The House on Cold Hill – Peter James


Published on 8th October 2015 by Pan Macmillan


They said the dead can’t hurt you . . . They were wrong. The House on Cold Hill is a chilling and suspenseful ghost story from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Dead Simple, Peter James. Moving from the heart of the city of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for born townies, Ollie Harcourt, his wife, Caro, and their twelve-year-old daughter, Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated, Georgian mansion – they are filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, Ollie has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and with its acres of land, he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, a base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being removed from all her friends. But within days of moving in, it soon becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents in the house. At first it is only a friend of Jade, talking to her on Facetime, who sees a spectral woman standing behind her. Then there are more sightings of her, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. Two weeks after moving in, Caro, out in the garden, is startled to see faces staring out of an upstairs window of the house. The window of a room which holds the secret to the house’s dark history . . . a room which does not appear to exist . . .

My thoughts

The House on Cold Hill is a supernatural tale, by acclaimed author Peter James. It is a modern update of the classic haunted house story.

The Harcourt family move from Hove to the beautiful Sussex countryside. Ollie is establishing his website building business and Caro is a solicitor working in Brighton. They have bought Cold Hill House, a mansion in need of lots of tender loving care. It is their dream, escaping to the country. Caro, Ollie and their daughter, Jade soon find strange things happening to them, from ghostly figures to alarming messages. The locals seem to be hiding the history of the house. What is the secret of Cold Hill House? And are the family in danger?

This is not a story full of blood and gore. It is very much more subtle. It is about how the family cope in an increasingly nightmarish situation. Ollie is a likeable chap. It is rather amusing seeing his reaction to the unfolding chaos.

This is a quick spooky read, that is perfect for those dark wintery months. Funny at times, scary at others; Peter James gives the haunted house story his own unique brand.

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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