Award winning Norwegian author, Jo Nesbø’s newest book is not his usual forte. Prolific in crime novels, The Night House marks Nesbø’s foray into horror and it does not disappoint. The book starts off following 14 year old Richard Elauved, who is currently living with his aunt and uncle in the remote, small town of Ballantyne. Richard’s classmate, Tom, goes missing, and Richard was the last person with him. Richard insists that his friend was eaten by the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods where they were hanging out. Of course, no one in their right mind believes him. So, he teams up with the one person who does, his other classmate Karen, to prove his innocence. That’s when another of his classmates disappears in an equally horrific manor. Who was the last person with him? You guessed it, Richard.
I really enjoyed this novel. The Night House reads very fast because of its quick pace. There is no unnecessary detail to slow the story down, which I believe is really helpful for a horror novel to keep the reader on the edge and not get bored. It’s a relatively short book, but it contains a whole lot, with not only one, but two major twist within its three parts.
The Night House feels very much like a classic horror novel. Of course there is gore, which typically, I usually steer towards thrillers over horror for this reason, but it does not feel over the top here. It took me back to my childhood reading and watching R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. So if you’ve enjoyed those before, you will definitely like this book.
Also, I would highly suggest The Night House for those who want a good horror read like that of Stephen King but who don’t want to read through 400+ pages to get there
Finally, if you want another story with a creepy atmosphere, unreliable narrator, and small towns, check out The Broken Girls by Simone St. James.
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