Book Review, Horror

The House in the Hills by Rowan Hanlon (Arc Review)



Summary from

“The House Always Wins…

A young couple is surprised to find out their ultra cool mid-century modern Hollywood Hills dream house has a past steeped in blood and debauchery. But when the house starts exhibiting paranormal activity, they realize they’ve truly gotten more than they bargained for.

The House in the Hills is a novel about how the house of your dreams can sometimes turn into a nightmare.”


It has been a long time since I have read a basic haunted house story.

I think if you were a fan of American Horror Story: Murder House you would probably love this one. Luckily Murder House is my favourite season so I really enjoyed this book.

I will admit straight off the bat that there was a point in the beginning were I was close to quitting this book. From the first chapter I thought I had worked out what was going to happen. I have read a LOT of horror, as you all know, so I can be pretty good at spotting cliches hundreds of pages before they even happen, but in this case the moment those thoughts crossed my mind a character in the book mentioned the potential cliche I thought I was predicting as a joke and I was back to being interested again.

Was it an unpredictable, wild horror ride? No. It was your basic haunted house story, a young couple buys a new house with a dodgy past and it comes with a pile of ghosts, but that isn’t a bad thing. I LOVE stories like this. Lets face it, I know I don’t read them for the characters or depth, I read them for the scares and for whatever twisted backstory they give the house. Those are the fun parts of a haunted house story.

When it comes to the horror factor this isn’t scary at all. I have a thick skin when it comes to that stuff but I think someone who is easily frightened could handle this one. It does have its creative moments. I love that horror writers are starting to use modern technology to create good scares. There is so much potential there.

I think my favourite part of this book was the ending. I refuse to give spoilers in my reviews but I will say that I had a “Wait, what?!” out loud moment at the very end that earned me a very funny look from my partner.


  • A basic haunted house story that a quick and easy read. I read it all in 2 days.
  • Not scary at all, good for horror novices.
  • Good ending
  • If you want a simple haunted house story similar to the Amityville Horror pick this up.


Sexual references, tame horror, strong language, gore and mild violence


3 star copy

3 out of 5 Skulls


I want to thank Netgalley and Reverberator Books for sending me this novel to review. 


5 thoughts on “The House in the Hills by Rowan Hanlon (Arc Review)”

  1. Hey… Gotta ask… I am a bit of a scaredy cat. I get scared easily. But I want to read horror. Not gross zombie type horror but a good horror but not too much horror. I know it is too many ‘buts’ here. But it is horror. Hence I ask can I go with this or do I start with something else?

    1. I would be more than happy to help! Do you want psychological horror and/or ghosts etc?

      My personal favourite non scary horror novels are:

      Carrie by Stephen King

      The Shining by Stephen King (I know the movie is scary but the book is more psychological than ghost-y)

      The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (A classic ghost story but not scary)

      YA Horror is always a safe bet because it is still horror but not as gross as adult stuff.

      Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell (YA horror)

      Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
      My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
      ( Grady Hendrix’s work has a more lighthearted almost parody style of horror which is fun and a good place to start)

      I could probably write a whole post on how to start reading horror but I hope these suggestions help.

      1. Oh wow. Taking a screenshot of this. I think October should be my scary horror read month… Hope I can afford to buy these books…

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