The Unquiet House is a very different book to Alison Littlewood’s previous novel Path of Needles (see our review here). Instead of a supernatural-tinged police procedural, here in The Unquiet House we find ourselves deep within the milieu of the English ghost story.
Emma Dean inherits a big old house from a mysterious relative. Naturally Mire House is not just any old house. This one comes with a very old suit that keeps finding its way back into the closet whenever it gets thrown out and a set of muddy footprints that keep appearing in the hall. Before long her benefactor’s grandson, Charlie, turns up and becomes Emma’s anchor in reality as the weird stuff keeps on happening, but is Charlie really just a friendly relative or a symptom of something even more disturbing?
The Unquiet House is layered like an onion, to reach an understanding of the story each layer that takes you back into Mire House’s troubled history has to be unravelled and investigated. It’s a chilling ride, with some evocative trips back into the recent past that are palpably realistic. Along the way Littlewood spikes your journey with a bunch of red herrings that trap you into thinking that you have finally worked out what is happening in Emma’s world, only to then pull that particular rug out from under your feet and leave you foundering on the carpet.
This is an extremely well written and engaging spooky tale, I give it a 555 out of 666.
Review by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here.