By: Sheryl Browne
Narrator: Tamsin Kennard
Hachette UK - Bookouture
Publication Date: 06/05/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
A new home. A loving wife.
A secret that could kill…
With its peeling wallpaper and overgrown garden I know our new home isn’t perfect. But my husband Ben promises it’s the fresh start we need. I remind myself that he’s an amazing father to our two children, and that we have years of happy marriage behind us. He’s been distant for months but I’m desperate to believe the move will bring us back together.
When I meet our next-door neighbour Sara, I’m immediately relieved. She’s so welcoming and full of local gossip. But the moment she meets Ben I’m sure an angry frown flickers across her smiling face. Later he says I’m imagining things…
Why is my husband lying?
Then one night as I tuck our children into bed, the silence is broken by a knock on the front door. A stranger is standing on our doorstep. I turn to look at Ben’s face as he stares at her with unconcealed fury. Has he met this woman before? Nothing could prepare me for what she says: I know who you are. Get out of my house.
If you enjoyed reading The Housemaid, The Perfect Marriage and The Wife, you will love My Husband’s House. Gripping and totally addictive, you’ll be hooked from the first page.
Sheryl Browne returns following Her First Child with her latest intense psychological thriller, MY HUSBAND'S HOUSE —a gripping, unsettling, dark, multi-layered, complex, multi-generational twisty domestic suspense—a wife/mother discovers her husband's dark secrets while caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit as the past connects with the present in this explosive house of horrors.
First, this book is MUCH MORE than the cover (even though vibrant), the description, or the book recommendations depicted. In my opinion— these do not do the book justice or line up with what it is truly about—it needs a creepy haunted house cover.
TITLE: This title gives away the book.
However, I would love to see the title:
13 Trowan Crescent (the address where the terror takes place)
GENRES: MY HUSBAND'S HOUSE crosses between domestic suspense, horror, family drama, mystery, thriller, and profoundly psychological fiction.
An intense exploration of Nature vs. Nurture.
The scientific, cultural, and philosophical debate about whether human culture, behavior, and personality are caused primarily by nature or nurture.
We see three generations depicted in the novel passed down with mental problems and violence. Why do the parents protect, ignore, and hide the problems?
BOOK RECS: A cross between Ashley Audrain's The Push and her new upcoming The Whispers meets Jennifer McMahon/Ruth Ware's horror and creepiness, Alice Feeney's dysfunctional family dramas, and Jennifer Hillier/Lisa Unger's well-written, twisty psychological thrillers.
EERIE/CREEPINESS: From the Friday 13th date the horror began 20 yrs ago, the address—13 Trowan Crescent, the black cat, a dark and gloomy haunted house sitting abandoned for 20 yrs, the creepy rocking chair, the old earless raggedy teddy bear, the peeling wallpaper, the mysterious shed with history, the reservoir, the hidden things inside the walls, the homeless woman, the drowning of a doll, secrets hidden under floorboards, creepy letters, the many characters who are not who they pretend to be with false names, and the crazy nosy neighbors.
TWO TIMELINES: 20 yrs ago and the present
TOLD FROM MULTIPLE POVs:
Naomi - Wife of Ben. Six mos. pregnant. Mother of two children, Liam (9) Maya (5).
Ben - Husband of Naomi (may not be his real name)
Joan - Older Neighbor
Sara - Next-door neighbor. Single beautiful. (currently, Paul lives with her) Mother of James and Ellie, ages similar to Naomi's children
Lily - Homeless woman
The book opens with a tragedy 20 years earlier at 13 Trowan Crescent address. A nine-year-old girl, Holly, goes missing. A father commits suicide.
Present: Ben, Naomi, and the children move into the house at 13 Trowan Crescent. Naomi knows nothing of the dark and violent past or its history. It needs a lot of work since it has been sitting empty and abandoned for over 20 yrs. But they are too busy with all the drama to do any actual remodeling. A house that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.
Ben supposedly got a transfer with the hospital. Naomi quit her job when they moved to help the kids settle into a new school and prepare for their baby boy's arrival.
She is happy to meet Sara next door with two children and Joan, another pleasant older neighbor.
However, everything is tense when Sara, Joan, and Paul meet Ben. Naomi thinks this is strange, and Ben blows it off as her pregnancy hormones.
Soon very strange, unnerving, creepy things begin happening with warnings from neighbors, threatening type letters, putting doubt in Naomi's mind, and Sara, who is always stunning and she is single.
Then one day, a homeless woman shows up at their door, stating that this is her house and she appears to know Ben, calling him by another name. Then their son Liam acts up in school. His behavior is evil and chilling. Another major tragedy, one after another. Creepy, unsettling, dark, disturbing things begin happening.
Does Naomi even know the person she is married to? He seems to be a stranger. It appears everyone else is in the know but her. Trust no one. No one or nothing is as it appears. The ongoing mystery of what happened to Holly?
When the past connects with the present, it is EXPLOSIVE! Browne keeps you guessing with one twist after another! It is nerve-wracking and terrifying! You may want to keep a scorecard for all the characters (and their true/false names).
Keep one eye closed, a look at the primal fears that lurk within us. You cannot outrun the past. Oh, and that deliciously twisted, wicked ending!
The author cleverly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. A wickedly entertaining ride that takes a deep dive into the meaning of family and the price we'll pay for those we love.
The author's writing is impressive, with multi-layering, complex twists and turns. And those DARK SECRETS! I hope that this book will reach the right audience to appreciate it. A read in one sitting and an ideal book club pick for further discussions.
MY HUSBAND'S HOUSE is an intense, unsettling dark riveting thriller! Immersive, disturbing, spine-chilling, evil, and thought-provoking! A must-read for psychological thriller fans.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pub Date: June 5, 2023
About the Author
I’m a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, and the Romantic Novelists’ Association and I have several books published, along with two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where I completed my MA in Creative Writing, finally. It took me a while. Please see Erica Jong's quote. Undertaking my MA was something I’d put off due to life commitments, as we sometimes have to. When I managed to make the time, I had to summon up a huge amount of courage to walk through those university doors. What if I failed? Where was my confidence? Well, the road to publication being paved with rejection letters, as it sometimes is, my confidence wasn’t much in evidence.
The MA course didn’t offer any magical solutions to my writing dilemmas but it did expand my knowledge and confirm my belief that, no matter how bumpy the road, I needed to continue to write. To quote the title of one of the university anthologies, “I am a writer, therefore I am”. I wouldn’t know how to be any other way. I’ve also recently completed a forensics course which I undertook as necessary fuel for my thriller writing. I’m relieved to say I passed that with flying colours and found it totally inspiring, which brings me to a question I’m often asked: What gives you inspiration for your books?
The short answer is people and the whole gamut of emotion that comes with them. I’ve always been fascinated by what shapes people and whatever genre I write in I like to strip away the layers and, hopefully, share with readers a little of what lies beneath the surface. A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every place, every face tells a story. I see people as not all good or all bad, more opposite sides of the same spectrum with some crossover in between. I can’t resist exploring what might push someone over the line. I hope you will continue to join me on my journey. WEBSITE