Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House. Tree. Person.” as Want to Read:
House. Tree. Person.
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House. Tree. Person.

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  112 reviews
A year ago, she was happily married, running her beauty salon, raising her son, living in her dream house. Now Ali McGovern’s dreams are slipping away and all her old ghosts are rising.

A job at Howell Hall, the private psychiatric facility nearby, seems too good to be true. Why have they employed her? How can they afford her? And what are they hiding? When a body is discov
...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published September 8th 2017 by Midnight Ink
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about House. Tree. Person., please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about House. Tree. Person.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  112 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Paromjit
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific dark psychological thriller from Catriona McPherson, set in Dumfries and Galloway. Ali, Marco and their son, Angelo, have been forced to downsize to their present claustrophobic home. They are living in abject poverty, barely managing to make ends meet. This pushes Ali to use a fraudulent CV to land a beauty therapist position at the psychiatric facility, Howell House, run by the husband and wife team, referred to as Dr Ferris, who runs the place and Dr F. who manages the psyc ...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was trying to figure out why this author and her standalones appeal to me so much. They are not action filled, nor are there any graphic, blood laden scenes, they are instead insidiously dark, ominous. They are different, unique, and the settings always a bit creepy. Here it is mostly set in a private, psychiatrist facility which was once someone's family home. She always does such a great job with her characters, giving the reader one or more to cheer for, in this case two young residents of ...more
Kendall
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is funny... I was approved for this title via Netgalley on the original pub date on 9/8/17 and didn't have time to download it before it was archived. Funny enough.. it was sitting on my shelf few weeks ago? I ended up buying it last year when I couldn't get a copy before it was archived. So, It worked out I can now provide feedback :).

I was originally drawn in by the title of this book House. Tree. Person. and of course the book revolving around a psychiatric hospital. Ali, an employee who
...more
Sheila
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars--I really liked it.

Another great female British crime writer! This is my first McPherson, but it won't be my last.

Though this book seemed confusing at first (it's deliberate, as it reflects Ali's mental fog), I quickly figured out what was going on and raced through to see how it would end. The strength of this book was the main character Ali--though a hot mess, she was relatable, funny, caring, determined, and very clearly written.

In fact, all the characters were written really well. An
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I found the title for House. Tree. Person to be very odd, but now after finishing the book do I understand the reference. It's actually a kind of clever kind of title and you have to read the book to figure out what it points to and what so important with it.

House. Tree. Person is a book that I felt did not really live up not my expectations. The mystery was in a way interesting, the book just lacked suspense and some really good twists. I did like this book, I found that I wanted to figure out
...more
Fictionophile
It is an understatement to say Alison McGovern's family has had some setbacks. Once, they had a lovely house, she owned a thriving beauty salon called 'Face Value', and her husband, Marco, took over his successful family restaurant.  But... Marco had other ideas. He wanted more - his ideas were grand, but he ended up taking their house AND her business along with his, when he overextended himself financially by borrowing against their assets. Now Alison, Marco, and their teenage son, Angelo live ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading this book. For me, it's one of those books you can pick up and just get stuck into and enjoy the journey of being immersed in a fictional tale.

The book is set mostly around an expensive in-patient psychiatric home which houses patients with varying conditions including alcohol issues, personality disorders, eating disorders to a young woman who is catatonic at the age of 30. This is not your average home - it's expensive and exclusive.

Our main charac
...more
Jeanette
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, having read her series time and again, I never saw this kind of study coming. Couldn't put it down read!

This is a cross between "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and a high end Agatha Christie. No exaggeration on the latter. Believe me, I'm shocked at myself for giving this a 5 star. Just a cut above series who-dun-its. It's in a genre and in a location that are not high point favorites for me on top of it, especially on the locale end aspect. Dialect and certain local colloquial and fad
...more
Karen
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
House. Tree. Person By Catriona McPherson

This cozy mystery was hard for me to enjoy until I got past 30 percent of the novel. After that point the suspense ratchets up and I couldn't put it down until I reached the final conclusion. Alison, Marco and Angelo live across the street where a body is discovered. Alison gets a job at a private psychiatric facility as a beauty therapist and artist. I really loved Alison's character and it is her compassion for Sylvie, who is been catatonic for fifteen
...more
Wendi Lee
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review*

Wow. This book was amazing!

