The Drowning House

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Pub Date Jul 23 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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“Inhabiting the same sandy block as Michael McDowell's The Elementals and Josh Malerman's A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Cherie Priest's The Drowning House has taken up permanent residence in my subconscious alongside the briniest haunted houses around. Be forewarned: there's an undertow to this novel. Once you start reading, it'll suck you right in.”
—Clay McLeod Chapman, author of What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters

A violent storm washes a mysterious house onto a rural Pacific Northwest beach, stopping the heart of the only woman who knows what it means. Her grandson, Simon Culpepper, vanishes in the aftermath, leaving two of his childhood friends to comb the small, isolated island for answers—but decades have passed since Melissa and Leo were close, if they were ever close at all. 

Now they'll have to put aside old rivalries and grudges if they want to find or save the man who brought them together in the first place—and on the way they'll learn a great deal about the sinister house on the beach, the man who built it, and the evil he's bringing back to Marrowstone Island. 

From award-winning author Cherie Priest comes a deeply haunting and atmospheric horror-thriller that explores the lengths we'll go to protect those we love.

“Inhabiting the same sandy block as Michael McDowell's The Elementals and Josh Malerman's A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Cherie Priest's The Drowning House has taken up permanent residence in my...

Advance Praise

Propulsive, exciting, often terrifying, The Drowning House effortlessly threads compelling mysteries and horrors into a supernatural thriller drawing readers in from the first heart-stopping pages and not letting go until the end. Priest once again proves she is a masterful storyteller promising secrets and revelations. She delivers on all counts.” —John Hornor Jacobs, author of A Lush and Seething Hell

Cherie Priest can be counted on to tell a bang-up tale with engaging characters and exciting twists. She is one of our most underrated horror authors.” —PZB, author of Lost Souls

"Cherie Priest has made something truly special with The Drowning House, a haunting story of ghosts, family, friendships and horror. This is one of her best."
—Stephen Blackmoore, author of Dead Things

"Cherie Priest is our new queen of darkness, folks. Time to kneel before her, lest she take our heads."
—Chuck Wendig, author of The Book of Accidents 

Propulsive, exciting, often terrifying, The Drowning House effortlessly threads compelling mysteries and horrors into a supernatural thriller drawing readers in from the first heart-stopping pages...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781728292823
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 48 members

Featured Reviews

For Stephen King fans, this book is a must read. A mysterious looking house washes up on the beach of an island off the Northwestern coast. With this strange event, the elderly woman who ownes the nearest home rushes out and dies on the beach. Her grandson also disappears. When two childhood friends return to investigate what has happened to their friend, scary things start to happpen and both begin to see and imagine things totally beyond belief. An eerie and suspenseful book. I loved it!

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Awesome, I loved it! Cherie Priest does a masterful job with The Drowning House. The plot is absolutely mesmerizing, and comes across as plausible, the characters are well developed and all quite believable; the setting paints a natural and great picture for the story to unfold. The prose is so well done, and in combination with the plot, characters and setting places you right in the heart of the action. The aspects of the story involving the supernatural are so well written that even skeptics can get on board. Protagonists Leo and Melissa (friends since childhood) get a mysterious message from their other childhood friend Simon that his grandmother died suddenly. They rush to get to and support Simon, curious to find out what actually happened to his grandmother, but then also to find him as he has inexplicably disappeared. The baffling discovery of a house that washed up on shore the night Simon's grandmother died soon opens a pandora's box and takes them on a wild and bizarre ride that test the boundaries of their friendship. The book is truly a haunting, enthralling horror-thriller. that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. I highly recommend The Drowning House to all; I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC. My review is voluntary.

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What an odd and wonderful book this was!

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into at first. Was it dark fantasy? Cosmic Horror? Just generally weird?

It felt like a mix of all of the above, along with a good dose of grief, terror, and simply exquisite writing.

From the start, I was hooked. I was so enthralled by the idea of this ‘house wreck’ and what it meant and was both saddened and horrified by the things that wept and screamed in the corners.

I will very happily read the author again!

• ARC via Publisher

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A mysterious rundown house washes up on the waterfront property of the very elderly Mrs. Culpepper. She does not survive the night. Her grandson, Simon, texts his friend Melissa asking for her help. Melissa and Leo, who both spent summers on this tiny island in the Pacific Northwest, rush to help and find Simon has disappeared. This book has been described as haunting and atmospheric and it most certainly is a horror story. The characters are well defined and the story mesmerizing. Fans of this genre will not be disappointed! With thanks to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC. My opinions are my own. susanh_bookreviews

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I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, but instantly I was sucked into the search for Simon. A beautifully written tale, taking turns I never knew were there, highly recommended from me!

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The setting and plot are what drew me to this story. I live on the Pacific Coast and I appreciate a story about the beautiful mysterious Pacific Northwest. Specifically, I related to the phenomenon of beachside houses sinking into the ocean during a storm. However, I almost didn't read the book for two reasons. First I would have preferred a straight thriller atory rather than one combined with supernatural. Secondly, the characters were disappointing. Right away I thought Melissa was a B, and I thought her rivalry with Leo was contrived and irrelevant. Simon and Mrs. Culpepper are the nicer characters but they unfortunately barely appear in the story.
Fortunately I did decide to this amazing thriller that reminded me of many Stephen King novels, mainly THE OUTSIDER for its supernatural elements, and IT for its setting, townspeoples' amnesia, and the slingshot.
Thank you Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for this digital review copy.

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Let's dive into "The Drowning House" by Cherie Priest—an eerie tale that begins with a violent storm washing up a creepy, dilapidated house onto a secluded Pacific Northwest beach that seems to scare old Mrs. Culpepper to death. This sets the stage for a captivating mystery/scary story when Simon Culpepper, the grandson of the dead woman who knew its secrets, vanishes, leaving childhood friends Melissa and Leo to embark on a quest to uncover the truth.

What truly sets this novel apart are the richly drawn characters, particularly Melissa and Leo, whose complex relationship adds depth to the narrative. Priest's vivid descriptions of Marrowstone Island create an atmospheric backdrop that pulls readers into the story. However, I thought the pacing was slightly off with a slow start giving way to a sudden rush of action.

Despite the pacing quirks, "The Drowning House" remains a compelling read, blending suspense, horror, friendship, and secrets into a captivating story. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!

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