Cover Image: The House at Helygen

The House at Helygen

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Atmospheric, I enjoyed this helygen is somewhere I would absolutely love to live it sounds like a dream. However the going ons in this estate is somewhat disturbing. I won’t spoil it for you but read this!!!
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What an incredible story linking two time lines - Josie in the present is the newly pregnant wife of Henry fox with plans to save Helygen his ancestoral home and Eliza a newly married wife of Cassius Fox in 1881 who is trying to settle in this strange house. The author creats an atmospheric story linking both wives over the centuries as the plot twists and turns. Josie is faced with her husband's death supposedly by suicide but she feels it is murder. Eliza hears a baby crying and realises her husband is never with her but her mother-in-law is strangely detached and she longs for her parents. Both women fight against their circumstances as both face more mysterious deaths and the finale is a surprise to the reader. I loved the sense of the nineteen century "big house" and the plans in the present that Josie was hoping with her pal's help to bring about. An excellent mysterious story that I found hard to put down until I finished it.
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What a gem this book was. The deeply drawn setting of Helygen house set against three different periods in time makes this a rich and dark tale of family, friendship, love and deceit. Such an immersive read!
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I loved it all: the setting, the characters, the constant feeling of impending danger and gloom. Victoria Hawthorne needs to be praised for being able to create an atmosphere where the reader has to hold their breath every step of the way waiting for something drastic or dangerous to happen... and the reader won't be disappointed.
The double timeline adds to the mystery and suspense of the story. The evil lives in Helyglen. Helyglen is a beautiful place with a dark history. Such places are meant to be either burnt down or...
Well, the reader gets to learn about 2 different generations of Helyglen inhabitants. One was able to escape the doom and gloom and the other was not...
I found both storylines captivating and suspenseful. I was dreading the unfolding of each story, and I was happy and sad at the end.
The House at Helyglen will pull all your emotional strings and will leave you contemplating...
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When Henry Fox is found dead in his family’s ancestral home in Cornwall, the police rule it as a suicide and his pregnant wife Josie doesn’t believe he killed himself. Henry’s mother Alice is rather cold and aloof, she’s always made Josie feel like she wasn’t good enough for Henry and Alice accepts the official verdict. 

For Josie it makes no sense, Henry was so excited about becoming a father, they had just finished renovating their apartment and had plans to start a business venture at Helygen House. Josie’s in shock, however she’s determined to find out what really happened to Henry and she's sure someone killed him. The atmosphere at Helygen House has always been odd, Alice's attitude hasn't helped and the house seems haunted. 

Helygen House has always been passed down the to the eldest male heir, starting with the original owners Harriet and Edmund Fox in 1847, and then Eliza and Cassius Fox in 1881. Eliza arrives at the estate as a excited new bride, then she meets her mother-in-law Harriet and she’s a severe and forbidding woman. Cassius is busy with his business interests, Eliza feels rather dejected and alone. The house has an eerie feeling, Eliza's sure she hears voices at night and baby crying? At times Eliza thinks she's going mad, she can't tell anyone and she misses her parents. 
 
The dual timeline story alternates between the 1840’s, 1880’s and the present time. Both Eliza and Josie feel that Helygen House has a dark and disturbing past and if only the walls could talk.

I received a copy of The House at Helygen from NetGalley and Quercus publishing in exchange for an honest review and it’s a story about a house that's the location of so many tragic and unexpected deaths over the years. Victoria Hawthorne has written a debut novel full of drama, suspense, mystery, intrigue and sinister family secrets, it keeps you guessing until the end and four stars from me.
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If you like dark, depressing, creepy novels, this one is for you! I was expecting more of a romance and I found this just too miserable. It was full of deaths! I almost stopped reading it because it just got too much.

When the story begins, Josie is happily married to Henry, renovating their big house in Cornwall and looking forward to opening the hotel. The only problem is stuck-up Alice, her nasty mother-in-law. When she finds Henry dead, Josie's life becomes extremely difficult. Alice insists that it was suicide, but Josie is not sure. And why does she keep seeing ghosts, and feel the presence of people from the past? When Josie has her baby Ivy, she has to fight to keep her from being too controlled by Alice...Her only friend is Flick, but Flick has a lot of problems.

There is also a 19th century story about Eliza and Harriet, unhappy brides. I thought that this wasn't as well-written as the modern one and I found it a bit confusing. There were a lot of characters and it was a bit hard to get a grip on them.

