How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

My Five Word TL:DR Review: Dysfunctional family and puppet hell

How toseela

This is only my second read by Grady Hendrix, so take what I say next with a pinch of salt, but I’m beginning to associate this author with the clear phrase ‘expect the unexpected’.  With a title such as this, yes I expected apparitions and entities, I don’t think I ever quite considered evil puppets, possession, squirrels from hell and imaginary demon dogs that invisibly stalk the house.  Sounds a bit crazy and to be honest, it is.  This is your basic modern-style horror that manages to combine horror, mystery, mayhem, dysfunctional family dynamics brimming over with sibling rivalry and secrets buried long in the past and a chaos that spills over into dark humour.

When Louise receives an unexpected call from her estranged brother to say their parents have died in a terrible car crash she immediately makes her way back to the family home.  When she arrives she’s in for a number of surprises, none of them pleasant.  The attic has been nailed shut, the car accident seems a little suspicious, things keep going bump in the night, the house is unsaleable with it’s current bad vibes and brother and sister can’t agree on anything.  And that’s only scratching the surface because things are about to get much worse.

I’m really trying not to give away too much about this book.  I really enjoyed reading it, it’s strangely fun, it’s absolutely compelling, the characterisation is great.  It’s a perfect demonstration of how there are two sides to every conversation and that memory can be a trickster.  On top of this it’s a great look at families and the strange hierarchies that we perceive that are perhaps more imaginary than real.  I also love the whole idea that we’re haunted by family both past and present.

One thing for sure I really enjoy this author’s style.  He has a sort of tongue firmly planted in cheek way of writing that makes his horror funny even if it shouldn’t be and that makes me think he enjoys the writing as much as I enjoy the reading.

On the whole a wickedly imaginative story with a good dollop of horror and quite frankly the most atrociously creepy puppet ever.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 of 5 stars

7 Responses to “How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix”

  1. aquavenatus

    Everyone has been raving about this book. Time to move it up my TBR stack!

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Hahaha, “puppet hell” you got that part right! Some parts were so brutal I was practically cringing while reading! Definitely a lot of fun though 🙂

  3. Susy's Cozy World

    I think that this author would not be the right one for me, but reading the reviews of people who enjoyed his books is always interesting and entertaining!!

  4. pagesandtea

    It definitely sounds like there’s plenty going on in this one 😀 Still haven’t read anything by this author yet. Perhaps one day I’ll get around to it.

  5. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    “wickedly imaginative” is the proverbial cherry on top for a book I was anxiously waiting for 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Rebecca

    I am dying at your 5 word summary 🤣 so accurate! This book was wild!

  7. Tammy

    This was so over the top but I loved it. And those squirrels!😬

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