cover image House of the Lost

House of the Lost

Sarah Rayne, Pocket U.K. (IPG, dist.), $9.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-84739-357-9

What starts out as a typical ghost story becomes something much richer and deeper in a psychological thriller that should win Rayne (Ghost Song) a wider readership in the U.S. Soon after English novelist Theo Kendall moves into the isolated Norfolk cottage that belonged to his late cousin and onetime love interest, Charmery Kendall, he's spooked by noises and shadowy figures that raise the possibility that Charmery, who was murdered by drowning in a nearby river, is haunting the house—or him. At the same time, visions Theo has—of a young boy living with the boy's father near a frightening building known as the Black House—dramatically change the focus of the book he's working on. The boy's story becomes the basis for a new work of fiction, even as Theo wonders how real his images are. As strong on characters as on plot, Rayne manages genuine chills throughout. (Mar.)