The House Of Whispers by Anna Kent
I am thrilled to be on the blog tour of The House of Whispers by Anna Kent.
5th August 2021 | HQ | Paperback Original |£8.99
Once you let her in, she’ll never leave... When Grace returns to Abi’s life, years after they fell out at university, Abi can’t help but feel uneasy. Years ago, Grace’s friendship was all-consuming and exhausting. Now happily married, Abi’s built a new life for herself and put those days behind her. And yet as Grace slips back into her life with all the lethal charm she had before, Abi finds herself falling back under her spell... Abi’s husband, Rohan, can’t help but be concerned as his wife’s behaviour changes. As their happy home threatens to fall apart, he realises that there’s something deeply unnerving about Grace. Just what influence does this woman have over his wife, and why has she come back now? A chilling story of guilt and obsession from hot new talent Anna Kent.
MY THOUGHTS: Wow, what an amazing psychological thriller. I loved it. For me it had just the right mix of EVERYTHING and I particularly loved the ghostly undertone, although subtle, that weaved throughout the book.
Abi and Grace meet at university and form a strong friendship. The duo do everything together and at times Abi feels controlled and manipulated by Grace. Their relationship comes to an end when Grace goes travelling and Abi meets her husband to be. Whilst Grace is out of Abi's life she marries Rohan and buys a derelict house which they slowly transform. Abi can feel the previous owners' presence as the house creaks and groans which almost comforts her. One day Abi receives an email from Grace saying she is returning to the UK and is looking for a temporary place to stay. Although dreading her return, the timing couldn't be better as Rohan is leaving for New York, and with the increasing pressure Abi is under in producing a set of artwork for a new exhibition, Grace's arrival could be just what she needs to kick start her creative flow and provide her with much needed company whilst Rohan is away.
It soon becomes apparent that Grace hasn't changed and is still very passive aggressive and controlling, which makes for a highly toxic relationship. However, Abi finds that she is engulfed with inspiration for her paintings and although all-consuming, is producing some of her best work ever. With Grace as her muse can she really ask her to leave until her work is complete?
The tension in this books builds slowly but powerfully, from the atmospheric setting of the house to the anticipation of what Grace will do next, I was truly gripped. Kent's writing is dramatic and very visual especially when describing Abi's paintings. This not only heightened my enjoyment of the novel but made me feel that I was right there beside Abi, peering over her shoulder in the loft. I loved the way the painting came to life on the canvas and how in contrast Abi's life fell apart whilst she was all-consumed with creating her series of paintings.
This clever novel is written in such a way that secrets from the past are revealed in small sections which makes the twists that occur all the more shocking and emotional. The interview transcripts allow you to know that something is brewing but without giving anything away, leaving you intrigued but also imagining the worst possible scenarios. I was one hundred percent invested in Abi as the main character and although it was hard to read at times I was engrossed by her relationship with Grace and Rohan. This novel had me from the opening pages and left me saddened by the events that occured. A book that would be perfect for book club and is one I will be recommending.
Many thanks to Becky Hunter at Midas PR for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Anna Kent for this haunting dark tale of obsession, grief, guilt and destruction.
Anna Kent has worked as a journalist, magazine editor and book editor as well as enjoying a stint as a radio producer. She’s written for numerous publications at home and abroad, including the Daily Telegraph, where she was a contributor for six years. Brought up in the South East, she loves to travel while maintaining a base in Gloucestershire. She’s married with two children.