Olivia is excited for university. She will be on her own, in a new place hopeful to meet new friends.
On the night she moves in, she is taken off the street by two masked men. She is placed in a room which is little more than a cell. A pink cell. A room made for a doll. She is now part of their collection.
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Review: DOLL HOUSE by John Hunt DOLL HOUSE is a deeply felt and admirably realized tale of an unending real-life nightmare. On the very day she moves into a freshman residence hall at university, Olivia is abducted and undergoes five years of unspeakable torment. During her absence, her devoted father Harry devolves into alcoholism, an addiction that continues even after Olivia' s eventual escape and return to their home. Since the ringleader has not been found, neither Olivia, Harry, nor the other victims can find peace, until a heartwrenching and traumatic denouement.
I was excited about this book from the first few pages. It takes place in the same area I grew up in Canada. This book is by far one of the best suspense/thrillers I've ever read. I got through it in a few short hours, it was THAT good. I loved that it focused on Olivia rather than the 'bad guy' and the investigation into him. The last few pages were so intense, so scary. I was sitting up straight and powering through just to find out what happens. No other book has ever had me so on edge. The twists were so shocking and exciting, the entire book was a very real horror, and I loved every second of it.
BEFORE.... Olivia is a college freshman, her first day of college, first day of living on her own. Her father worries, but don't all parents? Olivia never gets to even sleep in her dorm room. She is taken off the street by two men wearing masks. They take her somewhere... and put her in a pretty pink room. A room made for a doll. She has become a new member of their collection. DURING.... For five years Olivia is kept prisoner in her pink room. She is tortured, she is beat, she is raped repeatedly, she loses body parts when she fights back. Olivia's father is still grieving her loss. Nothing much seems to matter anymore. The police are no longer actively looking for her. The only thing that seems to help relieve the pain at least temporarily is alcohol .. and he is consuming more and more every night. And then one night he gets a phone call. On the other end, he hears a voice saying ...Daddy, help me .. please help me. AFTER.... Olivia has escaped. She has killed one of her abductors. She also finds 3 other girls locked in other pink rooms. It's like having PSTD ... she can't forget and she's afraid all the time. One of her captors is still out there and she's so afraid he's coming back for her. The story is told in different voices ... Olivia's, her father's, the two men who kidnapped her, and one of the other victims that she saved. WARNING : Contains massive violence, rape, torture, even cannibalism. It's very fast-paced with little let up. I was engaged from the very first to the very end. All of the characters are finely drawn and very credible. The ending was electric. Made me get up and double check the locks on the doors. Many thanks to the author / Black Rose Writing / Netgalley for the digital copy of this novel. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
This book seriously blew me away. My head is spinning... I was clenching my hands and biting my nails the WHOLE time. It takes a lot for a book to make me step back and say... woah WHILE I'm reading it but this one did just that. Olivia is off to college an hour away from home. She doesn't even make it a full 24 hrs before her worst nightmare happens and her life is changed forever. Abducted and forced into a prison made just for her. Everything is pink, bolted down to the floor, no sharp objects or anything to protect herself with. "She became a meat puppet, her strings played by two masked men, evil in their own ways." These men are sick , so sick I found myself wanting to look away from what I was reading.... but at the same time I couldn't. They are vile, repulsive... the things they do to women are unmentionable. Hunt's words are so well written I was scared for Olivia. Their masks, a Gorilla and a Jackal, make them seem even more the monster they really are. Olivia isn't their first and she's pretty sure she won't be the last, there are others, like her. Gorilla can't control himself like Jackal can. After five years Olivia has learned this and will use it to her advantage when he comes to her alone. Rules are broken and the price must be paid. When things don't go as planned for one of the men, the other is on his own, to find his Olivia and bring her back. He won't let her go that easy. "Five years of foreplay and then to have his moment stolen enraged and hurt him." Between Olivia's dad and the detectives they are determined to keep her safe with alarm systems, fancy gadgets that alert the police and even a dog.... but not everyone is who they seem. My rating: 5/5 Jackal stars
I absolutely loved this book. The premise of the book appealed to me and once I started it I couldn't put it down, Olivia is such a believable character it's easy to feel her emotions throughout. The author does a brilliant job of keeping the fear and creepiness at full strength from first page to last. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a book written well, with believable characters and a cracking story.
Thank you. Enjoyed it. Will purchase copies for family and friends.
Thank you to Netgalley, Black Rose writing and John Hunt for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book. You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On Goodreads from today under Karen Whittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date. Please take caution and think carefully before you read this book. If you are offended/creeped out/grossed out easily then please think carefully before reading this book. For this book contains many things that the average reader will find hard to stomach. I think that I have an iron clad stomach. This is the third book that I have read this year. That has descriptions in that I think the average viewer would find possibly offensive. Let's just say it is uncomfortable reading at times. With scenes you would find in Hannibal/wolf creek/house at the end of the street and things like saw. Before this book Olivia is a freshman college student. It is her first time being in her own. The first day in her dorm when she is abducted by some masked men off the street. For five years Olivia has been kept captive. She had been kept in a pink room. Where she has been tortured, raped and abused. Her father is going through the grieving process the only thing that helps him is at the end of a bottle. The police have given up hope. Until one day Olivia's father gets a call. Which says daddy please help me. The story is told from different points of view. Olivia's, her fathers and the two kidnappers and one other victim. It is a harrowing, scary, bone tingerling book. That if you can manage to read it will have the desired effect if creeping you out. i think this would make a really good horror movie. Let me know if you manage to read this one. Happy reading everyone
Fantastic story! Looking forward to reading more by this author!
I loved this story. I couldn't put it down. Great writing style. A very quick read - I loved it that much.
