If you’re looking for a horrifying read with a very clever back-story, Doll House by Ashley Lister may be for you.
Following the death of his best friend, author Ben Haversham is crippled by a terminal case of writer’s block. The isolation of his agent’s remote cottage, nestled in an out-of-the-way village, seems like the ideal location for him to rekindle his creativity.
Except, Sandalwood village, with its curious museum the ‘Doll House’, is not as idyllic as it first appears. There is a history to Sandalwood. There are nefarious plots and dark secrets held by the sinister souls who reside in the Sandalwood.
And there are dark and dangerous characters determined to keep those secrets…
The constant tensions and thinking ‘what is going on here’ made for a delightful read.
This book went from 0-100 real quick. This isn’t a ‘sleep with your lights on’ read, but an ‘oh my god, what if’ read which will keep you turning pages until the very end. I really expected it to turn into a Chucky (Child’s Play) knock-off, but it didn’t, and I was glad.
I do think there was just a bit too much unnecessary violence for me – I feel like more focus should have been drawn on what was happening in Sandalwood, and I would have adored a few more chapters and for one character to be more sinister.
Lister’s writing is impeccable and whilst looking back, it may have seemed slightly predictable, the whole way through I could not see where it was going. There are quite a few horrifying scenes that you just don’t want to imagine, and just squirm at whilst reading.
The constant tensions and thinking ‘what is going on here’ made for a delightful read. A definite must read for fans of Stephen King.
The ending is very well done, and I loved just remembering parts and was like ‘oh yeeaaaah, that is clever’.
A very good concept for a book, I just wish it had a few more chapters to go into the deeper story. Also, big shout out to whoever designed this cover because I am terrified.
Bookmark That, 3.5/5 stars.
Doll House, Ashley Lister, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing