Cover Image: The Silent House

The Silent House

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Member Reviews

This book just didn’t do it for me. I almost gave up several times and kind of wish I had. Too much going it was confusing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for review.


2.5/5
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The premise of this book reminded me a little of Jane Eyre.

Sophy is forced to take a job working for Jack, the owner of Hyland Hall. Jack is disfigured after being caught in a fire. 

Sophy's marriage has broken down due to her husbands gambling and soon after arriving at Hyland Hall she soon discovers there are secrets and danger waiting for her. 

I loved reading about Sophy. the story is told via herself and her daughter Isobel. It moves along incredibly and while a little predictable very early on I loved the unfolding tale and the manner in which it is set.
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Sophy thought she had ig all. With two daughters,Isabel and Julie, and a loving husband, Luke. But Luke gambled everything away. Sophy takes a job as a live in nurse, taking her daughters with her. Jack  Sophy's employer, was badly disfigured after being caught in a fire.

The story is narrated by Sophy and Isobel. A story of love lost and found. The plotline is gripping. The characters were well rounded and believable. This is a dark and intense read. The story starts of slowly then the pace builds through to the end. This is a tale of emotional distress. 

I would like to thank #NetGalley #Bookouture and the author #LauraElliot for my ARC in exchange for an honest review
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I just couldn’t get into this one for some reason. I liked the setting and the characters but unfortunately consistently found that it just didn’t get me to keep reading. I gave up about 50% though. I would still try something else from this author, this particular one just didn’t do it for me.
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When her marriage breaks up due to her husband’s gambling addiction, Sophy and her daughters are left with nothing. Sophy is then offered a lifeline when she is hired as a live in nurse to an elderly gentleman named Jack who needs 24/7 care, after being severely injured at a fire on the estate. They move to Hyland Hall, an old Manor House in a state of disrepair where Sophy is determined to rebuild their lives without her husband – the girls however are not so keen. They’re scared of Jack – calling him The Recluse and labelling his upstairs dwellings as The Fear Zone.

It soon becomes clear that Hyland Hall holds many secrets and lies and the more Sophy gets to know Jack and his nephew Victor, the more she gets embroiled in the reality of the painful truth.

Told through the eyes of both Sophy, Isobel (the eldest daughter) and Jack himself, this book is a thriller / mystery with an almost gothic twist and I could picture this working really well as a film. The scene setting was great and I loved the relationship between the two sisters; particularly Julie and her ventriloquists dummy – something she uses as a prop for expressing her emotions.

Whilst there was an element of the book that was fairly predictable (I figured it out about 25% of the way through), this was still a really emotional page turner, and built up slowly to a tense finale.

For me – the biggest confusion is the title – it doesn’t feel quite right to me – it was previously called The Tinderbox, and I personally think that works better!

4/5 stars from me
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Sophy and her two young daughters, Julie and Isobel are moving into Hyland Hall so Sophy can take care of Jack Hyland. With her breakup to her marriage with her husband Luke, Sophy and her children are in need of a place to stay and the live-in nursing position couldn’t have come at a better time. But, Jack Hyland, very much a recluse, is hiding secrets. Secrets that can have the power to destroy. Will Sophy and her family make it out unscathed or will they get caught up in the crossfire?

The Silent House by Laura Elliot almost reads like a gothic thriller. Between a crumbling down mansion, an eerie setting, a wolf dog and an reclusive older gentleman scarred from a fire makes this book one hell of a creepy read. Things are not always what they seem and Elliot really draws you into her story with its atmospheric setting, secrets aplenty and family struggles. You really don’t know exactly what is going on until the later half of the book where things really start to take off. The first half really sets up the setting and here is where we learn more about Sophy, Jack Hyland and his nephew, Victor Coyne.

Sophy is a great character and one that is very well written. You can feel her pain with everything that she has gone through with her separation from her husband Luke. All she wants is to make a new life for her and her two daughters so they could live comfortably. Would I say she always makes the right decisions? No! There were a few times I wanted to shake her over her actions. Where her actions warranted? That is debatable, but she slowly started to creep her way to a character that might become unlikeable. Luckily, she slowly starts coming to her senses and winds up being a formidable player in Hyland Hall.