Olivia and her dad Harry said their good-byes when he dropped her off at University. He knew he would miss her terribly but he never dreamed it would be the last he saw of her. Olivia was kidnapped that very night by 2 masked men she would come to think of as The Gorilla and The Jackal for the next 5 years. She is dumped in a cell of putrid pink, and systematically raped, tormented and tortured on a regular basis by the Gorilla as the Jackal watches. Meanwhile Her father Harry has slipped into a stupor of alcoholism, never knowing for sure if Olivia is alive or dead until that one fateful night when her captors make a fatal mistake and she seizes the opportunity to make her escape. The Jackal however, is not willing to give up on tracking her down and bringing her back. This was a fast paced, suspenseful thriller often quite brutal in it's graphic violence. Not for the faint of heart and not something to read while snacking if you are weak of stomach. 4 out of 5 stars from me. Currently free at Amazon at the time of this post. I received a complimentary copy for review.
Oh my god. This book was incredibly creepy and I loved every second of it. This twisted tale gets going right away and doesn't stop. Disclaimer: This book includes some very difficult topics that aren't for everyone. Rape, torture, lots of violence, and even acts of cannibalism. So I recommend against this book if you are squeamish/not a fan of these topics. We start with Olivia leaving for college and moving into her dorm. She doesn't even get to spend a night there when she's abducted off the sidewalk on her college campus. She wakes up in a tiny pink room, almost as if made for a doll, and she faces her abductors daily. She knows them by their masks: Gorilla and Jackal. She is used for their pleasure and brutally punished when she resists (losing body parts, torture, etc). Fast forward five years later and Olivia manages to break free and kill one of her abductors. When she goes to escape she finds more rooms like hers with two other girls inside. She and the two manage to escape. But now they must deal with the after-effects of such trauma, and Olivia knows there is still one of them out there. He is obsessed with her and will do anything to get Olivia back. This book is told from different perspectives. From Olivia's, her father's, both of her abductors, and one of the girls that she saved. This is a very fast-paced and quick read. Incredibly creepy and demented, but I loved it all. It just hits you and doesn't stop! Thank you to the publisher for an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
Doll House by John Hunt was one of the creepiest books that I have read in a long time; it takes quite a bit for me to be truly frightened, but this one had my skin crawling. I was glued to my seat. I was compelled to keep reading. I could have read this one easily in one sitting, but I had to take a break when it became too dark. I had to read this one during the daytime. The novel opens and immediately jumps into the action; Olivia is abducted and her descent into hell begins. Explicitly written, but not overdone, Hunt relies on the reality of a psychopathic mind instead of ostentatious shows of violence. In fact, the scariest part of this novel was the fact that it felt so real. There was no paranormal element, nothing supernatural, just the pure, raw and macabre horrors of human nature. From the pace to plot and a kick-ass female protagonist, I found not much to fault in Doll House. This novel is out now, so if you want a “scare your pants off” type horror thriller, then look no further.
Olivia embarks on her first year of college but before she can even get settled into her dorm room or attend her first class, she's abducted and terrorized in a tiny pink room... just another doll to be played with by her abusive captors. Harry, her father, drowns himself in alcohol to cope with his daughter's disappearance until he answers the phone one day, five years later, and hears, "Daddy?". But this isn't the end, it's only the beginning of a continued nightmare where every shadow, every knock on the door, every tap on the window, could be someone coming for her. You never truly get away after going through what Olivia endured. This book is not for the faint of heart. It's deliciously dark and gruesome. Extremely fast paced, yet somehow you feel every part of the girls' pain. I don't mind explicit gore in a book and this walks a fine line - just enough to make you squeamish without ever going too far (at least for me, but I don't mind squeamish). Moving from action to suspense to action again, your heart races throughout. What's even scarier is there are no supernatural monsters, ghosts or demons - just a plausible scenario which will have you paying more attention to your surroundings. 5 full creepy screaming stars for this quick read and because I haven't been this creeped out in a while..
OMG, This book, can I just start by saying Doll House was an intense read, you will need a strong stomach to get through the earlier chapters, so be aware you are reading a HORROR!!! book and if this is not your thing well you have been warned. That being said I do love this genre and I am a sucker for the blood and gore and psychological warfare that comes with these type of stories (much to the other half's dismay when I make him sit through the latest horror flick) I loved Doll House. From the opening innocent lines that could be from any YA novel of bunnies and rainbows and that first magical day at university, where Olivia's dad & uncle leave her to take her first tentative steps into the world of adult responsibility and then BAM!!!! We are plunged into another story one of such extremes and the most awful god awful depravities, snatched off the street, Olivia's world has imploded and her whole existence now revolves around the whims of her two heinous kidnappers the Jackel and the Gorilla. Raped and subjected to the most extreme torture which involves lobbed off body parts, you would think that this is the point of this tale, but it's not. Dolls house shows us what happens when the unthinkable occurs, how the human psyche can still endure after five years of captivity, the reserves of spirit needed to escape and also rescue others along the way just WOW and this is where our tale really begins Olivia now free from her pink prison hopes her nightmare is over but it is truly only just beginning. Yes Doll House is graphic and extreme but honestly, this is what originally attracted me to this, The rape in this is only implied and we do not experience it happening so though we know it's occurred it truly makes it a lot easier to read about, I would have found graphic rape scenes harder to stomach than the removing of body parts, this was YUCK but was a much easier pill to swallow in my opinion . so in conclusion, very gripping graphic writing that pulled me in, kept my interest, and I read in a very short time, downsides for me were very few, I felt the ending was a bit disjointed with not enough closure and I did kind of guess who the bad guy was, but this was right near the end and so didn't take away from my enjoyment a tall. I received a free e-copy of this e-book from NetGalley for a review and this is my own honest opinion.
I didn't really enjoy this book . It just wasn't my sort of thing. Olivia wasn't a very strong character and some of people in it seemed pointless. I wouldn't really recommend this book.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. Dark, suspenseful, gritty, a real page turner. I kept wanting to close my eyes so I wouldn't see what happened. I like that a lot of time wasn't spent on the torture that Olivia went through. There was enough to make you really uncomfortable, but not too much as to make you want to stop reading. The book was fast paced, but scary. It's very well written, and the characters are very believable. I also very much liked the fact that it took place in Canada. I would highly recommend this book. I honestly thought I figured out who it was and I was positive that I was right, and I wasn't. I had to re-read the paragraph because I couldn't believe that I was wrong. The only reason I took a star away is because I felt it wrapped up too easily and I still had some unanswered questions. An short epilogue would have finished the book off nicely.
College freshman, Olivia, is kidnapped on her very first day at her new university. Trapped in a pink cell and treated like a doll, Olivia is repeatedly raped and tortured by her two captors. After five years of this, Olivia manages to escape, and is reunited with her dad. She is constantly on edge, because while one captor died…the other, known as The Jackal, is still out there, and no one knows who he is. Told through two perspectives, Olivia’s and The Jackal’s, Hunt weaves a story about a dark, chilling, cat and mouse game. I loved Doll House! It was really dark, and there were some graphic scenes, which don’t bother me. I was so engaged from the very beginning of the story, and couldn’t wait to see what happened and how everything played out. I really loved Olivia as the main character. She was strong despite her circumstances, and refused to let her captors break her, as they did to many other women before her. After escaping, she was understandably shaken and paranoid, but she still was able to help her dad kick his alcohol addiction and took steps to be proactive in make her feel safe. There were a few times around two thirds into the story where it felt like the plot was moving a little slowly for me because not much was happening. The story wasn’t moving forward yet, so it felt like it was at a standstill, however the book picked back up at the end and definitely went out with a bang! I was able to predict the outcome of the book, which always makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes! All in all, Doll House is definitely a book I’d recommend if you’re okay with reading scenes that contain torture/rape, even though they weren’t overly gory, they are definitely there. Doll House was a win for me, and I’m excited to keep an eye on what John Hunt writes in the future!
The premise of Doll House was a fresh idea. Howerver,I found the story jumped all over the place. It held.my attention, until halfway through the book. You could see the end coming amd it.was only a matter of pages until.the author got to the point. I found the ending to be void of any real resolution. It felt as though the author simply wanted to.finish the book, without writting ending.
I loved this book. Dark, suspenseful, gritty, a real page turner. I kept wanting to close my eyes so I wouldn't see what happened. I like that a lot of time wasn't spent on the torture that Olivia went through. There was enough to make you really uncomfortable, but not too much as to make you want to stop reading. The book was fast paced, but scary. It's very well written, and the characters are very believable. I also very much liked the fact that it took place in Canada. I would highly recommend this book. I honestly thought I figured out who it was and I was positive that I was right, and I wasn't. I had to re-read the paragraph because I couldn't believe that I was wrong. The only reason I took a star away is because I felt it wrapped up too easily and I still had some unanswered questions. An short epilogue would have finished the book off nicely.
This is a very dark, gritty, disturbing, suspenseful thriller and will keep your heart pounding while turning the pages. If you have certain levels of grittiness that you can't handle, this book is not for you because it covers all levels of grittiness. This book scared me and had me shaking and shuddering. I don't scare easy. There were a lot of Oh No! moments. I loved this book and kind of felt guilty loving it. I really can't recommend this book unless I know your level of grittiness. If you can take on everything in a gritty book then this one is for you. Olivia is on her way to College. She ends up getting abducted by two masked men who have masks on. Their names are The Jackal and the Gorilla. She is taken to a house and put in a pink room made for a doll. She is not the only girl in this house, there are several others. These masked men are doll collectors. This Dolls House is a house of terror. They are raped, tortured and abused. These girls are just another doll to be played with by these sick captors. Olivia's Dad has been waiting for years for Olivia to be found. He starts drinking and turns into an alcoholic because he can not accept her not being found, until the day he receives a phone call and the voice on the other end says Dad! I am not going any more into the story. You will just have to read it if you want to know what happens next. It is so creepy. I thought the characters were done very well. It was a very quick read and was racing to the end. I want to thank NetGalley, John Hunt and the publication sher for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I couldn't put this book down and finished it in one sitting!! This book had me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last! The description of this book doesn't do it justice and I almost skipped over this title. I'm glad I didn't. The story is not for the weak of heart, it has violence, rape, torture and even cannibalism. However, the characters and story line is riveting, shocking and intense. The author does an excellent job of keeping you on the edge of your seat!
A horrific but brilliant book that kept me guessing until the end, very graphic and gory early on but not in an exploitive way. Olivia is great as the tough but damaged heroine and is a very likeable character, I felt so much compassion for her and her father. The book was also very original in that you heard from a few different characters viewpoints throughout, Olivia's, her Dad's and the Madman's, I was so immersed in the story that I read it in a day, the lead up to the ending was exceptionally tense but I was a bit disappointed with how it turned out. Will definitely read more from this author.
This was a good one!! The story begins with Olivia getting ready to go off to college. The very day she is dropped off by her dad, she is kidnapped and held prisoner by two very dark, sick, twisted and tortuous men. These men are known to Olivia as Gorilla and Jackal by the masks they wear when they enter her room. For five years Olivia is held in this same room. It is unreal what she goes through at the hands of these two sickos. The graphic torturing events in the story were hard for me to read. Eventually Olivia is able to escape along with two other girls who also had rooms in this warped “Doll House”. After Olivia’s escape she returns to live with her father who has become an alcoholic during her years of captivity. I did find myself getting irritated at Olivia’s dad, Harry, when Olivia had to take care of him and his alcohol problem after she had been through so much. The author takes you through the thoughts, emotions, anxieties, and fears of Olivia’s post-captivity life. Olivia and Harry have so much emotional baggage to carry around after this set of horrific events. They both feel guilty and at times blame themselves for what happened. The point of view switches throughout the story mostly between Olivia and the Jackal, who by the way was never captured and is still out there somewhere. The best part of the story for me was trying to figure out the identity of the Jackal. The police find out after interviewing all of the girls that the Jackal did things different when it came to Olivia. They believed the Jackal may be someone Olivia knew since he never spoke to her but he did the other girls. The action rises towards the end…just wait until you find out the identity of the Jackal. Overall this is a great book…I give it 4 stars. Thank you John Hunt, Black Rose Writing, and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.
Olivia has lived with her dad Harry all of her life. Its now time for her to go off to college but both her and her dad are struggling with her leaving. Harry drives Olivia to her college dorm and leaves with a heavy heart. That same night Olivia is kidnapped and neither Olivia or her dad Harry were prepared for the nightmare they would both end up living through. I absolutely loved this book! It is a story that grips you and keeps you hanging on until the very end. I could not put this book down. There are many twists and turns to keep you hanging on and keeps you wondering whats going to happen next. This story isn't for the faint hearted. Its a story of a young womans horrific journey through hell and back. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that loves some gore, horror and some mystery. I can't wait to read more from this author!
3.5 Stars. DOLL HOUSE is a shockingly gruesome thriller! Author John Hunt wastes no time introducing his two creepy masked characters GORILLA and JACKAL quickly demonstrating their intent to maim and violate their newly acquired young captive Olivia without a care in the world.....except their personal gratification. Olivia's nightmare in the "twisted pink doll house" begins the very first day her beloved father gets her settled in her new dorm room when she decides to take a walk around campus.....BIG MISTAKE....and father Harry, well, he lives his own nightmare as he turns to drink to survive his daughter's absence.... but then there's a phone call, and the plot takes a satisfying turn......but the fear does not end..... Be forewarned, DOLL HOUSE is quite graphic with horrific abuse and cruelty, and filled with blood and gore throughout most of the story; and although I sped right through it to find out the true identity of the evil behind the masks, there were times the dialogue and actions were a bit 'off' in respect to our resilient Olivia, hence my 3 Star rating. Many thanks to NetGalley and BLACK ROSE writing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this novel. This was dark, but I liked it! What an interesting & exciting story. I liked the character of Olivia & although what happened to her is horrible, I read on to find out what came next. I do wish there was a bit more back story on the baddie & how he came to be though. I'm excited to see what's next from this author.
Terrifying. Horrific. Skin crawling. Heart in your mouth, reading quickly to get past the scary bits (like the need to look away) yet unable to skim read because it's just so damn good.... It's been a really, really long time since I've read anything that has scared me. This book did that; it also made me sad, angry, happy, hopeful and intrigued. Not many books can claim to take you so far - this one did for me! The story plays out very naturally and the mystery kept me guessing - I did guess the who about 3/4 through, but it didn't stop me from enjoying every word - especially as I was unsure if I was right until the end! A very, very good read that kept me up late reading - even though I wanted to hide under the covers! If you like a bit of fright in your night, this book is for you.
Doll House by John Hunt, Olivia is starting university, she doesn't make it through the first night before being snatched. Awakened in a small cell decorated in pink, like a doll house, her horror begins.... Olivia isn't alone there are other girls all subjected to hardened acts of violence, rape and abuse by two masked men. Olivias father struggles to cope in the ensuing years and turns to alcohol to blot out the pain of his loss, one call changes it all. Wow what a twisted psychological thriller, graffic in detail, dark and disturbing, if you can't handle graffic and gritty detail, this book isn't for you. I dont scare easy but was disturbed and shaken at some points but I couldn't put the book down. It's a real page turner, that I couldn't let go, even at the end.
Spooky edge of your seat thrill ride. This book was wonderful
This was a really good story I didn't want to put it down, I won't lie its not going to be to everyone's liking as it is at times a disturbing read which features some difficult subjects such as rape, mutilation and extreme violence but it hasn't been overplayed or sensationalised. The story centres around a young girl - Olivia, who on her first day of Uni is snatched by two men and then shes not seen again for five years, held a prisoner with no way of knowing what will happen to her apart from knowing she is at the whim of two very sick individuals, What I liked about Olivia was she never gives up, she keeps her fighting spirit, always looking for a way to escape and return to her Dad. The characters in the book are believable and you are rooting for her escape and its been very well written and keeps you guessing right to the end of the book.
Review posted on goodreads and facebook on March 5, 2017
I like thrillers and read this genre almost exclusively, and this one had the potential to be quite a suspenseful read. Unfortunately, it was so grisly and gory that it just felt OVERDONE more than scary or chilling. Basic premise -- two men, the Gorilla and the Jackal, nab young women off the street and keep them in little cells decorated in pink. While kept in these rooms in the basement, the men maim, rape and torture them. Can you say cannibals? As I said, just think of a horror and it's probably in this book. Well, not EVERYTHING, but a lot. Olivia is the main character, snatched off her college campus on the night she moves to University. She's subjected to brutality but manages to effect an escape with other girls held there. Not a spoiler because this is where the story really starts -- after she gets out and goes back home. She is meant to be a feisty heroine, but I just never really felt that much for the believability of her character. Her responses to being home, her conversations with people, her thoughts -- I don't know, maybe it's just me. Lots of repetition of the horrors she experienced (yeah we got it) and her fear and tangents about security being an illusion etc. It seemed to drag and what was supposed to be tantalizing little hints about the identity of the Jackal probably won't fool anyone. Yeah we knew who it was. I don't mind gory and grisly but the writing just didn't seem as sophisticated as I'm used to reading in the books I've really liked in this genre. There's no backstory of how the Gorilla and Jackal got together and how they became these beasts -- no psychology, no explanation for the obsessions -- it all seemed unfinished even after the big showdown we knew was coming and even could guess how that was going to go. The story is told in alternating points of view between Olivia and the Jackal mainly, but also a few times Olivia's dad speaks up. The setting is Canada. The winters are long and dark. Nothing much else about the locale to incorporate it into the story. Despite the efforts to horrify, this didn't really scare me, create tension, or develop suspense. Over-the-top violence -- which I know does exist in the world -- but I think it was just the constant reminder of it all every chapter that made it overdone. If you're like me, you probably have a long TBR, so don't put this at the top of your list. Thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for the opportunity to read and review an ARC. The cover was amazing, it just didn't have anything to do with the story and the title is misleading.
**DNF** Before I get in to why I didn't finish this book, I'll say that Hunt does an amazing job at getting the ready to identify with the character, Olivia. She's believable, her emotions are palpable and you have no choice but to fear for her. The story surrounds Olivia. a girl heading off to university. She's moved away from home, into a new house. Her first night away from home, she's snatched off the street by two men. She's lead away to a purpose-built prison - the doll house. Don't let the name fool you, this isn't a story about dolls or even about collecting women. It's about the horrific rape and torture of women, and that is where I couldn't finish. This is one of those novels that should almost carry a warning before reading it. It's gritty, gruesome and, for women that've been in sexual abuse situations, it's terrifying. If you thought the rape scene in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was horrific, this book makes it seem like a pat on the shoulder. I gave it three stars because despite the graphic rape scenes and torture the story is very well written and for people who know what they're going into when they read it, they'll be captivated and it'll be a page turner. This isn't the book for everyone, but for those people who enjoy the grit, torture and rape - it'll be a book they can't put down.
This was a very dark, gruesome and disturbing tale..like something out of a horror flick. Initially, I wanted to rate this book a 3. It could have used some more proofreading and it didn't quite flow as nicely in the first 3 chapters. However, I was so intoxicated by the story and characters, those things were easy to overlook. There were times I felt my heart racing and needed to take a break from reading, due to the graphic nature of this book. This is definitely not for the light-hearted. I love horror, so this was right up my alley and one that I would recommend to others who want a good thrill.
Very disturbing and gritty book. Read at your own peril. I personally can't recommend this book because it was too gruesome for me.
I can sum this book up in two words: Holy Crap I'm going to start this review with a warning first. If reading about rape, torture, murder, abduction and fear aren't for you, this is not your book. Find something else to read. For those of you still with me, I have to say OH MY GOD. It was horrible but fantastic at the same time. Please don't think of me as sadistic. I would never want to read in the newspaper about anything like this happening to anyone but I know it's fiction and that makes all the difference. The first part of the book is about Olivia who has just moved away from home to attend university only to be abducted and subsequently raped, tortured and mutilated over the next five years. This doesn't go on for the full book but her fear does. She is naturally a changed person. Who wouldn't be after all she's endured. In addition to Olivia's point of view, it is also told from the perpetrator's point of view. You get to see how depraved he really is. I hadn't heard of the author before so naturally I looked him up. You will be shocked to learn he's from Canada. At least I was. Most people think of us Canadians as very polite, apologetic people who are easy to get along with. We are, really...but winters can be long and cold, and apparently some of our minds wander to nasty places when we've been stuck indoors for that long. Or maybe he just snapped after the Leafs lost again. Who knows but I can say if you are looking for something to terrify you, look no further than Doll House. Highly recommended for anyone looking for terror with a strong stomach and the ability to remember that you're reading fiction.
This book was horrifying to me. Since I am a mother with daughter, it was easy to really connect with the characters. It is very gory and violent but all worked to make the story that much more intense. It hits you in the gut.
This is a debut novel about Olivia who is about to start university and is moving onto campus, much to her dad, Harry's dismay. Olivia has grown up without a mother, she didn't want kids, so left harry to bring her up single-handedly. Olivia never got to sleep in her new digs, she hadn't even unpacked before deciding to go for a walk. Then, she was snatched from the street and shoved into the back of a van by two guys. One in a "Gorilla" mask, the other in a "Jackal" mask. Olivia is a feisty character who is determined not to go down without a fight. Harry has devoted his whole life to Olivia, so when she goes missing his whole world is turned upside down, and the only way he can deal with it is to numb the pain with alcohol. This book isn't for the faint-hearted. It doesn't hold back on the punches or the details. The title of the book has little resemblance to the novel, it was more of a torture chamber than a dolls house. There are a few grammatical errors and some repetition, but apart from that it was a very gripping, if not a disturbing thriller. This novel had me gripped from the first start and i found myself reading until the early hours. Only problem with that was, it had me jumping at the slightest sound. I am disappointed with the ending though, it felt like there are a few pages missing??? Would definitely recommend if you're not easily scared and don't mind gory details. Looking forward to the next one!
I have to admit, my interest in this book came from Pretty Little Liars. Not in the sense that they're related to each other, but there is a dollhouse aspect in PLL, just like there is in this book though boy, are they different! This book is not for the feint-of heart. Fantastic concept for a thriller.
Dark, brutal, and intense, this is not a book to go into lightly. Set aside some time to get lost in this harrowing tale.
A book of the year ! This book was so twisted and gruesome yet showed an amazing will to love and how we as humans refuse to give up even when all hope is lost! This book had me literally jumping out of my chair and having crazy dreams that either the gorilla or jackel were in my room ! I love the twist at the end, I never expectedly who the jackel turned out to be, and heartbroken too ! Overall I loved every scary second of this book !
Superb book in a gruesome way. A girl found herself captured by some evil and sadist men. Imprisoned in a dolls house for their service. Degraded and used. Can she escape ? Can she ever recover? Brilliant thrille, lots of twists and turns to find one of the men behind it all.
Doll House was one heck of a psychological thrill ride! I read it in "one sitting". I just couldn't put it down! This story draws you into its suspenseful web right from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the very end. There are surprises and twists all along the way. And, if you think you have figured out who and why before you reach the end, you might just be very surprised. Hunt did an superb job of creating a plot that is fast-paced and full of tension and drama. He created characters that have depth and are deeply complex and multi-dimensional. He skillfully stirred my emotions and easily caused me to run a gamut of feelings from heart-pounding fear, gut-wrenching sorrow, extreme anger and bloodthirsty vengefulness to the blossoming of hope, soul-deep compassion and a righteous and satisfactory sense of justice served. My heart broke for Olivia and everything she went through, but I cheered for and admired her determination, spirit and will to survive. She was brave, bold and completely selfless, despite the fact that it could have meant her own life to be such. The villains are sick, deranged, maniacal, perverted psychos whose utter depravity will cause a cold chill to run up your spine. Just the thought that there are actual people like them in the world who actually do these kinds of things was enough to make me double check the locks on my doors. And, I also found myself becoming hyper aware when outside at a place as seemingly safe as my front porch. This book was quite moving and definitely has had an impact on me well beyond the pages. I look forward to reading more from Hunt. *I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Black Rose Writing in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
Olivia is ready for the next chapter in her life. She is starting college. Before she even gets to spend one night in her new dorm she is kidnapped. For the next 5 years she is help in a tiny room that is all pink, everything is bolted to the floor and there are 2 kidnappers who never visit her alone. one wears a Gorilla mask, her beats, rapes and tortures Olivia in the most unimaginable ways. The Jackal stands by and watches and never speaks, but when the Gorilla has had his fun the Jackal cleans her up and tends to her wounds. At first she thinks maybe he could be an adversary but soon realizes he is actually the leader. Five years later the Gorilla visits her alone and takes his mask off while raping her. She figures out a way to get rid of him and escapes. While escaping she realizes she is not the victim. She finds and releases 2 other girls as well. Now home disfigured and terrified because the Jackal is still free, Olivia tries to put a life together. To me this book basically has 3 parts. The first part is the kidnapping, torture and finally breaking free. The 2nd part is Olivia's returning home to her father. Her Father has become an alcoholic during her imprisonment. Olivia and her Uncle do and intervention on her Father and get him the help he needs. Olivia also talks him into moving. Then the 3rd part of the book is Olivia starting to heal. But we also have the full on return of the Jackal and his plan for Olivia and the other 2 girls he was holding. The book is a very dark story, but it is also a story of hope and healing. Depends on how you read it. Like it or not this book is not that far from reality. We hear about these type of things to often lately in the news. This book is not for the young or the faint of heart. Parts of the book are very hard to read or even think about. That being said it was next to impossible to put it down though.
This is a very interesting novel with some extremely well-orchestrated surprises that helps keep the reader involved whilst keeping them off balanced. The story heads in one direction and then changes direction to become something not initially expected. This helped prevent the story become above par from the usual horror torture porn that I was expecting to read upon the first forty pages. This was a nice unexpected surprise. The first forty pages run the course of an extremely horror novel but then Hunt turns a corner and starts to delve deeper. This may cause a problem for some readers as it does not rest firmly into any type of genre. It is not extreme horror or a tense thriller but more settled into a dark fiction hybrid. Personally, I am not a huge fan of extreme horror as the torture porn of people whilst pushing the envelope tends to become stale after reading one. It’s like a Sade or Enya album, buy one and you pretty much have the whole back catalogue and any future releases. Hunt has been able to push past this to a more realised result. The characters are well developed and although the villains of the piece tend to side on the one dimensional variety, the rest of them are fully realised. On a personal level, it would have been nice to have the Jackal and Gorilla more fully developed and gives them a bit more depth beyond the need to kill, maim and feed. This of course, could take away from the mystery element that develops over time. Olivia and her father chapters are the meat of the story and they are well realised with their fears and coming to terms of the situation are well handled. There are times where the passages between the two characters slow down the action but the emotional core is done very well. The secondary characters are well written and Hunt’s red herring characters have enough mystery to keep them interesting without turning them stale. I have to admit, that the killer’s chapters were very interesting but felt a bit more depth beyond his fascination would have lifted this novel to the next level. The reveal of the killer was not a huge surprise as the clues were slightly too plain for the avid reader but it was a nice touch nonetheless. The relationship between the Gorilla and the Jackal could have been better developed to provide more depth in the grooming aspect and could have been explored within the killer chapters. The ending is well handled though there were quite a few threads left untied to leave the reader a bit cold at the ending. I am not saying that there would need to be a happy Hollywood ending but closure with some of the other threads would have provided a more rewarding finale. Overall, this is a well handled and constructed novel which kept the reader interested. The different approach to the source material helps lift this above the norm though it does have some very slight flaws. At times, the novel does get bogged down with some melodrama but this does not take away from the overall enjoyment. This is a sparkling debut from a first time novelist and despite some teething problems, this author is on his way of become an interesting writer to look out for. For thought provoking, a break away from the norm and interesting plot lines this is a definite winner. I have placed John Hunt on my list to read for any future instalments and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. An interesting read for readers who are looking for something slightly different from the Richard Laymon wannabes out there.
Suspense novels that deal with abduction, torture, and rape have a fine line to tread. The good ones must shock and scare but not cross over the line into gratuitousness. At the beginning of the novel I worried Doll House would do just that. It is certainly shocking and gruesome but John Hunt manages something quite impressive. The gory descriptions of violence do manage to shock but they also serve to strengthen the character and her resolve to overcome her ordeal. Doll House eventually becomes a story of bravery and perseverance. We meet Olivia and her father on the first page They are likeable and admirable people. Olivia is headed to college yet almost immediately she is abducted. That sets up the nightmare and the reader is thrown into a whirlwind of violence and terror. The author does a brilliant bit of paradox as Olivia is imprisoned in a room that is almost all pink. It's like a pretty doll house which is the farthest thing to that which she will be subjected to. That contradiction nicely serves to disorient the reader to the emotions and actions that will follow. If this nightmare continued through the entire book it just may be too much for most people. Fortunately , through incidents that will remain unspoken to prevent spoilers, we do get a reprieve from the horrors. That does not mean the tension is over. The suspense is still carried on by Hunt's excellent storytelling skills and the book becomes more of a mystery and a portrayal of physical and emotional survival. But what keeps this tale so riveting is the relationship between the characters. Olivia and her father is the linchpin but even seemingly less important interactions like that of the victims (Yes, there's more than one victim. I'll let that little teaser out!) and even the interaction between the kidnapper are important. A good horror-suspense tale to some extent must make the reader uncomfortable. It is about those things you do not want to experience in real life. Horror and suspense are indeed cathartic. Hunt packs a huge punch in this book, teetering over the boundary sometimes perhaps, but redeems himself by making the protagonist of the novel someone you cannot help but root for. Doll House is the first great suspense novel I've read this year.
Olivia is on a walk exploring the college campus when she is abducted by two men. She is a hostage in a locked completely pink room with no windows for five years. She is raped, tortured and mutilated. She has lost a finger or two plus more. Why? When Olivia escapes, she is truly scare still as one of the men is still alive. She is afraid he will come back for her and be put in another pink doll house. Does he? What will he do? The novel is full of unexpected action. It surprised me with its detailed reality. There is also violence in this book. This a novel that you won't forget -- at least I won't. It seems too possible and real.
A terrifying, gripping thriller involving kidnapping, rape and torture. This is definitely not for the faint of heart. Having said that, I found the storyline to be believable and quite engaging. I was on the edge of my seat for a good part of the book trying to figure out who could be causing Olivia all this pain. I missed the clues until the end. I would've liked to know how Olivia was coping in an epilogue. Otherwise, I'll be looking for more John Hunt books. Thanks!
I recieved this book from netgalley for an honest review... Where do I start? This book had everything I love about reading; horror, suspense, mystery, twists and turns, and a girl who was a badass. This is one book that got my blood pumping within the first couple of chapters. There were so many plot twists in this book it kept my attention the entire time, and (sadly) before I knew it, the book had ended. Now I am afraid to read anything else, for fear that nothing will compare to this novel. Mr. Hunt's writing in this book was beautiful, that's the only way I can discribe it. He was able to take the most horrible of chapters and/or events and somehow make them poetic and beautiful. To say I am blown away is and understatment. This book has become one of my favorites. I cannot wait to see what Mr. Hunt writes next!
Olivia is grabbed from the street on her very first day of leaving home for university by two men wearing animal masks and is not seen again for several years. The graphic, gory descriptions of violence are definitely not for the faint hearted and are liable to give some people nightmares. There's a strong sense of menace and fear running throughout the book - a page turner if ever there was one. Could people be as horrible as this pair? One would hope not and it makes you aware of who you might pass in the street, of who might be watching you, which is a good thing. Make sure the windows are closed and the doors are locked! I'm afraid the ending was far too abrupt to be satisfying.
You know when people say that you should never judge a book by its cover? Well, this is definitely one of those cases! I must warn you right now that this book is brutal, very very graphic and definitely not for the faint of heart! I had to stop reading it and start with something lighter to be able to go through with it. Olivia is about to start a new phase in her life: university. After her father drops her off at the campus dorm, Olivia takes a stroll in the university grounds only to be kidnapped by two masked man and thrown in a van. When she is finally able to see, she finds herself in room that looks like the interior of a doll house; everything is pink: the bed, the walls, the furniture. Olivia quickly realises that there is no room to escape and the daily visits of her abductors show her in the most brutal way that she is at their mercy. In a house where several young women are abused and raped daily, Olivia spends five years confined in that pink room. Will she ever be able to escape? Dark and disturbing doesn’t even begin to cover this novel. When I was younger I had nightmares about a white van and it still haunts me today. I can assure you that after reading this, I will run for the hills if I actually see one. My heart was beating on my throat for most of reading and the level of psychological and physical horror of the story is both admirable and scary. Even though this is fiction, I know that these events actually take place around the world, and that’s why for me it was so hard to read. It’s like facing a reality that we just keep in the back of our brains. The style of writing is great, pulled me completely into the story. There was this constant morbid curiosity to know what was going to happen next even though I knew nothing good was waiting around the corner. I definitely want to read future novels of John Hunt but I do have hopes for something less dark and traumatic. I recommend this book to fans of hardcore thrillers with very detailed, disturbing descriptions. But again a warning, this is not for the faint of heart.
Omg what a scary, creepy and downright fabulous book!!!!! God I was sweating reading this with the oh no, oh god moments throughout haha. What a good read, poor Olivia should be having the time of her life at Uni instead she is bundled into a van on her first night and abducted by two men! What ensues is awful and if your of a faint heart it's a no for you! I though loved it and can't wait to read more! Hoping for a sequel!!!!
Wow, I loved this book! Be forewarned, there is a lot of violence. This is not for the weak. Olivia is excited for her first day at university. It has always been just her and her dad. She will now be on her own in a new place. Not even making it to her first class, Olivia is abducted and placed in a room. A pink room. A room made for a doll. But she is not always treated as a doll. Olivia escapes but her nightmare is not over. Every sound and shadow makes her scared. The only comfort is the knife that she keeps with her at all times. This book was gripping, disturbing and suspenseful. Not your normal grab and rape story and it's so believable. Keeps you guessing until the very end. Well written with great character development. I will definitely be reading more from this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for supplying a copy of John Hunt's "Doll House" in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really gritty read. The writer did a great job with the details and even though they were sometimes a bit graphic, I had to know what was going to happen!
Wow! Phenomenal doesn't begin to describe this. After the first few chapters, this really takes off and is impossible to put down. While disturbing in nature and horrific at times, the author has created a masterpiece thriller. Olivia makes heroines of other books pale in comparison. She is one of the bravest you'll ever meet and her story will move you. The subject matter and graphic details make this a book not for the faint-hearted, but it is an incredible novel.
I almost decided to put this book down due to the graphic descriptions and concepts, but I decided to push through and I'm actually glad I did. I don't really have a weak stomach, but there were some pretty dark concepts in this book - it certainly isn't for the faint of heart! Definitely a horror book and pretty well written. The protagonist was broken yet strong - you could tell she was a survivor and was likable. At one point I was able to guess who the Jackal was, so sadly that was a bit of a let down - I don't want to be able to figure things out because it lessens the wow factor for me. And the end although I didn't see the closet scene coming, it was slightly disappointing. Slightly. It just seemed a bit anticlimactic - maybe it happened too fast? Or maybe I was disappointed to see the Jackal making the mistake he made with Brutus. Whatever it was, it just didn't pack too much of a punch for me. Entertaining for sure, but just lacked something. Overall, the book was a short, quick, enjoyable thriller/horror. Again, definitely NOT for the faint of heart as there are some serious triggers!
"Doll House" is a really good thriller that doesn't pull any punches and takes the horrors the protagonist goes through seriously. Some more character development would have been nice but I really enjoyed the writing style which was different but intriguing. The novel gives enough hints for the reader to suspect the person behind Olivia's kidnapping but it still keeps it interesting until the very end.
This book is DISTURBING. Yes, all caps and bold font. If you have a weak stomach, it isn't for you. There were a couple of moments that made me feel a bit ill, and I'm quite used to dark tales. The author doesn't hold back, and isn't glossing anything over. The blurb for this one doesn't give much away, and I'd hate to reveal any spoilers so I'll keep my synopsis similarly brief. I will say that I was happy with the direction this one took, and it definitely added something fresh to this genre. It is hard to read at times, but the main character is incredibly likable and easy to root for. Olivia is thrilled to be off to university. Her father is having a hard time letting go, having raised her by himself... but she is a smart girl, and neither is too worried about her being off on her own. She doesn't even last the night. She's kidnapped off the street, thrown into a van by two men wearing animal masks. They deposit her not so gently into a room of her very own: small, covered in pink, with a door that is always locked. She is to be their plaything, and they'll do whatever they want with her. Welcome to hell.
This was my first time reading John Hunt. I really enjoyed this experience. This one was a wild ride that felt real. The cover really caught my eye, but the story kept me reading. This one kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It is really creepy and disturbing in that it could happen to anyone in real life kind of way. Everything was going well for Olivia. She was about to go to university, and live on her own for the first time. She was looking forward to the full college experience, but one night she is taken by two masked men. She was put in a pink cell–a room built for a doll. Olivia is part of their doll collection now. This is very much a tale of abduction, but it's so much more than that. It's a tale of survival with a strong female lead. This book looks at abduction and the aftermath that follows a survivor. Suspects are found and questioned. What if they catch the wrong guy? What if the abductor is still out there? The abductors are creepy. The female lead, Olivia, is a great character. She reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis. John Hunt does a great job with the final girl scenario. He takes it one step further to show the reader what the final girl goes through after surviving a horrific event. This book is good. The story is fluid. The characters are believable. The dialogue is good. The ending is everything. This book reads like a movie. I would read this book again. Highly Recommend! 5/5 stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
WARNING: THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!! The beginning of this book is gruesome, bloody, cringeworthy, and a serious trainwreck! I didn't know if I could continue. I was buddy reading with my girl Tracy and we were like "what the f are we reading right now?" But the intrigue of it all kept us going. And I'm glad I did. Olivia is just about to start her freshman year at college. Her dad, Harry, is like any parent would be dropping their only daughter off at school......anxious, reluctant, but proud too. What happens next is more than downright scary..... it's terrifying and it happens in real life!!! I was looking for a scary book for Halloween. This was not what I expected. I had predictions. I was wrong. The ending.... gah... sorta torn about it, but it made sense. Tracy asked me what I thought of the book and I only had to think about that for a second. I really liked it! P.S. Brutus!!! You are one hell of a dog!!!!!
Wow, this was much more brutal than expected. Very gory, indeed. I had a hard time decided whether to give this 3 or 4 stars but landed on 4 because the story did actually surprise me. I would read more from this author, for sure. Thank you Netgalley for my copy in return for an honest review.
Doll house by John Hunt. Olivia is excited for university. She will be on her own, in a new place hopeful to meet new friends. On the night she moves in, she is taken off the street by two masked men. She is placed in a room which is little more than a cell. A pink cell. A room made for a doll. She is now part of their collection. A fantastic read. Well written and kept me glued to the book until the end. 5*.