Cover Image: The Silent House

The Silent House

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of “The Tinderbox” in exchange for my honest review.

This book was difficult to put down. It is told through the voices of Sophy and her older daughter Isobel. Another portion of the book is Jack Hyland’s memoir. Sophy Kingston and her daughters Isobel (14) and Julie (10) move to Hyland Hall in Clonmoore about 1 hour from Cork, Ireland. The girls are not happy about having to move from Dublin after their parents marriage fell apart because of their dad’s gambling.

Sophy is a nurse and she is charged with taking care of Jack Hyland who was seriously burned when trapped in his stables. He’s reluctant to meet with his nephew Victor Coyne who lives next door. He spends a fair bit of the book trying to charm Sophy and win over her daughters. 

The underlying theme of the book can be what happens when plain old greed takes over common sense and the destruction it leaves in its wake.
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The Tinderbox by Laura Elliott 
The Tinderbox is a fantastic psychological thriller, and I really enjoyed it. 
You are straight into the storyline when a young girl makes a call to the emergency services,  then we go back in time a bit to learn the story of Sophy and her two daughters Julie and Isobel, who are starting a new life after divorce.  Sophy is a nurse and Jack needs care following an accident so Sophy moves her family into Jack's home.
 I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and felt they were well written,  and I really got to know them well. I loved the rural Irish setting of this book,  and felt the author did a brilliant job building this storyline, and I enjoyed this book more and more with each page. 
This was my first book by this author,  and I very much want to read more of her books.
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A dark creepy read. The first half of this book seems to set the scene for the second half. There are a few tense moments and a few surprises. It is a good read but I was not caught up in the story the way I like to be. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Wonderful! This author never disappoints. Compelling, heart warming, thought provoking with several twists. A beautifully written, poignant, pacy story of loss, betrayal, heartache, family and above all love. Very highly recommend this brilliant book from this incredible author who raises the (very high) bar with each book. Just fabulous. Please read this one.
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A great plot with well written characters and suspense that held my attention to the end. I could feel the wide range of emotions as I was reading. I highly recommend The Tinderbox to others interested in this category as it’s well worth the read.
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This fine novel has the tropes of strangeness: the dilapidated old manor house; the shop mannequin with a high-pitched voice; the remote marshy lake; the friend who drives a hearse; the reclusive old man who has returned from the dead not once, but three times. It is a novel which thrives on its strangeness.
Hyland Hall is a place of fear and dread. The writing is compelling, tense and brilliant. As secrets and lies are revealed the pace gains momentum for an unforgettable finale. The clever character arcs would be the envy of any writer.
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Oh wow.  I haven't read any Laura Elliot novels before but this one........... I've read until 03:13am cos I couldn't put it down and needed to finish it before I sleep!  The Tinderbox is full of different emotions - heartache, new love, sadness, loneliness, thrills, fear.  It's told by Sophy, the mum, Jack, mum's employer and Isobel mum's daughter.  We learn that Sophy's youngest daughter, Julie can only express get true emotions and thoughts through the help of Cornelia, her ventriloquist dummy who also turns out to be a heroine in her own right but there is so much more to this story than meets the eye.
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The Tinderbox - Laura Elliot 

The story begins with a young girl being held at gunpoint calling the garda.
Sophy and Lukes' marriage has broken down and they have lost everything to Lukes gambling addiction.
Sophy is offered a lifeline,  home and wage for both her and her two daughters, in return for caring as a nurse for the disfigured Jack Hyland.
We follow the family and events that lead them to the hostage situation. The author slowly revealing secrets and the undercurrents that build to the horrific standoff.
I found this book slow starting however, it really does build the tension and once the plot begins to unfold it's a real page turner.
The different perspectives the author has used are interesting a different give a really comprehensive understanding of events. Told from the mother Sophys perspective the thoughts and feelings are more restricted, giving the feeling something is held back and the reader wouldn't get the full setting of the family dynamic. But with the added perspective of her teenage daughter this gives a raw and emotional edge to the story.
The addition of Jack's journals are a perfect narrative and really help to build tension.
The running theme throughout this book that looks can be deceptive is intriguing. The subject is handled so well. I found myself surprisingly becoming really good of the characters despite appearances or the initial introductions. 
Addictions also addressed as a theme a d is handled with sensitivity but also keeping a very real edge 
It is a real dark and atmospheric read. It's really quite spooky in places, the suggestions.of really harrowing events and the foreboding setting make for a tense and suspenseful read. The addition of Cordelia the mannequin was really clever to add to the sinister vibe. I found myself on more than one occasion referencing the legend of Dr Faustus and questioning how far a person would go to get what they want. Also the 'people are not what they may seem' topic frequently had me comparing or thing of 'A picture of Dorian Grey' 
In all this thriller although dark and twisty covers many different avenues, family, love (even romance), revenge, prosperity, morals and much more. I found it really thought provoking awswell as an excellent read. 
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the pre release. I look forward to exploring many more of Laura Elliots' books.
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Absolutely adored this book. I have literally been unable to put this one down and have completely devoured this entire book in just one sitting. Sophy had it all- two daughters and a loving husband... That is until he gambled it away and left them with absolutely nothing.
This has been a captivating read which has gripped me from very early on. I have found myself addicted and have devoured the entire book in just one sitting. This is definitely a page-turner which keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I have really felt for Sophy in this one, her husband caused the change in circumstances and on occasions this book has given me shivers. The setting of Hyland Hall has an eeriness about it and really has heightened the curiosity of this book.
This is a well-written plot which has been completely unique to anything I have read previously. There is no way I saw the ending coming and have been left completely shocked by this one. I love anything set in Ireland so this has been a winner for me.
This is a definite five star read and one I highly recommend. I cannot wait to read more by this author.
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I absolutely loved this book from Laura Elliot , great story and well written. Not the first I’ve read from this author and it doesn’t disappoint. I look forward to the next from herb
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This book could be a good deal shorter. There is just too much detail where it is unwarranted and the ‘ending’ went on far too long and was completely unbelievable. There is simply no way that the children would have been released to anyone while the siege was ongoing.

It didn’t really fit into any category properly. It’s not romantic enough to be a proper romance but it’s not a thriller either. It doesn’t know what it is- I think this is why I struggled with it. 

I quite liked the character of Isobel, but she was the best of a weak, silly, bunch. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
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Reading The Tinderbox was like reading two genres in one book. The first half was very much a creepy and smoldering modern gothic, and the second half picked up in urgency and there was a rushed feeling like that of a crime novel. It was easy to read, and I blew through it. I was very impressed with the modern gothic atmosphere of Hyland Hall and its owner.

I would recommend this to fans of modern gothic and mystery/thriller novels. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me an e-copy via Netgalley.
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The tinderbox by Laura Elliot.
With her marriage in pieces and desperate to find work and a new home for her and daughters, Isobel and Julie, Sophy accepts a job as a live-in nurse for Jack Hyland.
Omg what a intense and dark read. I was on the Edge of my seat with my hand over my mouth reading this. What a read. Some great characters. Great story. I loved Isobel and sophy. Jack grew on me. I didn't like victor from the start. 5*.
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This book was not really for me,,I thought it more a romance than psychological thriller and struggled with it,not liking the characters didnt help, apologies
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The Tinderbox by Laura Elliot is a recommended psychological thriller.

Sophy and Luke's marriage is over due to his gambling problem. The two have separated and Luke has went to a treatment center. Sophie has sold her business and is selling their house in order to pay off his debts. In order to provide a home for her two daughters, 14 year-old Isobel and younger daughter Julie, Sophie has accepted the position as a live-in nurse for Jack Hyland. Jack was horrible burned and disfigured in a fire and will need help and assistance in his recovery. Sophie and her daughters will be living on the main floor of his home, Hyland Hall. When they arrive, the three are shocked to see the home is is such disrepair, but Isobel is the only one openly complaining. When Jack's nephew, Victor, who lives next door shows up, it becomes clear that he wasn't told about Sophy's job and that Jack and Victor are not as close as Victor claims. Victor, however, sets out to charm Sophy and the girls.

The narrative unfolds in alternating chapters through the point of view of Sophie or Isobel. We become well acquainted with these two characters and their thoughts. Sophy feels that this position is a life saver as it provides a home for her and the girls. Isobel calls the upstairs the Fear Zone and finds the whole house creepy. She really starts out as a rather immature, bratty character, but you know from the opening of the novel that a teenage girl will be calling the Garda (police in Ireland) to say her life is in danger, so you know something is going to go terribly wrong. The pace starts out slow after this opening hook but eventually picks up later in the novel.

The suspense is in following the action to reach the point where the phone call is made. The main problem is that the whole plot is so terribly predictable. It partially follows a sort of Gothic plot outline, where there are unknown threatening elements, a crumbling ancestral home, a sequestered disfigured owner, a charming relative, and an ominous sense of foreboding danger. It doesn't help that the younger daughter, Julie, is attached to a child-size mannequin, treats it like a real person, and is trying to practice ventriloquism with her. Victor seems smarmy and untrustworthy from the start, making you doubt Sophie's intelligence when she responds to his advances. Yes, The Tinderbox is worth reading, but I knew where it was going almost right from the start so there wasn't a whole lot of suspense for me.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Bookouture
After publication the review will be posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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The book has a good beginning but after about 40% it just fell flat. It is more of a hallmark romance than a mystery. If the publisher could change the genre to target the correct group of audience, lesser ratings could be avoided. This book doesn’t fall in my favourite category, but I’m sure readers of romance would like it.
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This book is well written and has good character development I just couldn’t personally get into the story and found it a little bit of a struggle to keep reading. In the end it does wrap up everything and answers the questions you have, just left a little lacking for me personally. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the gifted copy of this book. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me. The beginning captured me and I loved the characters but I really struggled with continuing to read it, nothing was keeping my attention and there was a lot of filler that didn’t need to be there. 2/5.
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4/5 stars

<b>The Tinderbox</b> is set in a small, rural (I think) village in Ireland and told in the perspectives of Sophy, mother, and Isobel, teenage daughter. The story begins with the experiences of selling their home after Sophy's marriage falls to pieces and Sophy finding a job as a live-in nurse for Mr. Jack Hyland at Hyland Hall. The Hall itself is in a state of disrepair and the host, is now a recluse, after a fire on the property nearly stole his life, leaving him permanently disfigured. You feel their despair upon arriving at Hyland Hall and as they learn to adjust to their new surroundings. It becomes quite clear their ever-increasing sense of suspicion and fear as they come to discover that not everything is at it may seem.

Okay, so where to begin with my actual review...?! I guess it may be easiest to start off with what initially was a turn off for me, but that as the novel progressed I came to enjoy. I started off really not enjoying the dual perspectives of Sophy and Isobel. I found it distracting to switch back and forth between the two, and I also couldn't get a firm grasp on how old Isobel was, and whether she was the eldest daughter, or whether her sister, Julie, was. As the story really picked up its pace, especially around part 3 of the novel, I began to see the relevance of the dual story perspective and truly appreciate it. 

<b>The Tinderbox</b> is a truly engrossing novel and I was really captivated by it. I had a suspicion soon after the novel began of whom I should be wary of, but it became quite clear as the novel reached its climax. I was fascinated throughout the whole tail-end of the novel, not wanting to put it down as Elliot kept me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, in suspense of what was going to happen.

I found it a bit hard to get into the story, but was quickly captivated once I got to part two where we begin to see more of Jack Hyland's history and thoughts in his self-written memoir. His perspective of things from the past and how they linked to the future was really interesting, and for me, definitely solidified the story.
Part one was grossly focused on the back story of the main characters, Isobel and Sophy; and how they got to where they are now. It also includes present day events that the characters are experiencing and ultimately leads the way through to the end. 

I found the characters to be quite interesting, and I really enjoyed following their stories and seeing them develop further. 

The plot was really well executed and kept me drawn-in right up to the end. I really enjoyed Elliot's writing and would be interested in reading more of her work in the future!

<i>I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review! I will also be posting my review to Amazon Canada upon publishing.</i>
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Broken trust leads to a broken marriage and a broken family.  The story was well written and the characters were well developed.  I figured out the twists and turns before they happened so that took a bit away from my enjoyment of the story, but overall it was a nice scape from COVID reality.
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