I really enjoyed this story and the slow build up really set the scene for me and then slowly had my blood pumping when things started to intensify. Did I figure out what was happening pretty early? Yeah, but the writing is what really drew me in.

If you like slow burn thrillers where you get to know each character while trying to piece together all of the pieces then you will not want to miss out on The Silent House.
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Are you ready for a psychological thriller with a gothic mystery twist?
 The Silent House is somewhat predictable but there is still plenty of suspense to keep you intrigued.
I do have to say, I was a bit confused with the storyline.  It was a struggle at times to keep reading.  I’m not sure why I couldn’t connect to the characters and their story.  I’m not saying the story wasn’t interesting at times.  It just didn’t keep my interest as much as I would have liked.
So...The Silent House is definitely a very strange, dark and intense read.  Talk about lies and secrets!  
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Laura Elliot writes a hugely engrossing and entertaining thriller full of gothic elements, hidden truths, fear, suspense and lies.

Desperate for new start after splitting from her husband Luke, and looking for a new home for her and her two daughters, Sophy Kingston accepts a job at Hyland Hall as a live-in nurse for the reclusive owner. Jack Hyland is disfigured following a fire that occurred in the stables and barns years before. As she tries to make the best she can of her situation, Sophy and her daughters unwittingly become embroiled in a tangle of danger and deception. The Silent House is a riveting family drama with discoveries, twists and revelations in the mysterious, atmospheric setting of a decaying, decrepit mansion.

Laura Elliot has delivered an unrestrained and exuberant story of drama in this toxic concoction of secrets, lies and deceit. The marvellous writing was compelling and tense and I revelled in the cracking story all the way through as the pace gained momentum for an unforgettable finale. It brought no disappointments and I would love to read more from this gifted story-teller. Very highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced reader's copy in return for my honest review.  Wow! Pack your lunch and dinner...this is a page-turner that you will not want to put down! If you love suspense, Elliot does a beautiful job building it. The storyline seems slow in places, but this is all part of pulling you in. Highly recommend. Please note, the downloaded version I received was by a different name, The Tinderbox, in case you are looking for the ARC version on your Kindle!
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The Silent House is the first book I have read from Laura Elliot and it has been such a great introduction to her work. It is absorbing, gripping, dark, highly addictive and will just take you over and consume you. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but is worth giving it a go.

Laura Elliot has crafted a tale that drew me in immediately. A tale that is both complex and simple at the same time. Each character is driven by their own motivations, some to unearth the truth and others to keep it buried. Welcome to Hyland Hall…

The story is broken up into three parts and although it does moves at a slightly slower pace, it works. Laura Elliot does a great job of setting up an uneasy atmosphere throughout, while having the tension and suspense slowly bubbling away in the background.

The characters have been perfectly created and just shine through the pages. Each brings the story to life in their own way and it was easy to connect with them. They invoke all different types of emotions within you and each have also been very well developed and written. 

The Silent House, is a beautifully written, atmospheric tale that had me torn between trying to savour each word, and racing through to see how it was going to all unfold. The latter won out and I finished reading it in one sitting. I was just so captivated and caught up its spell, I couldn’t let go until I got to that last page..

Laura Elliot really impressed me with this book and I will be on the lookout for more of her work. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers that are crossed with gothic horror, then this is the book for you. It was a pleasure to read The Silent House, which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Laura Elliot, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Silent House, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily
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The Silent House, previously titled The Tinderbox, is an atmospheric domestic thriller about what happens when families are torn apart, but their paths are still connected.  The story took a while to build the groundwork, but the second half of the book really took off!

After losing her house when her husband's mounting gambling debt sends him to rehab, Sophy snaps at a chance offer from a woman who feigns interest in buying her house.  Previously a nurse, she has been hired to take care of Jack, owner of the decrepit Hyland Hall, and now self-isolating due to burns sustained when his stable burnt down.  Right away Sophy's children Isobel and Julie label him "The Recluse" and Isobel refers to the upstairs where he resides as "The Fear Zone", and deems his dog a werewolf. 

It looks like things are going good for Sophy.  The girls are starting to adapt to their surroundings, especially after getting respite from Jack's nephew Victor, who lives on a neighboring property.  Victor sets his sights on Sophy, but Jack warns her off and Sophy gets a sense that Victor is moving way too fast.  Then, in the most coincidental fashion, Sophy's husband Luke is out of rehab and hired by Jack to provide security and maintenance for the Hall.  The girls are thrilled, hoping this is a signal that their parents are getting back together.

One of the fun parts of the book for me was Julie's obsession with a look-alike mannequin.  Her mannequin voice was a high-pitched whine that got on everyone's nerves, though they humored her. I loved the author's descriptions of the creepy house - I could almost feel the cobwebs and smell the mold! 

We learn Jack's secret through the reading of his journal, and though I guessed the secret early on, it didn't take away from the final reveal.  While the final ending did drag on for a bit, the last few chapters will have you racing through to find out how it ends! Oh, and I liked the previous title - it was a much more apt description of the book's events!

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced reader's copy for review.
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I am excited to be taking part in the #BooksOnTour #BlogTour for Laura Elliot's latest creepy thriller THE SILENT HOUSE, previously titled "The Tinderbox".

My second read by Laura Elliot, THE SILENT HOUSE was different from the previous one I had read - "The Thorn Girl" - whilst at the same time having that similar sense of eeriness. The atmospheric setting and character building created a spooky tale surrounding the crumbling Hyland Hall in this modern day gothic thriller.

The story begins with a radio broadcast of a teenage girl being held at gunpoint in an unknown location, having called 999 before the call is abruptly cut-off. No further details of the incident are available but like all good media sources they continue to create a sense of panic to keep their listeners engaged.

It then changes pace as the story goes back two months prior where we meet Sophy whose marriage to Luke has recently fallen apart due to his gambling problem. Sophy has had to sell her business "Kid Chic" which she began with her mother-in-law Maddie (now deceased) to pay some of Luke's debts. Whilst he is bundled off to a rehab centre called Oasis of Hope (whose name sounds more like a cult), Sophy is left to deal with the sale of the home and the fallout of her marriage. When a prospective buyer comes to view the house, Sophy receives an offer that seems to be the answer to her immediate problem of possible homelessness.

Desperate for a fresh start, she accepts a job at Hyland Hall as a live-in nurse for its reclusive owner Jack Hyland, who was severely burnt in a fire that destroyed the stables on his estate. As Sophy and her daughters enter the gothic mansion, they are surrounded by its horrible disrepair which gives it a spooky air of creepiness. The girls - Isobel and Julie - immediately begin to imagine vampires and werewolves lurking in the shadows of the vast halls whilst begging their mother to leave.

Then enter Jack's nephew Victor. He is as surprised by Sophy's presence in Hyland Hall as she is by his appearance. As his only surviving relative, Victor insists that Jack isn't returning to the Hall but rather is entering a nursing home which can better cater to his needs. When Sophy tells him that she has been employed as his live-in nurse, Victor's response is to say his uncle is in no state to make such decisions and the fire has also left him somewhat delusional. However, Sophy produces a contract that was drawn up by Jack's solicitors engaging her as his nurse to care for him for the period of at least twelve months. Victor can do nothing but concede her contract is binding and soon accepts the situation.

When Jack is released from hospital and returns to Hyland Hall, the girls are given strict instructions never to venture upstairs as Mr Hyland is intensely private and will only permit a handful of people to see his disfigured features. This, of course, earns him the moniker "The Reclusive One" and his rooms upstairs as "Fear Zone" as the girls imagine all sorts in the forbidden area on the upper floor. They are also convinced his German Shepherd Caesar is a werewolf, salivating at the prospect of two girls to sink his fangs into. These thoughts alone are enough to keep the two girls away from the old man they are sure is the undead and his formidable four-legged beast. Whilst Isobel tentatively braves her fears in her spirited way, her younger sister Julie channels hers through a shop mannequin she takes everywhere named Cordelia, her high-pitched squeaky voice grating on Isobel's nerves as much as the reader's.

