Thursday, April 9, 2015

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of EchoesA young New York City couple with a boy and a baby in tow, Ben and Caroline Tierney had it all…until Ben’s second novel missed the mark, Caroline lost her lucrative banking job, and something went wrong with 8-year-old Charlie. When Ben inherits land way upstate from his grandmother, the two of them began to believe in second chances. But upon arriving in Swannhaven, a town that seems to have been forgotten by time, they’re beset by strange sights and disconcerting developments…and they begin to realize they might have made their worst mistake yet. But what dark secret is buried in this odd place? And will Ben and Caroline figure it out soon enough to save their young family?

This book began with such promise, but it ended up feeling flat. The premise was the kind that I enjoy: a secluded house in a small village, full of mystery and touches of horror. The problem is that the plot is really not all that original. 

The characters were nothing out of the ordinary, and except for Charlie, they did not come to life the way the reader needs in order to feel connected to them. There is a lot of backstory that we are missing about their lives, so we really can’t engage with them too much. The villagers are cookie-cutter side characters who attempt to bring a sense of menace to the story but don’t always succeed, mainly because they are interchangeable. They leave the reader with lots of unanswered questions.

Although there are some moments that do chill the reader the conclusion is just not satisfying. The author does a pretty good job with the pacing towards the beginning, but fumbles it at the end, so that we are rushing to the conclusion much too quickly. 

This was an entertaining book up to the last couple of chapters when everything was revealed. There are some nice moments that will keep your reading, but overall it’s not one I would pick up again.

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