Ali McGovern and her family are starting from scratch. They just lost their businesses, their nice house, their good car. Ali is elated when she gets a job at a psychiatric facility, but almost immediately things seem off. Her resume is full of embellishments and lies, but the husband and wife duo who run the facility don't seem to notice. The rest of the staff are damaged - ex-cons, fired
...more
Patty
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Midnight Ink for an advanced read of, "House. Tree. Person." in exchange for an honest review.

Ali McGovern had a mental breakdown 10 years ago but she is getting her life back together now. She and her husband lost their businesses and are trying to get back to living. Her husband spots a job advertisement for Ali and writes up a resume for her that is highly exaggerated with skills and licenses she does not have. The job is at a psychiatric facility wor
...more
Stacey Camp
**3.5 Stars**

Usually I am wary of reading suspense/thriller books that use psychiatric facilities as a backdrop for tales of horror and murder. I was therefore nervous when I first started Catriona McPherson's House.Tree.Person., which revolves around a live-in care home (Howell Hall) for young people with mental illnesses.

However, the author did not rely upon stereotypical tropes, and instead breathed life and humanity into the psychiatric facility around which her story is centered. The story
...more
Kirsty
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, scottish
You know what you're getting with Catriona McPherson's novels: a likeable heroine, a not-too-dark mystery, some kind of family drama. Her writing is always enjoyable, and I enjoyed it. Maybe I won't remember it in a year (I read it a month ago and to be honest the details have already slipped away), but it passed some spare hours nicely, and sometimes that's just what you want from a book.
Lavender
3,5 Stars
„House. Tree. Person“ is a dark psychological thriller. It is a bit of a slow burner and I would have wished for a little bit more tension.

The title was the thing that got me first. I never heard of that term but when you read the book you will understand. The story is told from Ali’s POV. I had some difficulties finding into the book. Ali obviously had some kind of trauma but we learn about what happened 10 years ago later in the book. But Ali and her husband Marco are referring to it
...more
Sanae
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
At first, I just didn't understand. Didn't understand what this story was really about, what the fuck was actually going on. And why the reviews were so good when I couldn't even glimpse an answer to those question.

Ali moved out with her husband and son. Ten years ago, she felt so terribly ill mentally that she was spending her time completely out of everything, fed on pills and blurry consciousness. Her husband is endued with a lovely voice that soothed her all those years, even now. So back t
...more
Paula DeBoard
A lot happens in this book -- and arguably, too much -- but it remains creepy in all the right ways: a too-good-to-be-true mental health facility, abandoned church grounds, family dysfunction, buried secrets...

I'll be checking out McPherson's other books.

lucky little cat
Another fast-paced, addictive mystery from Catriona McPherson. Not quite as inventive or as plausible as McPherson's earlier works, although it is nice to see a working-class MC. Major plot points strain credibility, the villain is arbitrarily, repeatedly, obviously mean to the MC, and the red herring spends the novel winking at the reader and saying "Hey Baby." (Okay, not really, but close.) This is the rare Catriona McPherson that lingers in the mind 'cause the mind's so busy saying "Nuh-uhhh. ...more
Jo
Alison manages to blag her way into a job at a residential home for those with mental health issues. The pay is fantastic but there's something not quite right. When a body is discovered in the grounds it causes all sorts of problems. This was a great thriller. I thought I had it all worked out then the twist at the end threw me because I didn't see it coming.
Kathy
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This holds the interest as ugly plans become apparent to a woman who has reason to question what she sees, hears, feels. I won't spoil it by describing the plot.
This is the first book I have read written by this author and I plan to look for more.
Chris
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Started out a little confusing but I believe the author planned this to reflect Ali, the main characters’ mental and emotional state.

A good psychological thriller that kept me entranced to the end. the characters (family and psychiatric hospital) were well done, i.e., the sullen teenage son, Angelo, the unreliable husband and business partner Marco, and the staff and patients at the psychiatric hospital.

Give me a setting like a psychiatric hospital and there’s always bound to be secrets, creep
...more
Karen Mace
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating and enthralling book of how the past never escapes you, despite your best intentions!

Life was good for Ali a year ago, settled family life, successful businesses. And then things started falling apart so she's back at the bottom again trying to work her way up and with the help of her husband and an inventive CV, she lands a job at Howell, Hall, a local psychiatric facility.

When she steps inside she finds it isn't only the patients with things to hide and she grows fond of a c
...more
Elaine
House. Tree. Person. is my first book by Ms. McPherson and is a catchy title about a beautician turned art therapist working in a mental facility. The family is struggling financially after her husband's poor decisions caused them to lose their large home, their car, their social status and self esteem.

