#BookReview #TheWitchHouse Ann Rawson @AE_Rawson @RedDogTweets

Source: Purchased direct from Publisher

The Witch House from Ann Rawson has been on my radar since I first read about it and then when I laid my eyes on that cover! Well, just look at it, isn’t it lush!

Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:

Alice Hunter, grieving and troubled after a breakdown, stumbles on the body of her friend and trustee, Harry Rook. The police determine he has been ritually murdered and suspicion falls on the vulnerable Alice, who inherited the place known locally as The Witch House from her grandmother, late High Priestess of the local coven. When the investigations turn up more evidence, and it all seems to point to Alice, even she begins to doubt herself.

Can she find the courage to confront the secrets and lies at the heart of her family and community to uncover the truth, prove her sanity, and clear herself of murder?

My thoughts:

When people and animals begin dying in some strange and somewhat satanic circumstances, Alice Hunter finds herself falling under suspicion. Well, after all Alice’s grandmother was a witch wasn’t she and Alice is not long out of psychiatric care…welcome to Alice Hunter’s world, a world where being different means you fall under suspicion at every turn.

A delightful, quirky, but engaging unreliable narrator, Alice Hunter quickly earned a place in my heart. Emotionally fragile but with a strong sense of determination, she gets under your skin and really makes you care about her, you’re behind her, rooting for her every step of the way throughout this book.

The author portrays Alice as a bit of an unreliable narrator, while feeling empathy of her situation, you cannot help but wonder, is she telling us her own version of reality or is she telling us the whole truth. Married up with a cast of characters, who all cause the reader to cast a finger of suspicion on them, it is delightfully devious and at times leaves you feeling quite uneasy and unnerved. I had a real sense of things being slightly off kilter as I read and as the story was told from Alice’s point of view, it was easy to slip inside her head I loved the experience of being caught up in everyone’s lies and lives and while there may have been some, I disliked more than others, it made for a mesmerizing read.

Beautiful narrative, full of description, the author most certainly brought the small town of Cuckmore to life, painting a picture of a community as well as the landscape. It explores some of the stigma sadly still attached to mental illness and points out the very real difference in terms of support Alice receives when she is accused of murder compared to the attitudes towards her mental health. The Witch House is a gentle, but not slow, suspenseful psychological thriller, it will tease you and trick you, while wrapping you up in atmospheric narrative. It has family tension, a hint of witchcraft and paganism, mystery and history. It’s a beautifully told story, with some poignant and sad moments wrapped up in a mystery. But it is  also laced with some dry wit and humour, as Alice’s personality shines through.

Ann Rawson is a natural storyteller and I would most definitely recommend you pick up The Witch House and immerse yourself in the life of Alice Hunter.

The Witch House is available to purchase via:

Red Dog Press

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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