The Witch House by Ann Rawson is a twisty turny dark thriller that I didn’t know was missing from my life until I read it.
If you’re looking for an absorbing mystery thriller with an unreliable narrator – who is also a complex character in their own right – adding further to the confusion and mystery.
Our MC, Alice Hunter, is a smart young woman whose academic plans are disrupted when she’s committed to a mental institution. She’s paranoid, suffers from memory loss and….there’s ritualistic magic woven throughout! It doesn’t help that Alice is the prime suspect in a murder investigation when she discovers a dead body.
I really enjoyed the narrative style, coming from Alice, because her sarcasm speak to me on a spiritual level! It’s also quite fun to try and unravel the past, present and impending future alongside our characters. Although with Alice being so unreliable, it can get a touch frustrating for the reader I found.
Whilst I didn’t warm to all the characters, it’s clear that the author has a gift for characterisation. In fact the whole reading experience was a joy. The story was sparse in its descriptions where they weren’t needed (which I really appreciate) and the characters were both sympathetic and enthralling.
The plot itself was thrilling – after all it’s a mystery thriller. It kept me guessing nearly all the way through and the puzzle was wrought with shocks and twists! However it’s important to note that this really is a physiological thriller and not a police procedural – despite the murder. Personally I prefer that, ut just thought it was worth the mention. Although I do have to say that I was hoping for a more traditionally spooky vibe from The Witch House.
I love how different aspects of the narrative end up peaking their heads back round the corner at later times in the book. This actually also extends to the cover too – it’s not only beautifully but has quite a significant meaning to the story!
The Witch House is a perfectly good book that explores mental health, paganism and the lows of humanity all in one. Whilst I do wish it explored the paganism in more depth and I wish it had more overt disturbing undertones, I highly recommend it to fans of Gothic fiction!
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