Cover Image: The Suicide House

The Suicide House

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Member Reviews

I am sorry, this was just not for me. I loved the premise and I always enjoy mysteries that have a bit of a podcast aspect as a fan of podcasts myself - but this just did not work for me at all. I think the first issue is that I did not actually know the characters before, and I got the feeling that this is supposed to be a follow-up to an amateur detective's story, but I had no connection to them so their abrupt introduction into the story felt a bit random to me. Then the pacing threw me completely off and the dialogue just felt... so stilted. I got feedback from some other friends who read this and didn't enjoy it either, but I really enjoyed Charlie Donlea's The Girl Who Was Taken and later on Twenty Years Later, so clearly this was just a bump on the road and I'll be picking up more of his books for sure.
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The Suicide House brings back the team of Rory Moore and Lane Phillips. Rory is a forensic reconstructionist and Lane is a psychological profiler. They undertake an investigation into the gruesome murders of two students at a prestigious boarding school which leads to the subsequent suicides of four others. The school requires therapy for all their students, not just the ones with serious issues. Part of that therapy is journal writing, which figures into the plot. Short chapters keep the reader off balance. It started off slower than his other books and it took longer to draw me in. I was definitely up in the air as to who was behind the murders. This was a really good book!
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I've been a long time fan of Donlea's since his debut novel, Summit Lake. In fact, I still find myself recommending that one often to other readers. When I heard he would have a book set in a private school, I was immediately intrigued - there's just something about that setting that always draws me in! Unfortunately, this one wasn't quite the same hit for me that some of his prior books have been. Ultimately, I did still enjoy it though.

3.5 Stars
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This book was ok, but I never felt invested in the story. It was fine as I was reading, but I could have put it down, not picked it up again, and wouldn't have wondered how everything ended up playing out.
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If you liked "Some Choose Darkness" then you will like this one as well. I like books with boarding schools and podcasts. Great writing, good pacing, three-dimensional characters. Another solid novel from Charlie Donlea.
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I loved this! Such a solid psychological thriller that keeps you guessing and is very captivating. The academic setting  and journal entries just added to the dark, creepy atmosphere and added an excellent layer of mystery to the whole story.
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Though I haven’t read the first book in this series, I don’t feel like that took away from it. 

What I loved is the fact that one of the main characters is neurodivergent. It made me feel excited to see an author using someone’s idiosyncrasies for good.

Add to that a compelling thriller with multiple story lines that all weave together and you have an amazing book!
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I don't know what it is, but I LOVE a good thriller that incorporates a podcast that follows the killings happening in the story at hand (or in-hand haha). This was such a great read that had all the awesome features of a suspenseful thriller - slow start to help follow along, short chapters, different POV and keeping the reader guessing throughout the book! 

My first book by Donlea but definitely will not be my last!

A huge thank you to NetGalley, Charlie Donlea and Kensington Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
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Read but was not terribly memorable. I am clearing out the books published in 2020 from my "to review" shelf!
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RATING: 3.5
2020; Kensington Books

I liked The Suicide House a lot more than I liked Some Choose Darkness (the first in the series), but I just couldn't get into the actual storyline. The characters were better shaped now that we know the background story from book one. I am hoping with a more exciting mystery in the next book, I can get the thrilling feeling I did from his standalone novels.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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The Suicide House is a podcast focusing on murders taking place at Westment Prep School. Loved the addition of podcast excerpts and diary entries. There is a large cast of characters to keep straight which sometimes was confusing on the audio but I loved how things were revealed from different perspectives. There are multiple sub plots and the story goes back and forth in time between 2019 and 2020. 

While I enjoyed the secret society aspect and the prep school setting, I felt things got convoluted at times and had more red herrings than I'd have liked. Things felt bogged down at times and I couldn't help but think that less is more. Still, Donlea never disappoints and this was twisty, creepy and had a real sense of horror to it that I enjoyed.
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Though I think that Donlea has a good writing style, I just couldn't get into the story or connect with the characters. This is just not the book for me, though I can see how others may like it.
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The Suicide House was a disappointment after the amazing debut in this series; Some Choose Darkness. I’d like to say that I still HIGHLY recommend Some Choose Darkness but I’d have a hard time recommending Suicide House. 

