Two decades ago there was a fire at Elmbridge High, leaving dead and missing students.
So much was unknown at the time, though fascination and mystery surround the now abandoned, condemned former boarding school.
Then a diary is found among the rubble.
It is not that of Carly Johnson, a primary focus in the initial investigation – a student who vanished without a trace.
Instead it was written by Kaitlyn Johnson.
Who is she? How is she related to Carly? Did she truly exist?
This new information reopens the case – and an examination of the diary alongside gathered psychiatric reports, video footage, text message and emails creates a far more disturbing account than anyone expected…
The Dead House is CREEPY.
It’s been a while since I read a book that left me a bit unsettled each time I put it down to go to bed, go about my daily tasks, etc. But this one did it. Uh huh. CREEPY.
Let’s dive deeper into that, shall we?
Dawn Kurtagich uses the various means of storytelling very well. We have newspaper clippings, diary entries and more – as mentioned above – to piece together a story that has multiple layers.
I do not want to give anything away. But I will say that we start with a subdued, but effective, introduction to Carly and Kaitlyn. Knowing that there will be death and fire in their future creates an ongoing ominous vibe that never decreases.
Often the chapters would start with an indication of how many days are remaining until the “incident”.
It’s an English boarding school. We have some mentally unstable students – or ARE they? – and a set of circumstances very outside the usual.
You’re never quite sure what to believe – as our narrators may only be so reliable.
There is intrigue galore – not only with that is happening to Carly/Kaitlyn but also regarding her parents death, which she cannot remember.
It is very difficult to describe the many awesome, chilling things that happen without giving away too much – so I can just strongly encourage you to read The Dead House for yourself??
It is remarkable but in that way that lasts. It makes you uneasy, puts you on the edge of your seat and makes you wonder just what you believe.
I really, really, really liked The Dead House.