The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Firstly, to go into a synopsis of this book would do it some injustice, I feel. As it should be read blind, without any prior knowledge to the story line. So following that vein, my review will give opinions without any hints towards the narrative.
The Dead House is described as part-psychological thriller and part-urban legend and unfortunately, I'd agree. It's unfortunate for two reasons. 1) I dislike urban legend stories in general, but this is a completely personal opinion and know that not everyone would agree. It's just not my thing. 2) The two 'parts' felt very split - as in, the first half of the book was a gripping psychological thriller that I LOVED, then around half way it became a different book entirely. The two didn't gel well together, in my opinion and the genres could have been more seamlessly integrated.
As the book changed from focusing on the mental health profile/psychological thriller part of the book, to the ritualistic black magic urban legend aspect, I became more and more bored of the story line, but this wasn't down to the writing or the characters, both of which I loved. I feel as though most people would have really enjoyed the second half of the book, it just wasn't to my liking, so I haven't let it impact my overall score of the book. Kurtagich has a gripping writing style that creates both incredible imagery whilst maintaining a unique style - in this case using several fragments such as psychiatric reports, diary entries and transcripts of video footage - to tell her story. I really liked this aspect of the book as it was unique and worked well at keeping the mystery in the novel until the very end.
I would recommend reading this book, mainly because it is so different to anything I have ever read before. But regardless of that, I think it is the kind of book everyone would get something out of.