two things that bugged me about this book, one of them is that Alice’s story seems to be left unfinished. I really wanted to hear more of her story and learn what happened to her, but she seems to be forgotten towards the end of the book (after something really big is revealed about her too).

I hate hate hate saying bad things about books, because I can only imagine how much hard work, time, and energy went into writing it. But, the second thing that I couldn’t let go of with this book was the editing. There were quite a few noticeable mistakes and sometimes the sentence structure was a bit off. Although this has definitely not put me off reading the next four books, the fantastic plot and the wonderful characters makes up for any flaws this book may have. This is also Phifer’s first book, and for a debut I thought it was pretty smashing.

Overall, I thought this book was great. I wanted an enjoyable book that was quick easy to read. The Ghost House ticked all the boxes with added spooky atmosphere and a paranormal twist that meant I could not put it down.




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