Happy Saturday! Mining for Justice by Kathleen Ernst is the eighth book in A Chloe Ellefson Mystery series. It will be published on October 8. On October 10 A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron, Murder on the Toy Town Express by Barbara Early, Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost, Death Overdue by Allison Brook, The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, The Skeleton Paints a Picture by Leigh Perry, and Hide & Seek by M.J. Arlidge (delightful suspense novel) will be released.
House. Tree. Person. is a new suspense novel by Catriona McPherson. Alison “Ali” McGovern along with her husband, Marco and son, Angel have just moved to small home after losing their dream home and their businesses. Their quiet life is disturbed when a body is found next door at Dundeennan Abbey. Angel spends quite a bit of his free time at the abbey and Ali wonders if he knows more than he is revealing. Marco is online and discovers an opening for a beauty therapist at the local high-end psychiatric facility, Howell Hall for Ali. With a doctored resume, Ali applies and gets the position. Ali has her patients draw her a picture containing a house, a tree, and a person. It is amazing what a simple picture can reveal about a person. She soon discovers that Howell Hall is full of secrets and danger. Who buried the body at the abbey? What is going on at Howell Hall? What happens when Ali gets too close to the truth?
House. Tree. Person sounded like such an intriguing suspense novel. However, I found it to be a slow-paced novel that is deciding lacking in suspense (I wanted to be gripping my book, riveted, quickly turning the pages to find out what happened next—instead I was sighing with boredom). The story plays out in an expected manner (no surprises or great twists). The first half of House. Tree. Person. plods along with slightly more action in the second half. Personally, I wish the story had not been written in the first person. Ali is an unlikeable character (whiny, dramatic) and her ramblings made the story even worse. I know what the author was trying to accomplish (make the story more intriguing and make readers assume things), but I was frustrated, displeased, annoyed, and irritated. Ali overreacts to every single little thing. I can understand why her son spends so little time at home. To those of us who read mysteries like they are going out of style, you will figure out the guilty parties long before the reveal (foreseeable). I did have trouble with some of the word usage (Scottish slang words used by Angel, the son). Usually, I can discern the meaning from the context. I wish the publisher had provided a dictionary at the end of the book (or changed out the words for Americans). I do want to advise readers that there is foul language in this book. My rating for House. Tree. Person. is 2 out of 5 stars (I was not a fan). Parts of the story are just unrealistic (this is not science fiction). Ali gets a job she is underqualified for and passes a background check that she knows she cannot pass. Didn’t she wonder how this was accomplished? The characters lacked depth/development. I thought they were flat. I did not feel this novel was up to Catriona McPherson’s usual standards.
Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review. I hope that each of you have a heavenly day. I will return on Sunday to share my review of All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle. Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader