Cover Image: The Suicide House

The Suicide House

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Wow - psychological thriller - yes please. This is one that had me up late flipping page after page to the end.....

I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for fair and honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Suicide House is a dark, slow-burning thriller. I didn’t know this would have characters from another book, but that didn’t deter me from reading. I found this story to be quite interesting and thought the twist was good as well. Donlea is a great writer and I loved how everything flowed.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

4 stars
A slow burn thriller that takes place at a prep school....count me in!! I really enjoy Charlie Donleas writing and this book was great. I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

This book is not what I was expecting. First it is a stand alone in terms of plot but it was not in terms of characters, the main ones are a continuation from another book. Had I known that I would not have requested it. The book is adequately written, but I got half way through and the author is still setting up the plot. I thought it would have more of a dark academia vibe but it is not. Hence it is simply not holding my attention.

Was this review helpful?

Well written and absorbing, another good book by this author. Kept me on the edge the whole way thru! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

Set on the grounds of an elite prep school, this story weaves in a true-crime podcast, a cold case solving duo, and a journalist desperate to be the one to tell the story. I thought it excellent, and I didn't see the ending twist coming. I hope to see other books featuring Rory Moore and Lane Phillips.

Was this review helpful?

Not my normal genre, but I loved the plot and the way the book was written! Despite not being a fan of these types of books, I enjoyed the way Donlea set up the characters and plot. Definitely would recommend for anyone!

Was this review helpful?

Who the heck is Charlie Donlea? Why have I not heard about this incredibly talented author? I have been cheated. I feel like a Putz. What book reviewer worth her salt has missed this author?

Ok. Sorry about that. I was having a moment.  ..

For some reason I had not heard of, nor read, any of Charlie Donlea's books before discovering THE SUICIDE HOUSE on #NetGalley.

THE SUICIDE HOUSE was released this past July and it is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.

Want an edge of your seat thriller that is IMPOSSIBLE to put down? The Suicide House is exactly that.

Fast paced and ever changing, this book will have you thinking you know the answer, but I guarantee you'll be wrong. The lead characters are as unique as the crime itself. Flawed and full of anxiety, Rory Moore struggles with mental illness which is both a blessing and a curse. It is her OCD attention to detail that makes her such a phenomenal Forensic Reconstructionist. She sees things others miss.

In the summer of 2019, two teenagers being initiated into the secret society that is rumored to exist at their elite High School boarding school, wind up dead. One of those teens ends up impaled on a wrought iron fence, the other lying in a pool of his own blood not too far away from the other body.

A once respected teacher is charged with the grisly murders in an open and shut case.

The boarding school wants nothing more than to put the unpleasant incident behind them and to move forward in their role of churning out model citizens. However, a popular television host has brought renewed interest in the murders by hosting a podcast that has quickly garnered a massive audience.

Brought in by the podcast's network, Psychology and Serial Killer expert Lane Phillips and his partner Rory Moore, a Forensic Reconstructionist and cold case solving phenom are brought in to hopefully look at the crime with fresh eyes.

Will they find anything new? And if they do, what exactly can be done about it?

Readers will be drawn in right from the first page. I finished the book in a single weekend and read long into the night.

The pacing of this book is sheer perfection. I still can't believe I hadn't heard of this Author. I can't wait to get my hands on his other titles.

I love to be surprised by a plot. Too often I can predict exactly what is going to happen, but that was NOT the case for THE SUICIDE HOUSE.

The characters are so well described that I felt like they were real people. They will be remembered long after you finish reading this book. I am excited to read more books starring the character of Rory Moore.

In addition to the book being absolutely fantastic, there is a multiple episode podcast that has been created as an extra bonus for readers. This podcast is a must listen.

There is no rating less than 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ that would be fair to assign to THE SUICIDE HOUSE. In fact, if it was possible to give a higher rating, I would do so.

I am now a bonafide Charlie Donlea fan and will be reading anything of his that I can get my hands on.

Was this review helpful?

A special thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley.

I gave this book a 4 rating because it was unusual. I'd rather not review it other than to say I liked it. It was good, hit a little too close to home for me.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the fast paced timeline of this story. The dual timelines running parallel for the alternate years really enhanced the storyline and kept the suspense going. I ended up having a theory built by about a third of the story. I knew I had it figured out. Then little details popped up and I changed my mind. Then more details popped up. I was about 90% through before I figured it all out.

I did find the names of the characters confusing because they were so similar such as Rory/Ryder, Marc/Mack. It was a little bit distracting when I was first trying to figure out who was who because their jobs and focus were all very similar as well. I found the killer’s past to be creepier than the actual focus of the school killings. For me, the gruesomeness was portrayed as more exaggerated than it really was. Albeit unite suspenseful, it fell flat in the creep and gore for me. I wish it would have shown more about the killer as well. If there was more in their past than just what you read.

Was this review helpful?

After a rash of suicides at Westmont Prepratory School following two gruesome murders, Rory Moore and forensic psychologist partner Lane work to discover what is really going on. This is an interesting thrill ride that kept me guessing until the end!

Was this review helpful?

Not a huge fan of pod casts in general, true crime especially. So I was really surprised that the combination was so engrossing. But because I have to read all the things, I had to read this and was glad I did. Although I will be recommending this to all my true crime readers, this was not quite enough to convert me, however.

Was this review helpful?

True crime podcasts are what gets me through stressful periods, as do thriller novels. So a novel that also takes on board true crime podcasts is like a match made in heaven! Alongside that we have elite boarding schools, cold cases, a reconstructionist and midnight games. Surely there could be nothing better. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

True Crime podcasts have exploded over the past few years. For me, the number one has always been My Favourite Murder. I'm slowly but surely branching out a bit as Georgia and Karen expand their network, but as with everything, a podcast has to hit the spot. Using the set-up of a podcast as a way of engaging with a crime is something I've seen pop up more frequently recently in thriller novels. A recent example, that didn't execute it quite as smoothly as The Suicide House, is Do Her No Harm by Naomi Joy. It allows for questioning, second guessing, production values and outside speculation in a way other approaches don't always do. as a producer or podcaster will think about a crime very differently than a cop, innocent bystander or suspect.

It is a little bit difficult to narrow down what exactly The Suicide House is about. At its heart it is a story about murders committed at an elite boarding school for which it seems that the wrong person was arrested. As this is part of a series, the book also functions as the second outing of Rory Lane, a reconstructionist, and her partner Lane Phillips, a psychologist. He is brought in to analyse the potential perp of the crime and convinces Rory to join him, as her skills allow for unparalleled insights. On top of that, we have a connection to a different old case, we have the flashbacks to the nights of the murders, we also have the story of two surviving students, the story of a rejected student now grown up, and journal entries and memories of our unknown perp. It's a lot. All of it is fascinating, but it is also hard to keep it all in mind continuously. Although I greatly enjoyed the mystery at the heart of The Suicide House, I agree with other reviewers that there is a serious risk of confusion while reading due to the many storylines and characters involved. It can be hard, especially at the beginning of the story, to keep track of everything, which will be a turn off for some readers. A big part of this is that the book jumps around to different time periods and it's not always clear, on purpose, who is narrating. Although this adds to the mystery of it all, it can also be frustrating if you're the kind of reader who likes to puzzle everything out themselves.

Although this is my first book by Charlie Donlea, I understood pretty quickly what the fuss is all about. The Suicide House is very ambitious plot-wise but is written very confidently. The Suicide House feels like it progresses calmly, but really there is a lot happening almost all the time. It is a credit to Donlea that as a reader you're able to stay relatively on top of everything despite all the various timelines, storylines and characters. One of my favourite things as well was how well-done the setting was, especially the creepy and chilly atmosphere of a foreboding school with a closed off forest, complete with crumbling cottage. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep readers on their toes as well, and quite a few of them land very successfully. The character of Rory is a clear standout. From her mannerisms you can tell she is somewhere on the autism spectrum, but she has found herself in a position where she is able to use her skills to help others, while finding coping mechanisms and a partner that help her alleviate some of the stress and burden of the horror. It is a very encouraging portrayal and I wish she had been more immediately involved with the plot.

I found myself sucked into The Suicide House almost immediately due to its atmosphere. Although occasionally it feels like there is a little too much going on, Donlea confidently guides the reader to a satisfying and dramatic finale. I'd recommend this to any thriller fan, but especially to those who, like me, have a liking for a True Crime Podcast.

The Suicide House is the second installment of Donlea's Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series, but it doesn't require having read the first book. Both Rory and Lane are reintroduced in a way that doesn't feel like information dumping but rather is worked elegantly into the story itself. I especially liked Rory's character, so I am keeping an eye out for the series' first book, Some Choose Darkness.

Was this review helpful?

This is the second book in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series. (The first book [Some Choose Darkness] is excellent, but you don’t need to read it first in order to enjoy The Suicide House. Rory Moore is an interesting character, definitely read Some Choose Darkness for more of her background.) The Suicide House pulls in several great elements – an unsolved double murder (plus mysterious suicides) at an elite prep school setting, a lone true crime podcaster determined to uncover the truth, and cold case investigator Rory Moore pulled in by personal circumstances to begin her own cold case investigation. This book is full of secrets along with plenty of twists and turns, and it kept me reading long into the night. Really enjoyed everything about this mystery, and am looking forward to Rory’s next case.

Was this review helpful?

Wow, that was a wild ride. If I could say one thing about The Suicide House it's that it definitely keeps you on your toes wanting to find out more.

There are a lot of facts and POV'S to keep track of in this book. I almost had to start writing everything down just so I could remember it all.

Sometimes it felt like this book got bogged down by just how much information was being unloaded on to the reader. However, it does help keep the dark vibe going through the whole novel.

I would classify this book as more of a crime mystery versus a thriller. You spend more time trying to solve what happened in the house versus being shocked or thrilled.

Rory and Lane were very interesting characters and how the tackles crimes together in their own ways is fascinating. I actually wished we got to spend more time with them than we did with some of the other POV's we got.

In the end I give this book a rating of 3.5 stars. With the recommendation that you check out this author for yourself. I really enjoyed the writing and tone of this novel and look forward to reading more from him.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Special thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for this book: I received an e-ARC and a physical ARC shortly after. Which was perfect because I alternated between the two. So for this plot, they are investigating 2 murders at a boarding school which leads to 4 subsequent suicides. The book goes back and forth between current day and 1 year earlier. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. My first read of Donlea’s, but definitely not my last!

Was this review helpful?

My first book by this author, I was quite excited by the title and the premise of the book. I was eager to know what a journalist, a profiler and a forensic reconstructionist would bring to the podcast which discussed the Suicide House.

I found it a bit difficult to follow as there were many POVs of varied characters. The suspense which was built up by the going ons in the prep house got slightly diluted.

The main characters were great, they kept me bound to the story. Overall, an interesting read.

Was this review helpful?

Oh how I love books with a podcast element, especially when they are surrounding an elite boarding school with so many secrets! Rory and Lane were great character perspectives to read from. However, at the beginning I was a little bogged down by too much happening at once. That being said, the pieces came together and weaved a great story.

Was this review helpful?

Wow this was my first book by this author and I'll. Definitely pick up more. I love in the extras how they mention a bit about how each book connects to eachother, that was an added bonus i enjoyed.
This one had me guessing if who was behind everything at the boarding school and how each death was connected, i found myself quickly devouring this book.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! Donlea did a wonderful job describing the characters in depth and it was a super fast paced mystery/thriller with a bit of gore mixed in.

Kids are dying at Westmont Prep and it appears to be linked to a "secret society." Lane and Rory are tasked to get to the bottom of it. I loved this dynamic duo. I never saw the ending coming.

I cannot wait to read the authors backlist. That is how much I loved this book!!

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC of The Suicide House by Charles Donlea.

Was this review helpful?