The first half of the book had all the elements of a modern day gothic horror story: from the creepy mansion in the woods, the disfigured decrepit undead owner, sprawling crumbling estate in disrepair, a haunted past, a love story gone wrong, new tenants in search of a fresh start, a salivating werewolf dog, a talking mannequin with a squeaky voice, things that go bump in the night... It was very gothic.

But then the second half changed course and the events that unfold become something of a fast paced thriller involving Jack's mysterious past and that of his family, including a twin brother Laurence. Sophy is caught in the middle of Jack and his nephew Victor...and to make matters worse, her estranged husband Luke turns up. And just as Sophy was putting her life, and that of her daughters, back together again.

But some things are too good to be true. Jack, it seems, has a hidden agenda. He has a secret that has the potential to put her entire family in danger.

Captivating and all-consuming, THE SILENT HOUSE is told through the eyes of Sophy and Isobel and is reminiscent of V.C. Andrews with all the twisted creepiness of a Ruth Ware thriller. I was reminded of both as I devoured this atmospheric tale. The radio broadcasts were picked up again from about halfway through bringing the reader back to the reality of a crime thriller though an element of creepiness remained.

I figured out the twist pretty early on which was confirmed as excerpts from Jack's memoir began but it never deterred me from enjoying of watching it all unravel. I guess in this sense I found it to be fairly predictable but whether that was just me, I'm not sure. I still thoroughly enjoyed it though.

A page-turning atmospheric thriller with twists and reveals, THE SILENT HOUSE is an addictive read that will appeal to both fans of spooky reads and psychological thrillers.

I would like to thank #LauraElliot, #NetGalley, #Bookouture for an ARC of #TheSilentHouse in exchange for an honest review.
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My first Laura Elliot read and I enjoyed it.

Its classed as a psychological thriller but there's also a bit of Gothic mystery added in that makes it very interesting.

The story is well written with enough mystery and suspense to keep you wanting to read until the very end.

The characters are well built up and it adds to the mystery.
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A book of mystery set in a house which had a gothic feel to it, author Laura Elliot wrote a story seeped in dark a atmosphere where the masks were warped over everyone’s faces, giving each a disfigured look.

After her husband Luke was found to have squandered the family savings in gambling, Sophy had to take a life-changing decision. Having found a job to take care of a recuperating recluse, Jack, at Hyland Hall, the mother and her two daughters Isobel and Julie moved out. But Jack and the descript house brought their own brand of creepiness. When the nephew Victor threw a saving line, Sophy took it. But then things started to happen where everyone’s lives were at risk.

The cover was shrouded in shadows, and told me the story in Sophy and child Isobel’s POV. There was both a childish and adult interpretation to Jack and his condition. It was quite enchanting to read how a child could make a situation larger than life. There were elements of mystery to Jack’s aura; I couldn’t guess his secret. The antagonist was obvious from the beginning. All that remained to be seen was how Sophy would manage to find a way out.

The story began with a news headline of a 911 call and a hostage situation which was deciphered only at the end. Some parts of the book were slower than the rest. Characters were all unlikable, especially Sophy, who as the nurse-carer, was ready to betray her employer at the first chance of flirting. I lost all respect for her midway.

I wouldn’t call this a heart pounding thriller, but there was a sinking feeling in the stomach that things were going to turn for the worse. And it did. This was not the author’s finest but still had the potential to keep me stuck to my kindle, though I skim read parts of it.
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The Silent House starts off in a panic with a call to the emergency services regarding a hostage situation. This got the book off to a great start. It starts in the future with the hostage situation, then backtracks to the start of the story leading up to that.

Sophy is practically falling apart. She has no home for herself and two daughters, no job and her marriage is in tatters. She has no choice but to take up a job as a live-in nurse for a recluse called Jack Hyland. Owner of the dark and mysterious Hyland Hall. Severely disfigured from a fire at the house, Jack lives upstairs and will not see anyone but Sophy and his nephew.
 
Sophy’s and her daughters get involved with the mystery surrounding Hyland Hall and it will keep you turning that page hungry for more! It’s a creepy, family saga, brimming with deceit where secrets come thick and fast. I don’t think you will be putting this one down until you are finished!

