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House of the Lost

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  340 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
When novelist Theo Kendal inherits the remote Norfolk house where his cousin Charmery was murdered, he believes it will bring him closer to the truth about her death. It will also be the ideal place to finish his new book. But the bleak Fenn House is a lonely and sometimes uncomfortable place to spend the winter. And the strangest thing is that Theo's new novel seems to be ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 890)
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Cathleen
Jul 06, 2013 Cathleen rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathleen by: Goodreads recommendation
Shelves: suspense
Since it’s been so hot and humid these past few days, I wanted, I admit it, a page-turner, one where I’d be so stuck in the plot that I wouldn’t notice my legs glued to my lawn chair or that my iced tea glass kept slipping out of my hands because of condensation. That kind of summer read.

House of the Lost seemed like it would be that kind of book—a creepy, haunted house story. The tags on the cover included, “[p]ray you’re never trapped inside,” and “[h]ad me scared stiff,” so that’s what I ex
...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Jul 20, 2011 Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum rated it really liked it
Author Sarah Rayne features regularly on my reading list and I've been looking forward to reading House of the Lost since it's publication last year.

Rayne developed a complex narrative, weaving together a mystery that was a delight to unravel. There were many threads, some taking me to very dark places, much darker than any of her other books I've read (The Death Chamber, Tower of Silence , Spider Light and A Dark Dividing).

Rayne was able to plunge deep into the psyche of several characters and
...more
Ruth Downie
Apr 10, 2011 Ruth Downie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charmery Kendal has been murdered - but when her cousin Theo inherits her remote fenland house, he finds it disturbingly alive with signs of her. He also finds that instead of finishing the book he's supposed to be writing, he's swept up into the story of a boy living in a terrifying society where people disappear at the whim of the 'cold-eyed men'.
This is a gripping and complex mystery, going far deeper than the familiar chills of the 'haunted house' to recall some of the horrors of all-too-re
...more
Chimene
Another pick-up-by-chance book, but a good find. :)

Rayne's writing style really drew me into the story. I sometimes find a story that jumps between time frames hard work and some actually leave me feeling frustrated. But I found it relatively easy to keep up with this particular story. The pace was good; there were moments where I felt like I needed one scene to end a little quicker, but that's probably more down to my own level of patience. Overall, I thought the characters were brilliantly tho
...more
Jayne Thorold
May 04, 2013 Jayne Thorold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no other choice than to give this book a five star rating. It was totally absorbing and enjoyable. The mixture of fiction and actual historical content is captivating. Sarah Rayne weaves the fictional characters into actual history so well written that you feel their highs and lows.
This is the first novel I have read by Sarah Rayne but am looking forward to reading more in the future.
Elizabeth
Apr 21, 2012 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to abandon this book; I am shocked to be saying that about a Sarah Rayne novel, as I usually love her stuff. But this did not cut the mustard. I didn't care about the protagonist, nor did I want to find out what really happened to his cousin. She was supposed to be seductive and compelling; I found her to be selfish and banal, and as a result I just dropped the book.
Susan
Apr 22, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I hadn't heard of this author when I picked up the book in the library. It's a very well written psychological thriller. Very different but really enjoyable. Will definitely look out for more of Sarah Rayne's books.
Lana G
Mar 20, 2010 Lana G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book and couldn't put it down. I remember lots of news stories about the ceacescu's in the late 1980's but this book really triggered my interest and encouraged me to do my own research.
Melissa
Nov 02, 2012 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not get into this book and finally returned it to the library unfinished.
Anne
Nov 09, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gothic mystery lovers
When Theo inherits a house from his cousin Charmery, he hopes to find out more about her death. he also plans to work on his novel, which suddenly seems to almost write itself. suddenly he is drawn into the scary world of Matthew and the terrifying visits of the cold-eyed men. Matthew lives where people are killed for no reason, or disappear forever. As he learns more about him, he finds that Mathew in fact is a real person, and he finds himself involved in their lives in a way he never planes.
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘House of the Lost’ by Sarah Rayne
Published by Simon & Schuster, March 2010. ISBN: 978-1-84737-335-5

When Theo Kendal inherits Fenn House, following the death of his beloved cousin Charmery, he believes it will be the perfect place to write his new book and maybe to discover the truth about Charmery’s murder.

Fenn House is set in a remote part of Norfolk, and appears to be as dingy on the inside as the outside - musty and dusty. After unpacking some provisions Theo settles down to write, but f
...more
Particle_Person
This one just didn't do it for me. I was never a big fan of V.C. Andrews-style incest-y plots, and this is that kind of book, crossed with a political novel (sort of). I lost interest about half-way through, and skimmed the rest. Since I almost NEVER skim books, that is a measure of how meh I was feeling about it. This is the only book of Sarah Rayne's that's left me so underwhelmed, and all I can suggest is to read something else by this author. Try her Michael Flint and Nell West series.
Helen
Apr 02, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy this as much as the other Sarah Rayne novels I've read. The two separate story strands did not mesh together comfortably and even when they merge at the end, it doesn't feel convincing somehow. The unnerving story set in Romania makes for disturbing reading and as it turns out, there are no paranormal aspects to the novel which is what I'd loved in her previous novels. However it's a 2 and a half rather than a 2 as especially towards the end it does become quite gripping and it do ...more
Mary Ann
Dec 24, 2015 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing read

This is even better than the first book I read by this phenomenal author. I am so very impressed by the complexity of her plots and how she is able to unwind them through twists and turns while holding onto the suspense. Not easy to figure out how her stories will end! I am happily on to the next lovely book!!
Brantley
Feb 23, 2015 Brantley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Way to much back story. It drones on and on and on. I love the story itself but it's so muddied up with back story that you can't enjoy it at all. I couldn't even finish the book because I got so bored every time I read it. And I always finish books, even if I don't like them. So that's saying something.
Stacy
Oct 08, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Normally I wouldn't rate a book I haven't finished. I'm making an exception for this book, however, in case I ever decide to read another Sarah Rayne book.

You see, I couldn't finish it because it gave me the heebie jeebies. That uncomfortable feeling where something creepy is going to happen and you aren't you going to like that creepy something at all. There was a darkness and spookiness that filled the pages. Either I was reading a haunted book and the ghost was taunting me, or this was the bo
...more
Susie
Oct 11, 2014 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really atmospheric and moody!Novelist Theo Kendall inherits a house ( a remote fenland house) and works on his novel. gradually the story he writes seems to evolve with his surroundings --maybe he is writing history--not fiction. And history sometimes comes back to get you!!
Sanna
May 30, 2015 Sanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not her best work unfortunately, at times while reading I did want to give up and throw the book out the closest window, but I did not give in. I did finish it and now that I have I am glad that I did. I might not read it again however I am glad that I have read it.
Marie France Asselbergh
oddly attypical book by SR, imo.
great story but handling totally inadequate.
Kimberly
Dark and twisted book. The interweaving of two stories (past and present) was interesting, and I must admit I was surprised at the ending. Charmery irritated me. She was supposed to be this irresistible woman but I found her to be self-centered and spoiled. This was not exactly a comfortable read. It was intense and suspenseful as well as a little unsettling. Overall I felt the story came together well though. I would classify this book as your typical gothic story, similar to what you would fin ...more
Sarah
Sep 14, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, psychological suspense novel. Theo's cousin Charmery is murdered in their family's boathouse. He inherits the house and goes there to see if he can help solve the murder and find time to write his newest novel, and finds that the house and he are haunted by their collective past. His memories of his childhood are not what they seem on the surface. This page-turner reminded me of Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island", building in momentum, with some scenes very easy to picture, and shiver a ...more
Jessica Mae
While I loved the story and the dive into a historical situation in which I knew nothing about, I could not get over the writing style. The repetitive phrases and unnecessary words took a book that could have been a 5 and dropped it to a 3. I was certainly engrossed with the characters, but continually found myself rewording entire paragraphs in my mind. There is no doubt it was a good read, but it could have been so much more..
Kaethe
Okay, we've got the modern history of Romania under the Ceauescus, which is grim and horrible. We've got thwarted love in the fens. We've got brave dissidents, evil party stooges, art, medicine, and the most practical and subversive nuns since the Sound of Music. Rayne is at her best showing the after effects of torture on people, and this time is no exception. Great stuff.

Loan from beloved MIL
...more
Hannah
Jun 10, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really captured my interest, to the point I found myself researching the Romanian revolution to learn more about it. This is a story within a story, as the books main character is an author writing a new book and the two stories are interwoven perfectly, full of suspense and with enough twists and turns to keep you wondering. This is the first Sarah Rayne book I have read and I loved it.
Mandy
Nov 12, 2011 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what I was expecting. The reviews I had read suggested this was a psychological thriller/mystery. I found it to be largely a historical account of the atrocities that occurred in Romania during the Ceausescu regime. Touching, heartwarming in places, unpredictable and an enjoyable page turner.
Naomi
Nov 29, 2011 Naomi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was ok, but it didn't rock my socks off. It wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it also "bounced" around a bit to the point I was guessing how it was going to fit into the storyline. I will still give this author's books another chance as I did like her writing.
Elaine
Jul 28, 2011 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good summer "ghost story." I really enjoyed the mystery as well. I'd summarize some plot, but I'm afraid I'd give something away! Everything was a twist, even right up to the end. And I'm glad they didn't take the easy route with all-evil villains.
Hannah H
To be honest I felt this book didn't start off too well for me, it didn't quite pull me in at the beginning, but once I pushed through the start it become more interesting and did begin to pull me in. Still, not the best book I've read, but fairly good.
Celine Hisani
Oct 10, 2013 Celine Hisani rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this book was absolutely boring and meaningless. I couldn't even finish the book. I was hoping for some horror sensation and I only could find a good one in the beginning, then everything starts getting misleading and off topic.
Sue
Mar 07, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cousin moves into family house after the murder of his cousin. Whilst writing his latest novel there he imagines life in Romania under the Ceausecus and the novel switches between Norfolk and the Romanian past.
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72374
Aka Frances Gordon, Bridget Wood

After a convent education, which included writing plays for the Lower Third to perform, Sarah Rayne embarked on a variety of jobs, but - probably inevitably - returned again and again to writing. Her first novel appeared in 1982, and since then her books have also been published in America, Holland and Germany.

The daughter of an Irish comedy actor, she was for many
...more
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