#BlogTour #BookReview The House at Helygen by Victoria Hawthorne

The House at Helygen Blog Tour PosterWelcome to the final day of the blog tour for The House at Helygen by Victoria Hawthorne. My thanks to Katya at Quercus for inviting me to take part and for my review copy. You can read my thoughts on the book, which was published on 18th August, below.


The House at HelygenAbout the Book

2019. When Henry Fox is found dead in his ancestral home in Cornwall, the police rule it a suicide, but his pregnant wife, Josie, believes it was murder. Desperate to make sense of Henry’s death she embarks on a quest to learn the truth, all under the watchful eyes of Henry’s overbearing mother. Josie soon finds herself wrestling against the dark history of Helygen House and ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried.

1881. New bride Eliza arrives at Helygen House with high hopes for her marriage. Yet when she meets her new mother-in-law, an icy and forbidding woman, her dreams of a new life are dashed. And when Eliza starts to hear voices in the walls of the house, she begins to fear for her sanity and her life.

Can Josie piece together the past to make sense of her present, or will the secrets of Helygen House and its inhabitants forever remain a mystery?

Format: Paperback (368 pages)        Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 18th August 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction, Dual Time

Find The House at Helygen on Goodreads

Purchase links
Hive | Amazon UK
Links provided for convenience only, not as part of an affiliate programme


My Review

Moving between past and present, The House at Helygen starts off mysterious, progresses to sinister and concludes as full-on melodrama.  If you’re looking for a book with the vibes of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, you’re in the right place. The present day Helygen House even has a west wing previously destroyed by fire. And if you were looking for a modern day equivalent of Rebecca‘s Mrs Danvers then look no further than Josie’s mother-in-law, Alice, who in her habits and attitudes seems a woman ‘from another time entirely… who doesn’t live in the modern world at all’, closely followed by Eliza’s mother-in-law, Harriet, in the 19th century story.

Told from the point of view of two women, separated by over a century but who share many of the same experiences, plus the voice of a third woman through means of a journal, that narrative device beloved of historical novelists, The House at Helygen contains everything you might want from a historical suspense novel.

The author creates a brooding sense of menace which gradually builds as the house reveals it secrets and the dark past of the families who have occupied it. A silhouette glimpsed in a doorway, an unexplained cry in the night, a shadowy figure under a willow tree (very The Turn of the Screw), something scratching against a window ‘like fingers clawing to get in’.  And then there’s the disquieting atmosphere of some of the unused rooms of Helygen House where past and present seem separated by a mere whisper. Josie’s friend, Flick, sums it up well. ‘It just feels weird in here. Like something isn’t quite right. Like the air has been disturbed, and we’re trespassing. Like we shouldn’t be in here at all.’

The House at Helygen is a skilfully crafted story of obsession, secrets and what might be a grim inheritance.

In three words: Atmospheric, suspenseful, intricate

Try something similar: A Woman Made of Snow by Elisabeth Gifford


Victoria HawthorneAbout the Author

Vikki Patis is the bestselling author of psychological thrillers In the Dark (2021), The Wake (2020), Girl, Lost (2020), The Girl Across the Street (2019), and The Diary (2018). Girl, Lost, a top 100 bestseller on Amazon, was later longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize 2020. Her latest thriller, Return to Blackwater House, was published in March 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton.

She is represented by Emily Glenister at DHH Literary Agency and also writes historical fiction as Victoria Hawthorne. Her first historical suspense novel, The House at Helygen, was published in April 2022 by Quercus, with another to follow in 2023.

Vikki has also written articles for numerous publications. After being diagnosed with Perthes disease as a child, fibromyalgia in 2016 and coeliac disease in 2018, she tries to raise awareness of living with a chronic illness through her writing, and includes a diverse range of characters in her fiction. She lives in Scotland with her wife, two wild golden retrievers, and an even wilder cat.

Connect with Victoria
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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3 thoughts on “#BlogTour #BookReview The House at Helygen by Victoria Hawthorne

  1. Looking at the books you read I think your tastes must be similar to mine. I am going to start reviewing those I really enjoy. At present I put all reviews on Goodreads but have seen very few psychological thrillers so I am going to look out for your books.Which should I start with?

    Like

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