The Dead House: A Novel by Billy O’Callaghan

May 3rd, 2018 Kimberly Review 52 Comments

3rd May
The Dead House: A Novel by Billy O’Callaghan
The Dead House
by Billy O'Callaghan
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O'Callaghan's hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot

freaky Standalone thriller well written

I was looking for a twisty tale and stumbled upon The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan. From its atmospheric cover to the mention of an Ouija Board I was all in. Grab a cup of cocoa and turn up the lights as this supernatural tale will send shivers down your spine.

First I must confess, Ouija Boards scare the shite out of me. You don’t mess with the supernatural and oh lordy did O’Callaghan share an atmospheric tale that sent a shiver down my spine without delivering gore as we skated on the edge of the supernatural realm.

The story is told from the pov of Michael Simmons as he relates events that occurred nine years previously. Michael is an art dealer, who is now married and has a little girl. He shares a time that still haunts him and his wife. It all revolves around one of his clients, Maggie and the small cottage she purchased on the rugged west coast of Ireland.

O’Callaghan’s prose and beautiful imagery pulled me in as much as Michael’s sharing of events that occurred. While I cannot say I was particularly fond of any of the characters, it is the events, landscape and supernatural elements that held me captive into the wee hours. The author builds suspense by sharing the history of this quiet little seaside area Maggie has settled in. Through the character’s unease, witness accounts and hints of something in the corner of your eye this tale will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

The Dead House is a relatively short tale at just around two hundred and twenty-five pages and the ending is classic thriller 101. I certainly look forward to reading more from this author.

I have been vague on the details, as I feel details are best left for the reader to discover. The Dead House was an atmospheric debut, delivering a gripping psychological thriller that will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.

The Dead House was an atmospheric debut, delivering a gripping psychological thriller that will stay with you. #supernatural #debut #thriller Click To Tweet

About Billy O’Callaghan

Billy O'Callaghan

Billy O’Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three short story collections: ‘In Exile’ and ‘In Too Deep’ (2008 and 2009 respectively, both published by Mercier Press), and ‘The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind’ (2013, published by New Island Books), which was honoured with a Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award and which has been selected as Cork’s ‘One City, One Book’ for 2017. His first novel, ‘The Dead House’, was published by Brandon Books, an imprint of O’Brien Press, in May 2017, and is due for publication in the U.S. by Arcade, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, in April 2018.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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52 Responses to “The Dead House: A Novel by Billy O’Callaghan”

  1. verushka

    I’ve been eyeing this one and been curious about it, and this review just increased my curiosity!

  2. Lorna

    It is? I’ll have to check thanks for let me know.

  3. Lorna

    I read this blurb once before-maybe Netgalley?- and passed as soon as I saw Ouiji board. I had an experience once that scared me and I’ve never forgot it. No, I don’t think it really was a ghost, but who knows? Glad it was a twisty scary tale for you though!

    • Kimberly

      Now see I will never touch one again, but love reading about it. I love getting the shite scared out of me! Pst your URL in profile sign up is wrong.

    • Kimberly

      Hehe. Yeah, they freak me out but the minute I saw that I had to read it. I hope you grab this one Carole.

  4. blodeuedd

    I must confess to being a bit scared of the not being fond f everyone, I always want someone to like

  5. Daniela Ark

    oh atmospheric, suspenseful, good imagery AND and about a Ouija board AND that sends chills down my spine?
    I SAY YES!

  6. Heidi

    Oh this sounds creepy, totally agree about the Ouija Board. I have to know more.

  7. Melliane

    I would have been curious too about the mention of the Ouija Boards. Haven’t read a book with one so well, many things possible!

  8. Debbie Haupt

    A very cool sounding debut Kim and I think you said enough, well enough to make me want it! 🙂 Love the cover!

  9. Tyler H Jolley

    Dude, Kimba, I’ve been in a reading slump for a minute because I refused to DNF a book by my favorite author. Deep down I know I need to throw in the towel. This novel really sounds interesting. I think I’m going to give it a try and hopefully it will pull me out of this lull.

    • Kimberly

      Ooo I feel your pain when it comes to favorite authors I have trouble accepting its not for me and walking away.

  10. Ailyn Koay

    is it a real ghost? ouija boards were my high school go to creep… but since I am raised in that kind of setting it does not spook me out as much as reading a well written ghost story. Honest~

  11. Jenea’s Book Obsession

    I just sat and wrote my review for this one last night. 🙂 I am sooo with you on the Ouija boards, I’ve never used one and certainly don’t plan to either. Lol.. This was super creepy and I am glad to see you enjoyed it too.