A successful and likable couple move to a stunning new house, which is part of a new-build estate on the edge of a village. Typically the locals are not keen on these people moving to their rural idyll. The big house is built on the site of an old stately home that burnt down, killing those who lived there. There are stories of peculiar deaths and funny goings-on.
In the house itself, things start to go wrong, such as the technology malfunctioning, the television coming on by itself, the microwave exploding and so on. Not to mention the shadows and strange apparitions that appear then disappear again. All spooky stuff.
The story starts quietly with the signs of ghosts and builds up with time slips and more bizarre happening. None of this is original and the book reminds me of several other stories that I won't mention because it will give the ending away. Because of this, I did predict the ending. However, this does not detract from the story at all, as the journey to that point is confusing, terrifying and exciting.
The point of view is from the husband who lives in the big house and one of the neighbours. The husband is a successful artist who lacks confidence and suffers from OCD, thus adding depth to the story and an interesting personal psychological aspect.
The Secret of Cold HIll is a sequel to The House on Cold Hill, which I have not read, but this story stands alone well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes ghost stories.
Published by MacMillan on 3 October 2019. Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.