Peter James is a bestselling author. He’s best known as a crime fiction writer and the Roy Grace series where he has seen plenty of international fame. He has won numerous literary awards, his books have been translated into thirty-six languages, and three have been turned into films.
With his new book, THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL, James stepped away from the police procedural, and walked into the world of the paranormal. THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL is a true ghost story with an old crumbling house.
The story is about Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their daughter, Jade. They are moving out into the countryside and take on a big project: to renovate a huge, dilapidated, Georgian mansion. At the beginning, they are excited, but then the financial strain starts to take its toll. Within days of moving in, they begin to realize that they are not alone. Soon, there are sightings, and this house that they had loved, begins to turn on them. As the story progress, the Harcourt’s learn of the dark history and the horrible truth about the house. And as the book cover states, ‘evil isn’t born, it’s built…’
It’s difficult to pull off a great haunted house story. There are many that simply fail from lack of suspense, the been-there-read-that-many-times-before-there’s-nothing-new problem, or there isn’t enough going on to sustain a novel length story. THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL is carefully crafted by James and his storytelling ability really shines through with this story. He pulls it off.
To be honest, I’ve never read any of James books before – I’m not a crime fiction type of reader, but the ghost story, I love ghost stories. Not to sound cliche, but this one is a page-turner. It’s a wonderful book with such realistic characters. The first chapter alone completely took me off guard so much that the remainder of the book I never knew what would come next. As the story progressed, the atmosphere becomes darker and darker and creepier and creepier. Each of the short chapters had suspense and kept the story interesting.
When it comes to the ghost story, I don’t expect, or even care to read about the blood and guts with horrific scene after horrific scene. This book is not about the blood and guts which I loved. It’s all about the atmosphere. It’s a modern ghost story that uses modern means to tell it; there are scenes involving computers and mobile phones that makes the nightmare that this family is going through all the more believable, and all the more creepy. And with a ghost story, it’s all about the creepiness and the atmosphere. James did a top notch job on both.
I was given a copy of THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL by Peter James in exchange for an honest review. It ranks right up there. It’s an excellent, page-turner that grabs you right from the beginning, then crawls under your skin and haunts you. I loved it. If you, or someone you know, loves ghost stories and haunted houses, you’ll absolutely enjoy this book. It sure makes me want to look into James’ other books!