The Night House
Author: Jo Nesbø
Published: October 3, 2023
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 18- October 18, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
In the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Black Mirror Wood. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .
You know who I am. She’s going to burn. The one you love is going to burn. There’s not a thing you can do about it.
When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence–and preserve his sanity–as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.
Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .
I love the cover of this one, it’s just reminiscent of back in the old days and seems like it was going to be a good, old fashioned horror story. There are three parts to this novel and the first part was the horror I was looking for! Parts two and three didn’t really work for me. And Richard definitely was an unreliable narrator and we know that sometimes those work for me, sometimes they don’t. In the case of this novel, it just didn’t work for me for most of the book. Richard was just not relatable and unlikable, as he is a bully and it is seen from the beginning.
You do wonder what direction the story is going to go as you are reading. It did take me way too long to read this one: a whole month. My job is trying out us working 4 10-hour days, which means an extra day off during the week! Which I’m hoping will lead to more free reading time! I am hoping for that at least!
Overall, this book was not what I was expecting. I wanted a good scary horror story for the month of October, and most of the book was not that for me. This is also a foreign author and the book was translated, maybe the difference in the countries and story is what didn’t really work for me.
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to read and review. I just wish I could have enjoyed the novel more.