The House At Midnight is a dark and moody novel about a group of close friends and the tremors and turbulence that arise in their relationships when one of the gang, Lucas, inherits a grand mansion in the English countryside. It is told from the perspective of Lucas' closest friend Jo, who feels uneasy and unsettled by the imposing house from her first visit there.
There is no denying that Lucie Whitehouse's writing
is excellent. From the very first page I felt a sense of foreboding and
dread at what was to come. She perfectly conveys the sinster
claustrophobia that permeates the house and creates a wonderfully Gothic
atmosphere. I was also really impressed at the way she gradually gives
the reader a really thorough understanding of all the characters,
illustrating their personalities impeccably. I personally found myself
completely sympathising with Jo and almost relating to her even when she
made some terrible decisions and behaved in a less than angelic manner.
And the villain of the group - although I won't give away who that
turns out to be! - is one of the creepiest, most devious characters I
have come across in some time. There were times when I had shivers
running down my spine at the way in which this person manipulated their
friends without a single regard for their feelings.
about halfway through, the book seemed to lose momentum slightly.
There's an argument, there's a period of tense silence, there's an
awkward reconciliation of sorts. And then the cycle repeats again. There
was definitely a point where I was wondering if the tale was actually
going anywhere. Things pick up a little towards the finale, which is
undoubtedly chilling, but I found it a little rushed and some of the
details were difficult to believe. I have written an extended review containing spoilers which can be found on my Goodreads account, so if anybody is reading this review who has already read the book, I'd be very interested to know your thoughts!
I will definitely read more by this author as the style of writing I
have seen in this book is more than enough to convince me of her great
talent. However it's a shame that it fell a bit short for me when it
came to the plot developments.