What you see isn't always real… Ran McGhie's world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow's oldest merchant families. Not only that, Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who had been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew grew up. Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-uncle Alexander has turned it into a temple to the written word - the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall's endless corridors, Ran's grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman. A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and a reminder that lust and betrayal can be deadly… 'A stark, gripping storyline' Scots 'A deeply satisfying read' Sunday Times 'A fine, page-turning thriller' Daily Mail 'House of Spines is a gothic ghost story and psychological thriller all rolled into one. Brilliantly creepy, with a dash of Glasgow humour, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. A spine-tingling treat.' Lisa Gray, Daily Record 'Malone is a massive talent … get on board now so you can brag you were reading his books long before the rest of the world' Luca Vest 'Vivid, visceral and compulsive' Ian Rankin 'A terrific read … I read it in one sitting' Martina Cole 'A deeply personal thriller that will keep the reader turning those pages, with twists and turns designed to keep the heart pumping' Russel D. McLean 'Bristling with unease, this is domestic noir at its very darkest, twisting the marriage thriller into a new and troubling shape. It's a winner … no question' Eva Dolan 'A moving and compelling account of a form of violence that remains cloaked in shame and ribald imagery in society. Malone perfectly balances storytelling with a brutal commentary on a dysfunctional relationship' Sarah Ward 'A dark and unnerving psychological thriller that draws you deep into the lives of the characters and refuses to let go. This is a brilliantly written book; I could not put it down' Caroline Mitchell 'A chilling tale of the unexpected that journeys right into the dark heart of domesticity' Marnie Riches 'A tightly wound page-turner with real emotional punch' Rod Reynolds
The life of writer Ranald McGhie, the protagonist of this unoriginal haunted house thriller from British author Malone (A Suitable Lie), is radically transformed after a bequest from the late Alexander Fitzpatrick, a member of one of Glasgow's oldest merchant families. Alexander's solicitor informs Ranald that his mother was Alexander's previously unacknowledged niece, who became estranged from her family after running off with Ranald's father. Alexander, who had learned that Ranald was a professional writer, has left him a mansion to live in in exchange for Ranald's continuing to write. For Ranald, who has been struggling to get by, the legacy is a godsend, and he takes up residence immediately. On his first day there, an attractive older woman, Liz, picks him up at a coffee shop and they sleep together in the house, only for Liz to flee in terror after hearing a voice whisper menacingly, "Get out, he's mine." Soon afterward, Ranald senses a ghostly, carnal presence. Malone offers no genuine scares, and Ranald is not a sufficiently developed lead to compensate for their absence.