When a dead body is unearthed from an abbey not far from where Alison and her husband and son live, she realizes the body is tied to the patients in her care and the devious machinations of the
...more
Darcysmom
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
House. Tree. Person. is an excellent, creepy thriller! Ali McGovern is recovering from the loss of what she thought was her perfect life. Her business, her husband's business, and their house have all been lost. Her new job at Howell House, a private psychiatric hospital, should be the light at the end of the tunnel. When a body is found in a shallow grave near her house, Ali is forced to confront her past,
...more
Elaine Tomasso
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for a review copy of The Weight of Angels, a stand alone psychological thriller set in the Scottish county of Galloway.

Alison McGovern and her family are on their uppers financially when her husband, Marco spots the ideal job opportunity for her, beautician at an upmarket mental health facility. To her surprise and probably with the help of Marco's tweaks to her CV she gets the job at a very healthy £45k/annum. Once she starts it is
...more
Annie
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars. 4/10.
House, Tree, Person is a common psychological assessment supposedly used to tap into someone's unconscious mind by the way a person draws a house, a tree and a person. I found the title alone intriguing but the blurb drew me in further. It discussed how an employee, named Ali, who works at a psychiatric hospital was concerned about the recent discovery of a body near her location. Did one of the patients do it? Or was it her teenage son, getting more and more secretive with eac
...more
Maureen Moyes
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mbd-reviewed
I eagerly recommend Catriona McPherson’s “House. Tree. Person.” as an intriguing 4 star read.

I do enjoy reading Catriona McPherson’s books based in the Galloway region and enjoy following the characters journey’s between the towns that my family spoke of during my childhood.

This book is a good paced thriller filled with so much suspense you just don’t know what the twist is until the very end (or at least I didn’t).

This book was an easy, yet engrossing, read and had me hooked early on. The aut
...more
Lynn
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, I plowed through this book. I was pulled in ten directions by the main character. I liked her and I was scared of her, I thought she was maybe crazy (ok definitely), or she was being conned by everybody, that her family was out to get her, or her family was trying to save her.....I just never knew and it was a great ride.
Ellen Kirschman
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not clairvoyant. I don't have a crystal ball. And my TBR pile of books is 2 feet high. But I'm betting that House.Tree.Person will be my favorite book of 2018 - which is already nearly half over. Beautiful writing, engaging soulful characters, and a wonderful plot. MacPherson teases the reader with exquisite delicacy, dotting tiny bread crumbs of suspense literally from page 1.
AdiTurbo
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
DNF. Not for me at this moment.
Elke
While you could categorize this book as a psychological thriller, it was also very different. For one, there was no investigating detective or police. The story was told from the POV of Ali McGovern, a mother who just started a new job at a private psychiatric facility. A body is found in the ruins right next to her door and her son might be involved somehow. Ali also makes some strange observations at her new work place which raise her suspicion and make her investigate things on her own. Suppo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Perdition (A Nell McGraw Investigation, #2)
  • Bücherstadt (Die Bibliothek der flüsternden Schatten, #1)
  • Stained
  • Plaasmoord
  • Dark Screams: Volume Four
  • Jurassic Florida (One Size Eats All #1)
  • The Snowman's Children
  • Within
  • The Moor
  • They Feed
  • Monster Town
  • Blessed are Those Who Mourn (Gabriella Giovanni Mysteries #4)
  • The Woman in the Camphor Trunk (Anna Blanc Mysteries #2)
  • In the Dark
  • Last Train from Perdition
  • Murder in Shadow (New Scotland Yard/Doyle and Acton, #6)
  • Keep in a Cold, Dark Place
  • The Low Road
See similar books…
265 followers
aka Catriona McCloud

Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university t
...more
“NO!” I bellowed it at him. “You say that over and over like it’s some kind of slogan. And I never knew why it made me feel as if I was going mad. I don’t ‘upset myself,’ Marco. Things ‘upset me.’ Things ‘upset’ everyone unless they’re catatonic or drugged to their eyeballs. It’s called life.” 0 likes
“It’s not bullshit,” he went on. “It’s just not … See the thing is, the pain’s real. The terror—it’s all real. And the causes never sound bad enough. So they kind of … sex them up. Dad’s never just an arsehole that sat behind his newspaper and wouldn’t say he was proud of them, ken? He turns into a mixture of Hitler and Hannibal that beat them with a strap and kept them in the cellar.” 0 likes
More quotes…