09 March 2023

The Half Burnt House


By Alex North


The Half Burnt House is a book that requires full concentration due to the complexity of the plot, multiple timelines and cast of characters. Having read and loved both of the author's previous novels, The Whisper Man and The Shadow Friend, The Half Burnt House required more effort on my part to follow all aspects of the story. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent read and I enjoyed it very much but it didn't have the intense scary vibe of North's two earlier novels.

The plot contained numerous superb twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I wondered how the various threads would connect but I needn't have worried — everything came together nicely. Lacking the spine-chilling uneasiness of The Whisper Man and The Shadow Friend, it was, nevertheless, a solid 4 star read.          


  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Author: Alex North
  • Genre: Horror, Thriller


Katie Shaw always looked after her younger brother Chris - until she left him alone one carefree afternoon and he was savagely attacked. He hasn't spoken to her since.

Now a mother, Katie vows not to repeat her mistakes. Carelessness cost her one family, and she won't let it destroy another.

Then she receives a call from the police.

They're investigating a particularly brutal murder, in a half-ruined house that once belonged to a notorious local serial killer. The case has thrown up many unsettling questions, but only one prime suspect: Chris.

The detective wants Katie's help finding him, but she has only one thing on her mind: proving her brother's innocence, and finally making up for her negligence all those years ago. But soon it becomes clear that the killer isn't finished yet.

Which means that even as she attempts to save her old family, Katie is placing her new one in deadly peril . . .

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