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The Ghost House

(Annie Graham #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,489 ratings  ·  169 reviews
There's not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force. But when she agrees to look after her brother's farmhouse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves ...more
ebook, 250 pages
Published October 2nd 2013 by Carina UK (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,489 ratings  ·  169 reviews

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Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was pretty much a crap book chock full of awkward run-on sentences, punctuation abuse (including the hated apostrophe errors or should I say error's) and general poor understanding of the Rules of Grammar, not to mention a laborious plot, tedious characters, vague forensics, unlikely events, contrived romance, etc etc etc. I gave it 2 stars because I actually finished it and because its sheer juvenile silliness was a welcome distraction during a period of mourning in my house. But I won't b ...more
3 Stars.
Solid mystery with a haunting. Abrupt changes of scene and thin characterizations keep this from being a 4 star.
Jeanne Adamek
Sep 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
I REALLY hate giving bad reviews to books. In fact most people that I know think that I give out 5 star ratings too easily (And here I have to say that I don't--I only give 5 stars to books that can magically take me into a story & no matter how often I have to put the book down, because of life, when I pick it up again I am magically transported again...)

I have tried reading this story three times before--each time I had to put it down thinking that I just wasn't in the mood for
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was hooked from page one. I loved the twist in the middle of the book and immersed myself in this wonderful story.

Annie is the battered wife of Mike and is staying at her brother's house in Abbey Wood to recuperate: the house being the caretaker house for The Manor House, which has stood empty for decades, is said to be haunted. Annie finds the diary of Alice Hughes which starts in 1886 when Alice was 15 and reads with incredulity everything that ha
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
The Ghost House sounded like a story I would enjoy. Unfortunately I was unable to finish it due to the fact it clearly had not been edited properly. The book was littered with grammatical mistakes, shocking sentence structure and even the odd spelling mistake. The writing style adopted by the author was to me reminiscent of a school child writing their first story which unfortunately meant that the story was hard to invest in and the characterisation was a little flat. I was so appalled by the q ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

No. Rape victims don't fall in love with their rapists.

Early in the book, I thought I liked it, since it addresses domestic violence, and since not all the characters are straight. As I kept reading, a couple of male characters tended to say sexist shit, and female characters didn't call them out and acted perfectly fine with it. Yuck. When I got to the (not graphic, thank Goddess) rape scene and then continued reading, with Alice claiming to have f
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a ghost story enthusiast I would highly recommend that you start this series with this one. When I started reading, I was immediately pulled into the story. The Ghost House offers a relatable heroine...Annie...who unwillingly gets thrown in the middle of a horror story when she promises to take care of her brother’s farmhouse near a dilipidated, crumbling old mansion. The mansion calls to her but the moment she walks inside strange things start to happen. Annie isn't the only one that te m ...more
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
The cover initially drew my attention. I enjoyed the storyline, but there were parts that I found irritating due to the amount of times certain words were used in some paragraphs. It's an easy read and held my interest until the end. I would probably try more books by this author.
Amanda Bayliss
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not what I was expecting!
Caroline Mitchell
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in women's fiction and the supernatural
Book Review - The Ghost House

I first came across Helen Phifer's 'The Ghost House' while looking through new publishing imprint 'Carina', who publish a variety of books of various genres. Like me, Helen is a member of the police constabulary, and her experience lends a richness and authenticity to her writing.

The story focuses around Annie Graham, a police officer who is on restricted duties after being assaulted by her abusive husband. After leaving him to start afresh, she agrees t
Beth Bedee
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
"The Ghost House" weaves together the stories of a ghost from the past and a modern-day killer. This held my interest, but it wasn't great. I felt that the end became predictable and was a bit of a letdown. The story was interesting, but the writing was just o.k.

I was most interested in the diary portions set in the late 1880s. It provided an interesting twist midway through the book. I would have actually preferred if the entire book focused on that story. The ending left me with se
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story was ok but felt like there was too many stories going on in one book, having a murder investigation and a ghost story in one book is a bit too much. Gave a whole new theory on Jack the Ripper though. Wasn't happy to find that its part of a series and even more unhappy to find that you can only get the other 5 just on kindle. After reading it I wouldn't really go out my way to recommend it as it was ok but probably one I'll eventually forget I've even read.
Sarah Robins
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve read plenty of books by this author and this being her first it wasn’t the best I’ve read. A little bit flimsy in places and cheesy. But still worth a read if you like a bit of ghost thrown in with crime! Helen is one of my fav authors so I had to read this.
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, fiction
Very enjoyable story.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgie by: Becks Postlethwaite
I'd really give this book four and a half stars because apart from the one flaw I'll come to later, it really was pretty damn good.

It was a perfect mixture of crime and good old fashioned ghost story. Annie is a Police Community Support Officer taking time off work after surviving a brutal attack by her (now ex) husband. She is staying at her brother's house while he is out of the country. She loves the little cottage and the woods surrounding it, getting away from everything is exac
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Good story but so many errors in the manuscript! I read the kindle version of this book and there were so many typos, punctuation errors, formatting issues and even incomplete sentences that I found myself getting annoyed and distracted and had to return my copy. If I'm paying for a book, I expect it to be edited professionally!

That being said, the story was good and there was a little plot twist that I didn't expect which added to the story.

