What types of books do you read on sultry summer days and nights? I’ll admit that sometimes I enjoy a fluffy romantic fantasy. But creepy books beckon me, especially those with a dark sense of humor…
So how could I resist a book with praise like this from Michele Gagnon, author of Don’t Turn Around:
“House of Furies digs its claws into you and won’t let go; a mesmerizing, haunting, gorgeously written journey into the heart of darkness.”
Sounds creep-tastic, doesn’t it?!?
You have to love a main character (Louisa Ditton) who believes palm reading is the best way to earn a few pennies. But when Louisa’s latest reading hits too close to the mark, she is chased out of town by an angry mob. No wonder she jumps at the surprising offer to become a maid at Coldthistle House, a remote boarding house. Louisa soon discovers that a powerful book lures evil lodgers to Coldthistle House, where they are executed for their heinous crimes. It turns out that Louisa’s job is more than dusting furniture: she is also expected to scrub bloodstains, lest the remaining lodgers become suspicious before their own well-deserved deaths.
Following beautifully presented quotes from R. Buckminster Fuller and “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” by Christopher Marlowe, the book opens to a prologue dated North of England 1810. We are immediately introduced to our engaging main character like so:
My name is Louisa Rose Ditton. I work and live at Coldthistle House, a house for boarders and wanderers. A house owned by the Devil.
Two paragraphs down, Louisa adds,
It is not so hard a life for one like me. An outcast, a foreigner, and, some would venture, a Changeling. We are all of us odd and cursed at Coldthistle House, and growing more cursed and odd by the day.
Any one of those revelations would be intriguing. Put them all together, and my oh my, I’m hooked. You can tell Madeleine Roux put great thought and care into each and every word on the page, as each new revelation is more shocking than the last. These details are not learned by Louisa until three months or more after her employment starts, and the story backs up to the beginning in Chapter One. Would I have enjoyed the story without the prologue? Yes. But does the prologue make it even more intriguing? Absolutely.
With three mentions of the Devil by the end of the prologue’s first paragraph, one might correctly assume the main theme of House of Furies is God vs the Devil or Good vs Evil. But rather than presenting a clear cut dichotomy, it depicts the lines as blurred. There are good and not-so-good characters on both sides of the biblical fence. While workers at Coldthistle House would be considered monsters by many, they exhibit more humanity than most of the angels and humans.
If you enjoy beautifully written prose, surprising plot twists, unique characters with fantastical traits, and a spunky heroine with a conscience, House of Furies is for you. I give this an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 rating with one caveat: due to a significant amount of blood and gore, I don’t recommend reading this before a big meal!
I’m thrilled to tell you House of Furies is Book One of a gothic horror series where “the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.” Book Two, Court of Shadows, is already out and equally compelling.
For more about author Madeleine Roux, click here:
What do YOU like to read in the summertime? Share if you dare!!