The story itself was intriguing and thrilling but the writing ruined it. On a positive note, the mystery was so interesting that I gladly suffered through the horrible writing. Since I was given an unedited copy I truly hope that the issues had been fixed before publication. The specific issue I had with the writing was the repetition. I can’t even begin to guess how many times we are told “Rorys mind doesn’t work that way.” Yes, Rory is neurodivergent. Yes, it is why she is such an amazing character. NO, we don’t need to be reminded every time she has a though. 

Since I am writing this review sometime after having finished the book I’ll admit that I might have forgotten some plot points but I remember the ending very well because it is the second issue I have with this book. •SPOILER WARNING for both Some Choose Darkness and Suicide House• This book isn’t only repetitive in its writing it’s also repetitive in its endings. When Rory let’s *bad guy* in SCD die at the end of the novel it is raw, it is vengeful and it is badass. It’s a woman taking revenge for decades of injustice. It packed a punch.. When she kills *bad guy* in TSH it was because.....why not? Seriously, there was no real reason why the book HAD to end this way. Not only was it boring because it basically repeated the ending of the first book, it also cheapened the ending of the first book. It took a morally gray moment that could have been character defining in SCD and turned it into just another death. 

As great as the mystery was, what I remember most about this book was how annoyed I felt while reading it. It is hinted at the end of TSH that the series will continue but I can’t honestly say if I’ll be picking up the next book.
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What a great book!!! I need another sequel, another Rory Moore/Lane Phillips adventure! Pretty, pleeeeeaassseee!!!
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Thank you so much o net galley for sending me a copy of this book. I didn’t read the first book because it didn’t really sound interesting but this plot really intrigued me! It wasn’t the best book I read but it was entertaining!
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This book was what I wanted and more , it completely captivated me from the beginning.. I love when a book confuses me and plays with my mind where I don’t know where I’m going.I loved the premise , the boarding school setting , the podcast setting. A teacher is charged with a crime of brutally murdering two students. A year later other students who were present are commuting suicide one by one. Doesn’t that catch your attention?
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THE SUICIDE HOUSE by Charlie Donlea, is a creepy murder mystery set at a prestigious prep school. Though a teacher has been convicted of the two grisly murders, questions remain. The most alarming among them is why so many students who survived the horrific night have returned to the same location— to kill themselves. ⁣
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The premise is interesting and binge-worthy, but I’m struggling a bit with how many points of view there are. So far the character names have included Ryder, Rory, Mack, and Marc. I can’t keep them straight!⁣ I also found the pacing to be somewhat irregular. The first couple of chapters hooked me, but at about a thrid of the way in, not much more had happened. Instead, we went down a lot of side tangents in character's lives that felt unnecessary to the main plot.
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While this wasn't a hit for me, if you enjoy slightly gruesome murder mysteries with a bit of podcast solve-it-yourself aspect in there, you may like this one!
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Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary ecopy of The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea.  I did not realize when I requested it that it was a sequel to another book, Some Choose Darkness, which I had not read. I have a bit of a compulsion about reading series in order, so it took me a while to get to The Suicide House since I first had to read Some Choose Darkness. (For what it is worth, I now realize that they could absolutely each be read as standalones.)

I'll start by saying I really like the two lead characters of The Suicide House, Rory and Lane.  Rory is what could be called neuro-diverse character, likely on the autism spectrum.  She keeps her anxieties at bay and her brain less frantic by working out the puzzles of cold cases.  Lane is her lover/partner who has been by her side for over 10 years....a youthful middle-aged former FBI profiler who developed a computer program that has been used to identify common characteristics in murders to track down/identify serial killers.

The case they are working on in The Suicide House involves a gated boarding school where a massacre once occurred, and where since that time, students are taking their own lives at an alarming rate.  Add to the mystery that a podcaster who was doing a series on the murder/suicides at the school dies in an arson fire while recording the podcast, and you have a thriller that is both intriguing and timely.  

I have now read all of Charlie Donlea's books and I just really really like all of them.  The Suicide House was an excellent entry into his catalogue of novels.  I am so excited to read whatever he writes next.
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I loved this! When I read it I didn’t realize it was a sequel. That being said it read fine as a standalone but I did go back and read the first one. I love a good creepy, twisty, dark academia story. 

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I of course am late posting my reviews for all the books I have read. 

I loved this book so much, murder in a prep school!! I mean that shouts read me!! 

I love a good thriller and so far this one has really topped the cake for me.
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