Title: The Witch House
Author: Ann Rawson
Publisher: Red Dog Press
Release Date: August 4th, 2020
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Who can you trust, if you can’t trust yourself?
Alice Hunter, grieving and troubled after a breakdown, stumbles on the body of her friend and trustee, Harry Rook. The police determine he has been ritually murdered and suspicion falls on the vulnerable Alice, who inherited the place known locally as The Witch House from her grandmother, late High Priestess of the local coven.
When the investigations turn up more evidence, and it all seems to point to Alice, even she begins to doubt herself.
Can she find the courage to confront the secrets and lies at the heart of her family and community to uncover the truth, prove her sanity, and clear herself of murder?
A psychologically thrilling roller coaster of a read. The Witch House is a descriptive story about a girl named Alice, who after suffering a mental breakdown due to her grandmother passing away is the prime suspect of a murder. The author creates a backdrop of a story that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens nest. I was intrigued with how much I thought I knew was happening and how far form the truth that was. The story has so many twists and turns, which keeps you on tour feet wondering who is the person responsible for it all. The plot was well thought out and the author wrote enough to leave space for your imagination to fill the rest of the fictional picture.
The character depictions and development were top notch. Alice, a girl with so many family secrets, is mourning and is seen as unstable to everyone around her after her breakdown. But the Alice we get to know is so strong and will do what she needs in order to provide her innocence all while filling the gaps to her memory and trying to piece everything together. I also enjoyed the cameos of the other supporting characters. It felt natural to hear their voice and figure out how they tie into everything that is happening. Each character alongside Alice felt naturally written into a larger story.
There is so much that is discussed in this story and the three main themes [mental health, greed/dark secrets and paganism] are written with mystery, suspense and a style that streamlines the story so well and wraps it up all together smoothly. I would highly recommend.
About The Author
Ann Rawson has long been addicted to story. As a child she longed to learn to read because she knew there was magic in those pages, the inky squiggles that turned into words and became images in her head – the stories that could transport her away from the everyday. As she grew older, she divined there was truth in books too. They were a glimpse into other minds. Her reading became the foundation of a deep and abiding interest in what makes people tick – and so she soon became hooked on crime fiction.
Age ten, she wrote to Malcolm Saville, author of the Lone Pine Series, enclosing her first short story. He wrote back and encouraged her to continue writing – and she is heartbroken that the letter is long lost. His book, Lone Pine Five, sparked a lifelong interest in archaeology, as it mentions the Mildenhall Treasure which makes an appearance in The Witch House.
A lapsed witch with enduring pagan tendencies, she lives on the south coast. She still thinks of herself as a Northerner, although she’s been in exile for many years. Almost every day she walks on the Downs or the white cliffs with her husband, plotting her next novel while he designs computer systems.
Ann’s debut novel, A Savage Art was published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016. She has published some short fiction, and in 2019 her memoir piece If… was shortlisted for the Fish Short Memoir Prize.
She is currently completing a memoir and working on her third novel.