Be warned: the subject matter is a quite
Aug 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I could not read further than a chapter in this book before stopping. I try not to read reviews before I read a book because I don't want it spoiled at all, but boy should I have glanced at them. The sentences were a continual train of thought without stopping. So many more colons and semi colons than any book I've seen. I just couldn't get into the story because of the glaring errors. It's great that this author wrote a book and somehow had it published, but please don't waste your money on it. ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't that good. There were no howlers with spelling or grammar in the copy I had but honestly - who the hell TRADEMARKS everything they name drop? Seriously?!? Get a grip! And then the whole ghostly/otherworldly premise was never satisfactorily explained either. It just kinda...happened. I'll read the next one, but keep my expectations suitably low so as not to be disappointed.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Loved the Alice character and the diary. Felt there were some major flaws in the story however. One minute, everyone over protective towards Annie, but when her husband absconds, nobody bothers to go round to protect her. Also, far too much winking!! Every character seemed to be winking at each other.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was terrible. I never did get hooked at any point. If an eighth grader had to make up a ghost story, this would be it. However the teacher would see that she didn't have the required number of words when she finished, so she added adjectives and adverbs wherever possible, in order tocomplete the word count. Juvenile effort is the best I can say.
Frances L. Ehrig
Ghostly Occurrences

An exciting and suspenseful read! The kind of book that begs you to finish. I feel that I know the characters introduced in the series and there is just a bit of the supernatural to ensure the reader's interest. I look forward to more with Annie.
Melissa Mioni
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
An editor would have been a nice touch! My head is reeling from grammar crimes! How could this book have made it on to the shelves? While the story was good, it looks ass though it were written by a 6th grader. Ouch, I hope the IQ glitch in my brain can heal over time.
Angela Sandford
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really hate giving negative reviews....but I felt this book was seriously lacking something. The plot was ok - policewoman stays at her brothers farm and watches over a haunted mansion, whilst recuperating from head surgery, after being beaten by her husband. There’s a killer locally on the loose and Annie is in a remote spot. She falls in love with a co-worker, who keeps a watch on her. Annie finds a diary in the mansion, written by a servant named Alice. Alice is watching over Annie, who loo ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Annie Graham is a police officer recovering from an injury from a domestic dispute, living on her brother’s property. She is looking after her brother, Ben’s dog and the surrounding property while he is out of the country.
She decides to explore the old abandoned mansion on the property but is spooked out by an unusual white image. Then she is visited by two fellow cops because a young girl is missing and the young woman was last seen nearby. Then another woman goes missing. Annie feels someone
Lauren Nagel
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Either the author does not know the first thing about English grammar and sentence construction or her editor is really, really bad. Or a combination of the two. This book was rife with run on sentences, incorrect verb tenses, misplaced apostrophes, and more. A middle school student could do better.

As for the story, she couldn't decide if she were writing a ghost story with psychic overtones, a murder mystery, a love story, a historical drama, or what. There were way too many charact
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about this one. The combination of crime and history and supernatural is ideal for me, my favourite genres, and the actual storyline was great, a real page turner. However the writing..... not so great. It was quite simplistic and a little awkward and the dialogue felt unconvincing. I didn't really feel as if the characters were 'real'. (The only one I cared about was Alice). The Victorian part of the novel was better. There was more atmosphere in this narrative. 3 stars for an ap ...more
Julia Peet
May 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a load of twaddle! I’m sorry, but I tried my best to enjoy this book. It was just full of grammatical errors, sentences running into one another, misplaced apostrophes - is anyone taught anything at school anymore? The storyline was so contrived and unbelievable, I only managed to get through 50% of the book. The publishing company obviously accepts any old tat, as there was no evidence whatsoever of any proof reading. Very poor show - not even worth the 99p I paid through Kindle! Not tecom ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Day 3 of Phifer takeover and I have finished The Ghost House. I loved it, and I can definitely see what so many people see in her writing! I didn't read much on my kindle in the dark, I can tell you!
Getting into the mind of the serial killer felt effortless when reading, and this disturbed me quite a bit! Exceptional writing, I can't wait to start book 2 today! This is a ghost story, and a police procedural all rolled into one with a bag of tension, I really did find it unique.
Page turner

There were some small editing errors, but the plot carried me through and I couldn’t put it down. There are scary ghosts and evil murderers in the book, cold presences and evil atmospheres aplenty. My only complaint was how the perspective switched from character to character and time period to time period with no warning. That may be a Kindle error, though. Maybe in the printed book there are extra lines between perspectives or some other signaling device.
Laura Elle
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars
I really enjoyed the story, but really struggled with the writing and the editing. This book is a great thriller mixed with ghost story. There is a lot of plot lines that at first I found to be too much but found it came together nicely in the end. I still have a lot of unanswered questions though and that is why I can’t round up to 4 stars. Maybe this book can be re-edited and released cause it has so much potential!!
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Other books in the series

Annie Graham (6 books)
  • The Secrets of the Shadows (Annie Graham, #2)
  • The Forgotten Cottage (Annie Graham, #3)
  • The Lake House (Annie Graham, #4)
  • The Girls In The Woods (Annie Graham, #5)
  • Face behind the mask (Annie Graham, #6)