October 21

The House On Cold Hill – Peter James

The House On Cold HillThey said the dead can’t hurt you . . . They were wrong.

The House on Cold Hill is a chilling and suspenseful ghost story from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Dead Simple, Peter James.

Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion – Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.

Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade’s is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House’s dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them . . .

My thanks to Julia at Midas PR for my beautiful review copy.


The House on Cold Hill – a terrific ghost story and a perfectly timed release with Halloween just around the corner.

When I first read Peter James it was around the time he released Prophecy and Twilight. I was discovering books about ghosts and monsters and taking a break from my normal choice of reading (which was always crime fiction). Mr James was a writer of horror stories and he was bloody good at it too. Time passed and he introduced us to a character called Roy Grace and in doing so firmly established himself as a bit of a wizard at writing great crime stories too.

The House on Cold Hill sees Peter James take a break from the Grace novels and return to a stand-alone horror tale. As I had recently been lamenting the lack of horror tales in my TBR pile I could not wait to get my teeth into this one – and I was not to be disappointed!

As you may have guessed, The House on Cold Hill is a haunted house – the efficiency of the haunting is firmly cemented in the opening chapters with a shocking scene which caught me unawares. This was the perfect reminder for me that in a good horror story ANYTHING can happen.

The story follows Oliver and Caro Harcourt and their daughter Jade. They have bought Cold Hill House and are looking forward to a fresh start away from the city in their grand country home. But even as they are moving there are some unexplained occurrences, mysterious shadows crossing a room and one of the family may have seen a figure who should not have been in the house at the time.

As the story progresses Peter James does a brilliant job of building up the tension for the reader who can never quite be sure how much characters can be trusted, how accurate conversations are or who may escape the story unscathed. A special mention to one scene which made me glad I do not ever need to FaceTime!

I was totally drawn into The House on Cold Hill, I was compelled to keep reading long into the night and it made me realise how much I have missed reading a good horror story.  This book is an absolute treat for readers who enjoy a chilling tale in the dark winter evenings. A must read – a five star score.


The House on Cold Hill is published by Macmillan and is available in Hardback and digital format

Peter James is on Twitter: @peterjamesuk




Tags: , , , ,
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted October 21, 2015 by Gordon in category "5* Reviews", "From The Bookshelf