Review: The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates - .Red Wine & Books

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Review: The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

Print Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Black Owl Books (July 20, 2016)

From Goodreads.com:  There's something wrong with Ashburn House...
The ancient building has been the subject of rumors for close to a century. Its owner, Edith, refused to let guests inside and rarely visited the nearby town.

Following Edith's death, her sole surviving relative, Adrienne, inherits the property. Adrienne's only possessions are a suitcase of luggage, twenty dollars, and her pet cat. Ashburn House is a lifeline she can't afford to refuse.

Adrienne doesn't believe in ghosts, but it's hard to ignore the unease that grows as she explores her new home. Strange messages have been etched into the wallpaper, an old grave is hidden in the forest behind the house, and eerie portraits in the upstairs hall seem to watch her every movement.

As she uncovers more of the house's secrets, Adrienne begins to believe the whispered rumors about Ashburn may hold more truth than she ever suspected. The building has a bleak and grisly past, and as she chases the threads of a decades-old mystery, Adrienne realizes she's become the prey to something deeply unnatural and intensely resentful.

Only one thing is certain: Ashburn's dead are not at rest.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me jump into this by saying that I enjoyed this story A LOT. So much so that I have added a bunch of this author's other stories to my Kindle Unlimited list so that I can read through them when I need a break from my usual reads. 

However, this book is not without its issues. For starters, there are a lot of repeated behaviors that do nothing to move the story forward. As a reader, I get that Adrienne has nothing to her name. I don't need to repeatedly hear about how she's making tea, or how she's eating instant noodles for the umpteenth time. She complains that sunlight/moonlight doesn't penetrate parts of the house due to "grimy windows", but yet, she doesn't bother to clean them? It is noted time and again that there is not enough light at night for her to be comfortable, yet she doesn't think to take a few candles from the attic? And perhaps my biggest issue - the fact that Adrienne hears the rumors about her great-aunt (and the house), she sees the words scratched around the house, and she chooses to not look into the history of anything (or be curious the words)? In fact, she seems to actively AVOID doing anything that might actually help (such as look in Edith's old bedroom) until it's almost too late. Adrienne spends so much time acting like she's house-sitting for someone else that it's actually rather sad. Personally? I would have been exploring all aspects of the house from day one. 

It's not like she has anything better to do for most of the book. It was in these little details that things got bogged down. That being said, once things got going? I was glued to the pages to see what was going to happen next. I think it's worth mentioning that this isn't a "ghost" story however more of a "zombie" or "undead" story, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment. In fact, I liked there being a corporeal entity that could inflict harm and could itself be harmed (even if some of the "rules" to this story were a little odd. 

Overall, I think this is a good read, not just for the Halloween season, but for any dark and stormy night. I will read more from this author! 

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                                                     The Haunting of Ashburn House is available from Amazon.com
                                                                         (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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