‘The Dead House’ – Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House


For starters, this is one of the most intriguing covers I’ve seen for a while. Before reading the book, it got me intrigued; after reading, it captures perfectly the ideas within. If you want a flavour of what’s inside…

Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

From the outset it is clear that this is an unusual book. I initially found the fragmented style of retelling the story quite disconcerting, and I had to concentrate hard to try and keep track of what was known for certain and how the events seemed to fit together.

Deliciously creepy, this book does get a little odd at times. It’s completely down to personal taste, but I found the supernatural references less interesting than the psychological aspect of the story. I felt that, on balance, they combined well to create a very different story.

Big thank-you to NetGalley for the digital copy.