Cover Image: The Silent House

The Silent House

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Member Reviews

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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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

Laura Elliot is completely binge worthy! The Tinderbox was not my first read by Laura Elliot and it definitely won’t be my last. 

With Imaginative details and eerie character building, The Tinderbox made for an easy read. Similar to previous novels, Elliot plays on a slow burn writing style to engross the reader right to the very end.
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A gripping psychological thriller that'll keep you guessing as you turn the page. I honestly didn't see that kind of ending coming but it kept me reading until the wee hours of the night to find out what would happen next.

The story starts out a little slower paced as we follow Sophy who has no choice to but to take a job as a live-in nurse to Jack Hyland, sole owner of Hyland Hall. Sophy needs this job as her husband has an addiction that has lead them to sell everything they own including their house. Sophy moves her two daughters Isobel and Julie into a huge dark rundown mansion called Hyland Hall, where Jack who has recently survived a terrible fire has closed himself off in the upstairs and will not show himself to anyone other than Sophy and his nephew, Victor.

Told through Sophy and Isobel we get different takes on this "new adventure" Sophy has promised her girls. Sophy is trying to deal with the lies from her husband and pick herself up from her failed marriage. Isobel's side of the story is that of a teen just trying to find some light in this creepy old house with the top floor she nicknamed Fear Zone. She doesn't want to be here and is very afraid of Jack as she hasn't met him but can hear him moving around above them. Throw in a mannequin doll her younger sister, Julie, wont go anywhere without and it's definitely a creepy read.

I give this a 4 star review!
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The Tinderbox is a psychological thriller by Laura Elliot. When Sophy marriage falls apart she accepts a job as a live in nurse to Jack Hyland. Sophy moves herself and her two daughters into Hyland Hall to take care of Jack, who was disfigured in a fire and now is a recluse. But she soon finds out he has lots of secrets he is keeping from her. This story started sort of slow but picks up the pace in the middle and end. I enjoyed this book thanks to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Trying to leave behind a failing marriage and debt, Sophy takes a job as a live in nurse at Hyland Hall. Jack Hyland, owner of the mansion, is a grumpy old man with burns all over his body, and requires constant care. Giving Sophy and her daughters a place to live, to start over, couldnt have happened at a better time.
Some things are too good to be true. Jack has a hidden agenda, a secret reason for wanting Sophy's family to live with him. Secrets that can put her family in danger.

The Tinder Box is a captivating and consuming thriller. The book sucks you in immediately and pushes you to keep reading. The story reads a little like a VC Andrews family drama, with twistyness of a Ruth Ware thriller. 

Laura Elliot did an amazing job writing the characters of this book. I loved Sophy and her daughters, Julie and Isobel. Julie is the show stealer with her odd choice in companion and her eccentric personality. 
The slow build up of background for Jack was perfectly timed with the twist reveal in the second half of the book. Once the reader figures out what is really happening, the thrill aspect of the story explodes.

The book has a little bit of everything for everyone. Deciet, romance, revenge and dysfunctional family history, are all alive under the roof of Hyland Hall. This is my first Laura Elliot book, and won't be my last.
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Strong psychological thriller with excellent characters. I highly recommend this book I was interested until the last page and eager to see what happens
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Sophy’s marriage has fallen apart. Desperate to find a new start and a new home for her and her two daughters, she accepts a job at Hyland Hall as a live-in nurse for the reclusive owner. Jack Hyland is severely disfigured, the result of a fire that happened in the house years before. As she attempts to make the most of her situation, Sophy and her daughters unwittingly become embroiled in a tangle of danger and deception -  culminating in the unearthing of secrets that connect her to Jack and his family in ways she could never have imagined. A page-turning family saga with twists and reveals in the mysterious, atmospheric setting of a lakeside, crumbling mansion.
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I felt this story had a bit of a Jane Eyre vibe to it, in terms of the main character becoming disfigured in the aftermath of a brutal fire and struggling to accept his fate. The story was thrilling and frightening at the same time, leaving me occasionally gasping in surprise.
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This is a good, atmospheric mystery. I will say it isn’t my favorite of Ms Elliott’s but it’s a solid read. Besides the inevitable “bad guy (or gal)” you’ll be trying to identify, there are a couple other unknowns that are to be revealed. It wasn’t difficult to gather the answers to these questions which was a bit disappointing but I still enjoyed the book. 3.5 ⭐️
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Great book especially in this lockdown stage. You really get involved quite quickly. Great characters and super plot. A modern day Gone with the wind type of book
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With her marriage in ruins and facing the risk of being homeless, Sophy is offered the job of live-in nurse to elderly recluse Jack Hyland. With her daughters Isobel and Julie in tow, she takes up residence in decrepit Hyland Hall. Victor is Jack’s charming and charismatic nephew who sets his sights on Sophy, but Victor also has a dark side. When secrets of Jack’s past come to light, Sophy and her family’s lives will be put in jeopardy.

Very much a slow burner to start but it picked up mid-way through. An intriguing tale with good characters which was an enjoyable read.
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Sophy had it all two daughters and a loving husband Luke until he gambled everything and left them with nothing so Sophie takes a job as a nurse at Hayland hall for  Jack but there was a fire the nephew thinks he should not be living there loads of secrets and lies this book is very good and quite emotional i so enjoyed and so  recommend
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