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Kat’s Review of The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

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Synopsis: The House on Cold Hill is a chilling and suspenseful ghost story from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Dead Simple, Peter James.

Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House - a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion - Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.

Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren't the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade's is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House's dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them . . .

KAT’S RATING: 3/5

KAT’S REVIEW: I am most definitely what I would call a Peter James fan, however after reading this I was left feeling not so enamoured. Peter James has written a brilliant series featuring Roy Grace, and in my opinion his stand alone book Perfect People was GENIUS! However, this latest effort didn’t really make an impression on me. I admit I am not the biggest fan of ‘ghost stories’ but am open minded enough to try them.

This story centres on Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade and their move to Cold Hill House. The opening of the book sets the scene pretty well and there is a heavy sense of foreboding (which of course is justified). The family are in for a nasty turn of events and these seem to spiral quite rapidly.

There was certainly nothing specific that I disliked with the book, but I just didn’t feel like there was any real substance behind the tale. Maybe I am just too adjusted to expecting a ‘Roy Grace’ type of book this didn’t suit me. I read the book to the end but in all honesty I felt like it was a bit of a struggle. I would admit I prefer to stick to crime and thrillers, however just recently discovered Caroline Mitchell who writes Supernatural and I love that series.

I guess I felt that this was missing something, but I just couldn’t put my finger on what. I’m aware that I am probably with the minority on the review of this book, but think in future I will stick to my Roy Grace or standalone crime novels by Mr James. 

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