Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for The Ghosts of Thorwald Place, a horror novel written by H. Power.
First thing first, let me thank Lilyan and the publisher, CamCat Books, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
Trust No One. Especially your neighbors.
Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there.
She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby.
Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.
Horror, afterlife, crime, thriller
Publication date: 11/02/22
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: Hm. Yes, but no.
Oh, wow. Wow, wow, wow. The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is a fantastic book, one that had me at hello.
Its major selling point is the afterlife theme, at least for me: call me biased, but it’s so interesting to see what the creativity of an author can do with it. Here, Power weaves the tried-and-true ghost trope together with intriguing subplots, creating a literary gem.
Rachel, the MC, gets murdered almost right away, and her spirit can’t leave the building nor interact in a meaningful way with her former neighbors. She can observe their lives, make an attempt here and there to help them, but for the most part, she’s a spectator. Her POV is told in first person—first person done right—but she also reads as an external POV, a detail that delights me to no ends.
The cast of characters is vibrant, crafted with extreme care, and powerful enough to support the entire plot. While I still prefer small casts, here a big one is a necessity; handling it in such a graceful way is quite a feat, even more so because The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is Power’s debut novel. Color me impressed.
Power’s writing skills are finely honed already. Her prose reads simple and clear, there aren’t grammar mistakes, and the structure of the story is solid.
Maybe my only complaint has to do with the killer. Finding out the culprit should be a major plot point, but it reads a bit subdued when compared to some subplots instead, and I can’t tell if that has been a precise stylistic choice or not. I had to go back and read that part all over again just to make sure I didn’t miss it.
Still, The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is an amazing book, and it deserves 5 stars. Well done.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Helen Power is an academic librarian living in Saskatoon, Canada. In her spare time, she haunts deserted cemeteries, loses her heart to dashing thieves, and cracks tough cases, all from the comfort of her writing nook. She has several short story publications, including ones in Suspense Magazine, Hinnom Magazine, and Dark Helix Press’s Canada 150 anthology, “Futuristic Canada”.
Her stories range from comedy to horror, with just a hint of dystopia in between. The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is her first novel.
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