5 out of 5 stars
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Thank you Netgalley, Laura Eliot and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to give my unbiased opinion of this book.
It was a good story but not a great one. I like Laura Elliot's style of writing but found some of the situations she describes a bit far fetched.. Cornelia, the dummy, was an inspired idea..
I would like to read another Laura Elliot book.
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Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher for the ARC which I received in exchange for my honest review. The Tinderbox is an aptly named novel. The author does a great job of setting a scene that is so volatile that it could explode with just the slightest provocation. The book starts out with a call being made to authorities by a young girl who is on danger. How did this young girl find herself in danger and will she make it out alive? Read on.

Narrated in alternating points of view, the book works backwards from the call to explain how Sophy and her daughters find themselves to be at Hyland Hall caring for the mysterious, Jack Hyland. There is a real sense of gothic foreboding in the novel including a creepy ventriloquist doll! 

If you are looking for an old school suspense replete with a crumbling mansion, dubious characters with questionable motives and hidden agendas, check out The Tinderbox.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.
I was left a bit muddled with this one. The beginning really dragged me in and I couldn't wait to get started.
Sophies relationship with her husband has fallen apart due to his addiction to gambling. With no money, and no house, Sophie takes a job as a live-in nurse for Jack Hyland. With her two daughters she moves into the derelict home which has been ravished by disasters.
The setting is brilliant and adds atmosphere as well as acting as a problem topic between mother and daughter.
After the start though I started to loose interest a bit. The plot is dragged out and it turns from being a slow burner to their being too much detail where it is not needed. The ending is also made WAY too long, and I started to get a bit fed up.
I also wouldn't be able to categorise this book properly. It's not really a thriller, its not really a romance, nor a mystery. In fact I guesses the whole 'mystery' very very quickly which put me off a bit.
The use of different narratives is carried out well, and I especially enjoyed the glimpses into the past through Jack. 
All in all it is not a bad book, however, I wouldn't read it again.
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I love this author’s style of writing and have her read past work.  Whilst I enjoyed this book I did guess the ending about halfway through which was abit of a disappointment however it still is a good read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The Tinderbox is a psychological thriller crossed with a contemporary gothic-tinged mystery, and I found it compelling right from the start as it opens with a bang. The story begins with a newsflash on Southern Stream FM where host Gavin Darcy informs listeners that the station had received a call in the early morning hours from a young girl who claimed to be being held at gunpoint, but the call was disconnected before she could state her location and it is believed that a shot was fired before the call abruptly ended. We are then introduced to Sophy Kingston whose marriage to Luke has all but disintegrated due to his gambling addiction. When a prospective buyer comes for a viewing of the house she must sell, she is offered a chance at a fresh start working as a live-in nurse for the reclusive Jack Hyland, who was severely disfigured in a fire that ripped through the stables on his estate. Sophy and her two daughters, 14-year-old Isobel and 10-year-old Julie, make the move from Dublin to dilapidated Hyland Hall in Clonmoore near Cork in Ireland, but Jack’s nephew Victor Coyne soon makes it clear that his uncle will not be needing her as he is to live in a nursing home.

However, she has an employment contract drawn up by Jack's solicitor, which is legally binding, and Victor concedes. The two girls are creeped out by the mansion and plead with Sophy to leave but she needs this opportunity more than ever. When Jack returns home, having been discharged from hospital, he imposes rules and states that they should never venture upstairs. As the girls' discontent with their new home grows, so does the tension and no one could have known the devastation the soon to be revealed secrets would cause. This is a sinister, compulsive and atmospheric thriller with a whole lot of tension and a thoroughly enthralling plot. The suspense was ratcheted up little by little as the story progressed, and I never would have guessed the skeletons in the closet that were about to be exposed. It is told from the perspectives of Sophy and Isobel giving a fully rounded experience of life inside Hyland Hall, and I found the characterisation really impressive. I felt for the two youngsters as I know I wouldn't like living in a chilling-looking house and you could feel their fear on every page. Highly recommended.
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