The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse

This is one of the best books that I have read so far in 2009. I had heard quite a lot about this book before I bought it, especially the comparisons to The Secret History and Rebecca. I believe that it is definitely worthy of those comparisons but in no way is Lucie Whitehouse trying to copy those books; her storytelling has very much a style of it's own.
Lucas inherits Stoneborough Manor from his Uncle, both of Lucas' parents are dead and he is haunted by the suicide of his uncle who had been a father-figure. However, Lucas decides to use Stoneborough as a place where he and his small group of friends can escape to from their busy lives in London. The group of friends is incredibly close and the relationships between them are all extremely intricate.
Lucas gradually becomes increasingly obsessed with Stoneborough and with the cine films that he finds of his Uncle and his friends in their heyday. The similarities to Lucas and his group are startling and the secrets they reveal come to have a bearing on all of them.
This book had me gripped from the very start, the suspense stays with you right until the last page. Even when events in the story take a positive turn you know that something must be waiting just round the corner. The house plays a pivotal role in the book; I love books set in large houses with their many secrets and memories hidden away in the attic just waiting to be discovered. This was a really excellent book, especially as it is Whitehouse's first novel, I hope she writes many more!

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