The Dead House

Finished The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.”

This book is one of those where I wasn’t entirely sure of what was going on.  And that continued for basically the entire book.  Even now, I’m not convinced because everything in this story is unreliable.  (So if you like cut and dry stories avoid this one.)

No one knows why Katilyn appears at night (although the general theory is that she and her sister Carly are the same person, and Carly has what used to be called multiple personalities), and no one knows why another student disappeared (or whether she’s even still alive).  Other mysteries: are those two things connected? What’s the deal with the school and rituals? How many people know about Kaitlyn? And what is “the Johnson Incident” that keeps being referred to?

For a book that’s over 400 pages, the action moves incredibly fast and if you like books that keep you guessing, this is absolutely for you.


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