The House (2016) – Short Review

Author: Simon Lelic
Find it on Goodreads. Read it thanks to NetGalley.

I read this book in one day. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorites, but it was certainly very good and interesting. The unusual way it is written (I can’t describe it better than a past double first-person testimony until the middle and then afterwards a present double first-person) could have gone totally against the narrative, but actually, I enjoyed it.

It’s different, alright, but that adds to the story. All of the insights provided by the author create a real sense of closeness to both of the main characters – which, I gotta say, took me a while to like. I still dislike Sydney. But that doesn’t interfere in the enjoyment of the mystery, even though it did took me a while to accept them as the leads of the story and stop judging. Once I did that, it became a really good novel.

The plot is very rich: it alternates between a confusing present and an abundant past, which was imperative throughout most of the book. All of the characters are well written and believable, although the bad guys felt a little stereotyped. Nevertheless, it actually scared me a lot, and the psychological aspect in the relationships between the characters is really well supported and juicy. There’s plenty of Lelic’s thoughts and opinions about life between the lines, and that makes a strong case for a recommendation of The House.

Although the pop culture references were a little overwhelming, sometimes they were great. The genre may be mystery/crime, but there’s a lot more behind this fun, dark and complex story. I greatly recommend it.

A quote: “You see, the thing was, I hadn’t touched her. Not when I’d got up, not when I’d come back into the room. Whoever’s hand she thought she’d felt – it wasn’t mine.”

Let me know what you think in the comments!


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