Book Review

THE SPITE HOUSE by Johnny Compton

Thank you to Tor Nightfire and Macmillan Audio for my gifted copy of THE SPITE HOUSE by Johnny Compton!

Rating: 4 / 5
Publication Date: 2/7/2023

THE SPITE HOUSE follows Eric Ross and his daughters, on the run for unknown reasons. They are living day to day trying to make ends meet and stay off the radar. When he comes across a listing for an unusual but lucrative job, he can’t turn it down. The Masson House in Texas is an odd looking structure and the family that owns it wants someone to come in and document the supposed haunting on the site. For dealing with the paranormal activity, he will be handsomely rewarded and given enough to set himself and his daughters up in safety.

This is a debut horror novel and I didn’t know a lot about it going in, but it instantly hooked me and had me with so many questions as to what is going on. This is the type of story where the author (and the characters) clearly have a lot of secrets living under the surface that will slowly be revealed as the story goes. This is a book you really want to go into without a lot of foreknowledge.

We are getting a lot of character back stories in the setup to what is really going on with Eric and with the house. I did feel like the pacing at times did get a little too slow for me. This book switches back and forth between a lot of different POVs and storylines in the past and that at times was a bit much to keep track of. This is billed as southern gothic and I definitely think it has that feel with the slow build to the creepy developments in the story. It isn’t something that will take off with high action, especially in the beginning, so you do need to give it time to build.

In the end, this story really did keep me hooked and wanting to know what was going on. If you are a reader who wants every question to be answered in the end, this might not be the best fit. For myself, I am okay with open endings and I think I mostly got enough answers. There were a few things that I do sort of wish we got a bit more of an answer to.

This was a fantastic debut and I will definitely look for more from this author in the future! THE SPITE HOUSE is out on Tuesday!


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