Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review: The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

Title: The Woman in the Dark
Author: Vanessa Savage
Published: March 2019, Grand Central Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Publishing

A debut psychological thriller about a woman who moves with her family to the gothic seaside house where her husband grew up--and where 15 years ago another family was brutally slaughtered.

Sarah and Patrick are happy. But after her mother's death, Sarah spirals into depression and overdoses on sleeping pills. While Sarah claims it was an accident, her teenage children aren't so sure. Patrick decides they all need a fresh start and he knows just the place, since the idyllic family home where he was raised has recently come up for sale. There's only one catch: for the past fifteen years, it has become infamous as the "Murder House", standing empty after a family was stabbed to death within its walls.

Patrick believes they can bring the house back to its former glory, so Sarah, uprooted from everything she knows, pours her energy into painting, gardening, and giving the rotting old structure the warmth of home. But with locals hinting that the house is haunted, the news that the murderer has been paroled, strange writing on the walls, and creepy "gifts" arriving on the doorstep at odd hours, Sarah can't shake the feeling that something just isn't right. Not with the house, not with the town, or even with her own, loving husband--whose stories about his perfect childhood suddenly aren't adding up. Can Sarah uncover the secrets of the Murder House before another family is destroyed?

My thoughts: It seems that I cannot get enough of the psychological thriller genre, but when a book is pitched to me that is all about a "Murder House" you can bet I am going to read it, especially considering I now live right across the creek from the Amityville Horror house...doesn't that just scream perfect creepy setting? And let me tell you...this book totally has just the right amount of horror vibes coming from a "Murder House" to keep you up at night!

"He sees the beautiful Victorian house he grew up, with its pitched roof and gabled ends -- a fairy-tale house before it became the county House of Horrors. He sees happy memories of a childhood lived by the see. He doesn't imagine blood on the walls or whispering ghosts. He doesn't see the Murder House, but I do."

Ok, that totally did it. That passage right there gave me ALL the Amityville Horror vibes and right from that moment on, I was in love with this book - and that was only at the end of chapter 1! But I was totally mesmerized and that feeling never once let up. This book totally sucks you in, and whether it's the horror vibes or the sense of foreboding you get that you know something is going to happen that shouldn't, I'm not sure, but I was all in!

This book is dark and mysterious. The characters are fantastically drawn and complex, yet you just can't help but wonder if they are trustworthy - and I absolutely love that! And there are some that are so deliciously devious that you just can't help but despise them, no matter what they do. I'm not going to name names, but just know that there are one or two that will grate on your nerves. The lies and manipulations that go on will keep you rooted to the story, wondering if you are ever going to get to the truth.

This book is also full of atmosphere. From the house itself to the location - the seaside with the fog, wind and rain, it's almost as if this is another character. This all combines to add to the already growing tension. The house gives the sense of claustrophobia at times - the peeling wallpaper and cold spots - and that just adds to the creepiness of the story. I'm telling you - you might think twice about reading this book at night and definitely might rethink reading this during a bad storm!

I am astonished that this is a debut novel and cannot wait to see what comes next for Vanessa Savage...she is certainly one to keep on eye out for! If you like psychological thrillers with a bit of horror thrown in, I highly recommend this won't be sorry!!!

***And stay tuned...I'll be posting a #Bookgiveaway for this book a little later today!!!



  1. Kristin,
    I'm a bit of a scared-y cat and don't read a lot of thrillers like you do, but this one does sound tempting. Excellent, enthusiastic review!

  2. The scariest book I have read is The Summer I Died by Ryan C. Thomas


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