I used to like the Gothic romances of Victoria Holt, but I think that this one was much gloomier.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Henry Fox is found dead in his kitchen, apparently by his own hand. His heavily pregnant wife Josie can’t believe this to be true. He had everything to look forward to including a new baby and a new venture within in his ancestral home. His mother who lives in the big house is quite forbearing and deems that Henry must have been hiding secrets.
I quite enjoyed this book. It is a dual timeline story set in the 1800’s with two stories in that era narrated by Harriet and Eliza and Josie narrating the contemporary era. 
It did have a suspenseful atmosphere with a gothic feel. The historical era is set in shorter chapters but I sometimes felt that they were a bit to much of repetitive nature, so sometimes I got a bit confused in which time frame I was in for the 1800’s.
Overall a good story, suspenseful gothic feel and entertaining for a number of hours.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
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This was a moody atmospheric read with a story about family secrets and dynamics across the generations. The tension builds and kept me interested throughout wanting to find out what happened.  There are some sad points (no spoilers though) and it made me reflect whilst I was reading.  The characters were developed enough to make you have an opinion as to whether you liked them or not and therefore care what happens to them.  Overall I found this to be an enjoyable read.

Thank you to Victoria Hawthorne for an advanced copy
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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tells a tale of the house and the generations who lived in it spread over three timelines, Josie, Eliza and Harriet. Their stories interlink and lead you down a path of realisation of what has happened in present day and why. The stories are all told from the female perspective and helps you realise how strong they all are against adversity.
A very enjoyable read.
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A gothic novel that mixes past and present and made me think of Daphne De Maurier (Cornwall, gothic atmosphere, mansion)
The author did a good job in delivering a novel that mixes thriller with historical fiction, family secrets and social injustice.
It's gripping and entertaining even if a bit too long at times.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I very rarely read and review books in the historical fiction genre as they are not to my taste, but being a big fan of Victoria Hawthorne’s, (under pen name Vikki Patis), psychological thrillers, I knew that with her at the helm it was going to be a fantastic read and I was right!

The House at Helygen is a dark, sinister and atmospheric tale that I could not put down. I was completely captivated by the haunting vibe of the house, which holds so many disturbing secrets and is a character within itself. The plot is well thought through and I enjoyed putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Set over duel timelines, past and present in Cornwall, I throughly enjoyed being transported to the 1800’s for Eliza’s viewpoint and how that part of the story merges in the present with Josie’s. I really liked their characters and each bring the story to life so vividly through Hawthorne’s impeccable writing.

The House at Helygen is a highly addictive historical mystery with plenty of suspense, intrigue and murder. A family saga with generations of dark secrets to uncover, this is a very entertaining tale that I highly recommend you checking out.

Thank you to Victoria Hawthorne, Quercus Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The House at Helygen, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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It was 2019 when Henry Fox and his pregnant wife Josie moved into Helygen House with their dog Ivy, looking forward to their future with the plans for renovation ready to start. The only blot on the horizon was Alice, Henry’s mother. Josie could tell she wasn’t welcomed by her mother-in-law and wondered why. But it wasn’t long after they’d arrived that Henry was found dead by shotgun, in their kitchen, with it being deemed suicide. Josie knew Henry would never have killed himself – he was looking forward to the birth of their daughter, and the continuation of their plans for Helygen House too much to leave Josie alone.

Back in the 1800s Helygen House had been passed down through the generations to the male heir. Harriet had had seven children and only one had survived. Cassius was the heir to Helygen House and his current wife Eliza always felt uneasy around Harriet. She was delighted to fall pregnant but devastated to miscarry not long afterwards. But as Eliza searched for the dark secrets she knew the house was riddled with, she had no idea how fraught with danger her future would be.

Narrated by Josie in 2019 and Eliza and Harriet in the 1800s, The House at Helygen by Victoria Hawthorne is filled with dark secrets, evil intentions and dreadful acts which flowed through the generations of the Fox family, until the current day. Josie’s baby daughter Willow was adorable, Ivy was a loyal and loving pet, and Rosie a strong, intelligent and determined young woman. Recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Disturbing tale of how our past history can affect our future one. The Fox family have lived through some hard times and Helygen House is at the centre of it all. The book twists between Victorian and modern times and has you rooting for various people at various times. Victoria Hawthorne brings both exquisite detail and exciting reading and I felt that I couldn't read it fast enough. I received an arc of this book from the publisher and this is a true and honest opinion of the book which I give freely.
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Described in the blurb as "An atmospheric historical suspense novel rich with familial secrets and strong female protagonists. The House at Helygen is a twisted tale of dark pasts, murderous presents and uncertain futures."

I will not argue with any of that. The atmosphere is dark, there is plenty of suspense and some of the females are so strong they are aggressive. The story darts backwards and forwards between the 1840's, the 1880's and today and the murders are plentiful indeed.

I very much enjoyed the Cornish setting and was absorbed by the plot especially as it related to the present day. I feared for Willow's life every time her mother left the room and that alone kept me sitting on the edge of my seat.

My only criticism would be that the author got rather carried away with her "twisted tale of dark pasts." There were murders, drownings, people locked in attics, people who were quite insane, suggestions of haunting, buildings burning down and more. In the end it was all a bit of a muddle. I think I must have become jaded with historical fiction being set in multiple timelines and this may have to be the last one I try for a while.

Lots of people will love this book but for me it was just okay.
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An atmospheric historical suspense novel rich with familial secrets. The House at Helygen is a twisted tale of dark pasts, murderous presents and uncertain futures.

2019

When Henry Fox is found dead in his ancestral home in Cornwall, the police rule it a suicide, but his pregnant wife, Josie, believes it was murder. Desperate to make sense of Henry's death she embarks on a quest to learn the truth, all under the watchful eyes of Henry's overbearing mother. Josie soon finds herself wrestling against the dark history of Helygen House and ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried.

1881

Eliza is the new bride who arrives at Helygen House with excitement at the new life she’s embarked upon. Yet when she meets her new mother-in-law, an icy and forbidding woman, her dreams of a new life are dashed. And when Eliza starts to hear voices in the walls of the house, she begins to fear for her sanity and her life.

Can Josie piece together the past to make sense of her present, or will the secrets of Helygen House and its inhabitants forever remain a mystery?

1881. Harriet and Edmund Fox were the first owners of Helygen House, a country retreat that, as is the usual in moneyed families, has ever since passed down the to the eldest male heir. From the original owners in 1847, it then passed to Eliza and Cassius Fox in 1881. Eliza has to spend a lot of time alone, because Cassius is away a lot looking after his business interests. Eliza starts to feel lonely and misses her family. Not only that, there’s an eerie feeling in the house and Eliza's is sure she’s heard voices at night and at times a baby is crying. Eliza daren’t tell anyone as she thinks she might be going mad.  

2019: Henry Fox is found dead at his ancestral home in Cornwall. The police are quick to rule out foul play, because it looks to them like a rule a suicide. His wife Josie, who is pregnant, won’t believe Henry has killed himself. Yet his mother Alice is satisfied with the suicide verdict. Josie finds it difficult to deal with this woman, who has always held herself above Josie, as if she wasn’t good enough to be part of the family. She knows how excited Henry was about becoming a father, they had spent so much time getting their apartment renovated and even had plans to start a business together at the house. Something isn’t right though. Even through her grief. Josie is absolutely determined to find the truth and as far as she’s concerned there’s a murderer somewhere at Helygen. Her mother-in-law’s attitude hasn’t helped Josie settle, but she has to admit the atmosphere has always been strange. There’s a strange feeling she can’t place, a haunting perhaps? 

I enjoy dual timelines and this is a triple as we alternate between the 1840’s, the 1880’s and the present. It’s important that each timeline is equally interesting so it doesn’t just feel like a narrative device. Here I think they work. It feels as if Eliza and Josie are working together, even though they’re separated by centuries. Both are convinced that Helygen House has a dark past, that still lingers within the walls. The many tragic deaths over the years are starting to look sinister, even if it is just the eerie sensation and the voices driving occupants towards madness. There are enough family secrets to keep the tale moving forward and there is a continuous feeling of suspense to keep the reader wanting one more chapter. I loved the added theme of motherhood and how it might feel to be a new mum. Especially in a house like this one, where it can’t help to add sleeplessness and night feeds into the mix. The place feels suitably Gothic, whichever timeline you’re in and from the start I believed in this world completely. It does keep the reader guessing and I found myself wanting to know if the storyline resolved itself for both women. It was also interesting to add in the question of women’s rights in past centuries and compare it to the present day. A great, suspenseful and spooky novel with the gorgeous backdrop of Cornwall.
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I really enjoyed this book which was much darker than I thought it would be. I haven't read any of the author's psychological thrillers but her love and mastery of the genre are apparent here. It's a gripping and chilling story linking distant generations of a dysfunctional and disturbing family in a haunting and atmospheric house.

There are actually three narratives, Josie (2019), Eliza (1881) and Harriet (1847-1881) and the past timelines jump back and forth between two different characters which took a while for me to get into. I thought I knew what was happening in Harriet's diary entries so was pleasantly surprised to be caught off guard. I think I enjoyed the past timeline more than the present possibly because there was just so much going on with Josie. The cast of mostly female characters is complex and interesting. 

This was an intriguing story and I would definitely read more from Victoria Hawthorne.
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Oh wow! What an atmospheric, thrilling story! Backwards and forwards between the past and the present until we get to the wonderful conclusion, I enjoyed this story so much, marvellous!
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I haven't read a book by this author before.  This is her first one in the 'historical mystery' genre and I found it hard to put down.

It does flit between different time periods as we meet various members of the Fox family who live at Helygen House. But dark sinister things happen at this property.

It was a most compelling read that I highly enjoyed.
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A moody, atmospheric tale at two women, one in the 1880s and one in the present, who come to Helygen as excited young brides and clash with their forbidding mothers-in-law and a general sense of foreboding emanating from the house.  Well-written tale that made me want to keep reading to discover the secrets at the heart of this house.
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Oh wow! I loved this book so much. A time slip mystery with a kick ass twist at the end. It is brave and pulls no punches in the character arcs. I got genuinely excited when a new nugget of information dropped! This should be where I say “For fans of…….” No way, this book is too good to be pigeonholed 😊
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