The Dead House
Sometimes the past endures—and sometimes it never lets go.
This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.
Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O'Callaghan's hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.
An unspecified something that has just occurred prompts retired artists' agent Michael Simmons, the English narrator of Irish author O'Callaghan's chilling, beautifully written first novel, to tell a story he has tried to forget. Flash back nine years to a housewarming party hosted by painter Maggie Turner, a client of Michael's, who has recently bought and fixed up, with his financial assistance, a rundown cottage on the west coast of Ireland. Maggie has invited Michael and two other friends to visit for several days. One evening at the beach, Michael spots a "flicker of whiteness" that he thinks might be a woman, an image that takes on sinister overtones after he learns of a grim bit of local history. O'Callaghan combines his gift at describing settings ("the casual filthy-white scatter of sheep flecking the distance, the tumbling ground a desperation of greenery, thick as pond-scum in parts") with subtle suggestions that something unnatural is going on. Fans of psychological thrillers with a ghostly undercurrent will be richly rewarded.
A little slow to start, but blossomed into a well-written novel. I would recommend and read new novels from the author .
The Dead House.
WOW...I could not PT it down. The ending was priceless. Keep writing. I throughly enjoyed this book.