Caveat Emptor

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 19 Mar 2019 | Archive Date 08 Dec 2023

Talking about this book? Use #CaveatEmptor #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Do you believe a house can have a soul?

If you had asked that question to David Holmes back in 1985, it might have given him pause. The next three decades of his career as a Dorset estate agent, provided a very definite answer.

Meoria Grange is an impressive manor, built around the time of the English Civil War. It stands sentinel atop the Wessex Ridgeway, occupying a site of historical importance dating back into the mists of British antiquity.

When a family move in to renovate after a tragic fire, horrific outcomes draw David ever closer to their disturbing source.

Similar repetitions unfold each time he instigates another sale, until a very personal impact causes him to seek out some answers once and for all.

How can pure love and abject horror exist together with such inexplicable harmony?

Do you believe a house can have a soul?

If you had asked that question to David Holmes back in 1985, it might have given him pause. The next three decades of his career as a Dorset estate agent...

Advance Praise

"The very second I finished Caveat Emptor I said to myself. ""What an amazing book! Holy cow!"" My exact words (well, not my exact words. Amazon wouldn't let my review go up with my exact words!)'

'Rarely do I say this about a book but with this one, I would love to see this made into a movie and I am glad I read it. I will certainly be looking for more books by this author.'

'Wow....this book was so not what I was expecting...and I mean that in a good was a total twist on the haunted house stories...I have read one other of this authors books, and I must say, I'm definitely going to be looking for more of them!! If you keep writing, I'll keep reading...definitely a fan!'

'The flow was terrific. I really felt that I was part of everything, as I could envision it so beautifully. The story was creepy enough that it made my skin crawl a few times as I read it - that's something I've been hunting for, and haven't found in a long time. For me, this book was absolutely fabulous. Now I want to see what else this author has out there!'

'Fantastic story. I couldn't put it down. A new twist on a haunted house story. Highly entertaining Don't miss this one.'

'I love books about old homes, legends, history and the paranormal. This book delivers all of these things and more. Loved how author used historic happenings to emphasize the passing of time. A delightful read.'

'You will be entranced with this book! Twists you never saw coming... better leave the lights on, and whatever you do... stay out of the basement...'

'This is as absorbing as Stephen King's stories and quite impossible to put down!'

"The very second I finished Caveat Emptor I said to myself. ""What an amazing book! Holy cow!"" My exact words (well, not my exact words. Amazon wouldn't let my review go up with my exact words!)'


Available Editions

ISBN 9781798463178
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 30 members

Featured Reviews

This unique novel has a split personality. Because it starts as a haunted house book, and by the end you realise it's actually a love story of a most twisted sort.

The house in question leaves a gruesome path of death and destruction whenever someone moves in. Murder/suicide, bloody horrific "accidents", and those who survive are never the same mentally ever again.

David is our protagonist and he's with a real estate firm at the tender young age of twenty two when we first meet him. He is tasked with the showings for this house and it often sits for years without selling because of it's morbid reputation.

But this book covers decades and, eventually, there's always a family willing to purchase the place. We'll read about them and their horrific endings as the book progresses. But David and the house seem to be connected somehow. He hates going in the cellar (and this cellar is extraordinarily frightening) but he's more concerned in talking people out of buying it for their own well being. He has an affinity for the place but no idea why.

At the beginning of this book, it asks a question. Can a house have a soul? That's the crux of this story.

This is an excellent book that takes a familiar trope and disassembles it before putting it back together in a completely different form. It's twisty and bloody at times but also terrifying as the house devours those who enter and don't belong.

The ending is also bittersweet and really changes your opinion of what this book is about. I loved the ending personally and thought it was as unique as the rest of the novel.

I highly recommend this one.

Was this review helpful?

The horror genre is saturated with sapless, vanilla volumes from bland writers who churn out boring title after boring title - leaving the reader with another notch in their belt, but completely dissatisfied.

This is not that sort of book.

This is a true horror novel.

It’s not often that even a book’s afternoon sunshine scenes carry a lingering sense of the dread lying in wait. De’Ath masterfully scared the absolute piss out of me…again and again.

This is the book that will make you fan of horror. This is the book that will immediately make you join a writer’s mailing list.

This is the book that will ensure you never enter your basement without a flashlight…ever again.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book. It’s funny how it was able to stick with me. I started reading this book Back in Oct, got away from reading for quite some time yet I still had this book with me when I picked it back up to finish it.

Was this review helpful?

Do you believe a house can have a soul? How can pure love and abject horror exist together with such inexplicable harmony?

I'm a sucker for a good haunted house/gothic horror story and this certainly fit that criteria. Devon De'ath is a great writer and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read this in like 4 hours. Great!

Was this review helpful?

This book was a little out of my usual bailiwick - I enjoy Stephen King but am not really a horror fiction fan. But the blurb appealed and I thought I'd give it a go - and was so pleased I did! Its a really scary book, gripping the reader from the outset.

We first meet David Holmes as a young estate agent, starting out with a family firm. And visiting a rather dilapidated old house - Meoria Grange - after a tragic fire. We follow David's life, his manipulation into marriage and the various owners of Meoria who each suffer tragedy. It was an interesting use of historic events like the coming down of the Berlin Wall and 9/11 to show the passage of time in David's life. The tension builds as David begins to realise the importance this house has to his life and career... and his own role in the life of the house. I think the character I felt sorriest for was the psychic, Sable, who seemed to get an unnecessarily rough deal.

I found the ending a bit strange and stretching credulity a little far, but somehow it did work. So pleased I read it, it is certainly entertaining.

Thank you to NetGalley and Books Go Social for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Gripping, captivating, haunting.

A gothic horror that centers on David and Meoria Grange, a house and its intriguing stance in history and throughout time. Mostly, this book is about David's unique connection to Meoria Grange.

This was original and so Interesting. Excellent read.

Was this review helpful?

Every neighborhood has a house, a place that everyone whispers about. a place where terrible things happen and no one knows why. but could there be a reason more simple than we'd suspect? can a house have sentience? can a house possess a soul?

Caveat Emptor by Devon De'Ath is a classic British haunted house tale, however, there aren't any ghosts in Caveat Emptor. something much much worse haunts these halls. something more twisted and older than you could imagine. Devon De'Ath has woven a delightful story that i enjoyed very much. it takes quite a master to move from one extreme to the next as De'Ath does without descending into camp or abject silliness. by the time i read the last word, all the loose ends were neatly tied together in a way i hadn't considered.

can a house have a soul? i now know the answer to that question and wonder no more.

highly recommended.
5 stars out of 5.

Was this review helpful?

Title: Caveat Emptor
Author: Devon De’Ath
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3.5 stars


This book was both what I expected and also… not. I enjoyed the book. When I saw in the description that it was a “Haunted House” style book, about a house with a soul, I was excited to read. But saying that the house has a soul isn’t quite how I would describe it. I can’t even say that its a haunted house book either. Its definitely horror. And it is an engaging read. I wanted to know what happened. But I have to admit that at times, it was a bit of a chore to get through. The main character, David, is a likeable guy, and relatable for most of us. The people who move through Meoria Grange are all different, and their deaths are all both horrible and also creative (can you say that about a horror novel?) But I will say the last person to die in the book, well, I was really hoping the house would get her. For real.

In the end, this was a hard review to write, mostly because I just couldn’t decide how I felt about the book. I wanted more detail about the hows and whys of what happened. There were some details that seemed to contradict each other, once I’d read the entire book. I also struggled at times with the leaps in time, as they happened without warning, and at times it took a moment to realize that we’d moved forward by years.

If you enjoy horror novels, especially the haunted house trope, then I would definitely give this a try.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in advance!

Was this review helpful?

This book is everything a haunted house book should be.

Spanning several decades, “Caveat Emptor” tells the story of a house and the real estate agent in charge of selling it. It’s creepy, violent, and impossible to put down.

Was this review helpful?

Caveat Emptor- Buyer Beware! What a great title.
If you like Stephen King and James Herbert horror you will love this.
A creepy mansion with a mind of its own. Various owners across the years, most come to a sticky end. A young estate agent forms a bond of sorts with the house. This is his story. I'm going to look out for this authors other books. 5 ⭐️ from me.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book ahead of time in exchange for a review. It didn't disappoint! Must read!!

Was this review helpful?

Completely gripping with an original and bittersweet twist to the haunted house story. Loved the unique perspective and would highly recommend this book to all horror readers and fans.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the digital ARC!

Was this review helpful?

A House with a soul?! This was not exactly what I thought it would be, but never the less I enjoyed it not your average "Haunted House" book. I received this from Netgallery and have voluntarily choose to reveiw

Was this review helpful?

fun read that delighted me and made me a bit sad all at once. Past lives, self-repairing rooms and spirits from before modernity populate this story.

Was this review helpful?

This was a good ghostly story. I felt the author made very good use of the house as a sinister setting, and creating an eerie atmosphere. It was very spooky, and difficult to stop turning the pages once I started. I'd say that this is light enough to read in one sitting, depending on the kind of reader you are. If you find it as spooky as I did, you might not be able to put it down.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

Was this review helpful?

Great book! Very spooky. I would read more books by this author, for sure. It really held my attention.

Was this review helpful?

Superb! An outstanding horror / supernatural thriller revolving around an estate agent, David, and a manor house. This isn't so much a haunted house but rather a house possessed. Possessed by what ... you'll have to read it to find out! The story is creepy, scary, gruesome (some scenes are quite descriptive) and, at the same time, just follows David's life as he goes about his business trying to sell this house. Really good!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and author Devon De’ath for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

I was completely absorbed in the eerie world of Meoria Grange, a mansion with a mind of its own. David's haunted past and his inexplicable connection to the house had me on edge, wondering what would happen next. The way the author wove together themes of love, loss, and the human condition left me reflecting on my own mortality. I loved how the story spanned decades, allowing me to grow alongside the characters. David's tumultuous relationship with Kate felt all too relatable, and Marina George's enigmatic presence kept me guessing. This book is a masterful blend of horror, mystery, and coming-of-age - a true page-turner that will haunt me for a long time. I can't recommend it enough for anyone looking for a thought-provoking, spine-tingling read!

Was this review helpful?

This was a strong novel, I really enjoyed how good the horror elements were. It had everything that I enjoyed about the haunted house story and it worked so well with this novel. I enjoyed how well they set up the house and the characters in this world. Devon De'Ath has a great concept and was executed with how I wanted it..

Was this review helpful?

A new take on the haunted house. Enjoyable and quick read. Well developed story and characters.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is the first book I have read by Devon De'Ath and it won't be the last. I love books about old homes, legends, history and the paranormal. This book delivers all of these things and more. If your looking for a quick thriller read then this book is for you. I would highly recommend this book!

Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me to read this ARC for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

a very spooky book with atmospheric writing and fantastic ambiance. i liked the story a lot and highly recommend for thriller lovers

Was this review helpful?

“ Caveat Emptor” by the marvelously imaginative named Devon De’ath is a hoot novel to be savored. Imaginative, well paced and scary as , well, the Devil. No, he-it- isnot in the house, but something surely is, and it kills.
David Holmes is a new hire at a real estate agency in Dorset, England. On of the properties on the company’s listings is Meoria Manor , a 300 year old manor house, has been for sale for a number of years. A grand house with a great view, the house has a certain appeal to a wealthy buyer with pretensions of grandeur. When David finds a buyer, it is a coup, and marks him as a go- getter with the firm.
But as the new buyers soon learn, Meroria Manor is not very welcoming. There is already a tenant, and that tenant does not approve of the new owners’ renovations. When they spend a day tearing off some dark paneling in the bathroom, they awake the next morning to find it back in place. A spectral voice warns them “ to leave the house now!” By the next day, both are dead.
Over the following years every buyer of the house suffer the same fate. Every time David Holmes, finds a buyer, their stay at the house is fatal. Yet, David Holmes’ strange attraction to Meoria Manor continues, until it dominates his life. Something in the house calls to him. And if he answers, will, it destroy him, too? Get the book read it , feel,the chill of the other, and enjoy atHe chill of a very good horror thriller.
I really enjoyed the book. I do not usually read much horror fiction. Steven King leaves me cold. But “ Caveat Emptor” captured my imagination and locked me in the darkly menacing pages. Highly recommended.
Cautions: violent death. Some sexuality .
Easily earns the full 5⭐️ rating..

Was this review helpful?

I feel like this book evolved as I read it. I wanted a good meaty haunted house novel to read and was excited to sink my teeth into this one. It started creepily enough. The short first chapter snagged me right away and I happily settled down for a weekend of reading.

But the book was so much more than a horror/haunted house novel. The author drew the plot out over decades - even longer if you count the dreams David was having. We meet David as a young single man and follow his life through to his death. Along the way, historic real-life events are added...Live Aid (which I loved hearing about since I was there!), 9/11, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. It just added a touch of history to the overall story. It's also a simple tale of the human condition. When Kate comes into the picture, we see immediately what sort of person she is and we have an idea of how (or how we hope) it will end.

And then finally in the end, it turned into a tender love story of sorts, with me rooting for the bad guy (the evil forces driving the house to do what it does). Very unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed.

Was this review helpful?

A good wine does not need a bush, so I will be brief about this book: fantastically written, with a delightful sense of humour, deliciously British, with a strong nod to novels such as The Haunting of Hill House.
A seemingly simple story about a house that has a soul and a preference for its inhabitants - and when it gets fed up with them, it sends them scurrying off in its own way…..

Everything about this story is great: the main characters, the insane way in which some of the 'owners' clear the way for the new inhabitants…

Rarely have I been so entertained by a book, and I am incredibly sad that the story has now come to an end.
Judging from the cover, I was expecting a different story, but how the author has handled this- truly phenomenal. A gem.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: