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House of Skin

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  384 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again… and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 30th 2019 by Flame Tree Press (first published October 2nd 2012)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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4.5 stars!

HOUSE OF SKIN, by Jonathan Janz, is a thought-provoking, ghost/haunted house novel that is set in the perfect location to envision such a story. When Paul Carver is left the vast estate of Watermere, upon the passing of his Uncle Myles, he drops everything in his unfulfilling home life and eagerly jumps at the chance for a fresh start.

"All it needs to live again is fresh blood....."

What Paul doesn't count on is that he is the only person in the town that doesn't know anything abo
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was quite a first date. My first Janz novel, but definitely not my last. His writing reminds me a bit of Peter Straub's writing, but Janz is much more in-your-face and on point. These days horror seems to be all about the vague and unseen (Malerman, Tremblay), but Janz avoids that successfully and he is a real refreshment for the genre I'd say. I know he's not that new, but he is to me, so that's my personal feeling.
All in all, I recommend this to horror junkies everywhere.
4.5 stars!

HOUSE OF SKIN, by Jonathan Janz, is a thought-provoking, ghost/haunted house novel that is set in the perfect location to envision such a story. When Paul Carver is left the vast estate of Watermere, upon the passing of his Uncle Myles, he drops everything in his unfulfilling home life and eagerly jumps at the chance for a fresh start.

"All it needs to live again is fresh blood....."

What Paul doesn't count on is that he is the only person in the town that doesn't know anything abou
4.5 stars. Review pending!
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I have read a ton of Janz by now. I can't even remember off the top of my head how many of his books I've read, just since last year. That's when I finally discovered him. So basically, this isn't my first Janz rodeo. That sounds so ridiculous, but you get the point.

This book really had my head swirling. It's going to be very hard for me to write this review, because the parts I loved are all spoilers. But I will say this: I was really unsure about this one for a good portion of the story. Th
Jamie Stewart
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I was in limbo with the first half of this book as the blurb did not set up for what I was reading. In fact, it’s not until the half way point were the actually story mentioned in he blurb begins with the two central characters meeting for the first time. This isn’t a bad thing, especially when the story being told is by Jonathan Janz in his crisp, efficient style, but it was initially confusing.

Once the two central characters meet the story feels like it gains some idea of where it wants to go.
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley

I received this from Flame Tree Press for review.

I consider Jonathan Janz one of my favorite authors, and he definitely delivered a solid story with House of Skin. This was a re-release with the #YearofJanz with Flame Tree Press, so it's been interesting to see how much he's grown as a writer.

This story follows Paul who inherits Watermere, his long-lost uncle's estate. He uses the opportunity to start fresh. He leaves a relationship and plans to start writing his novel. The novel writing co
This is copy 14 of 60 copies signed and numbered by Jonathan Janz.
Ashley Daviau
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is pure in your face horror and I absolutely loved it! Janz does not shy away from guts and gore and terror and it is FANTASTIC. I feel like I’m watching an old school horror flick when I’m reading his books, especially this one, I could just picture certain scenes in my head. My only minor complaint with this story and why it gets four stars rather than five is the characters. I’m big on characters when I’m reading and I just absolutely hated everyone in this book and while I can appreciat ...more
Tracy Robinson
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ah, Jonathan Janz. This is my third book from him and I’ve come to expect solid reads. This one is. House of Skin has several familiar storylines- house with haunted past, writer guy in said house, family secrets, and an unwelcoming small town. The combination, however, I found to be fairly unique.

Unlike his newest, The Dark Game (also enjoyed this one), the characters are limited. Janz takes enough time to have us invested in what’s happening to them. And what’s happening is freaking twisted.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it is about Janz, but I dig it.

Ok, I take it back. I do know what it is about Janz. He's good.

Real good.

Not sure what took me so long to get around to this one, but glad I finally did.
Sarah Brocious
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-good-scare
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If I ever happen to inherit an estate in the future...I will probably think twice about accepting after reading House of Skin. *shivers*

So much scary, anxiety inducing, nightmare like goodness to this story. (yes I said goodness) Mr. Janz definitely has a talent for painting creep. There are certain images I will never get out of my head!

Great read for this particular time of the year with Halloween drawing nigh.
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
House of Skin is a re-printed haunted house novel from Jonathan Janz, and I think my fifth book by him. I buddy read this one with my friend Tracy, and I struggled with it a bit more than I expected to.

Although the cast of characters is small enough to keep track of who's who, the timeline jumps around a lot, and it wasn't always easy to figure out when things were happening. I enjoyed Annabel and Myles' story the most, and I kind of wish the whole book would have been about them. I was interes
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! Another great scary story by Jonathan Janz. Always amazed how vividly he paints the scene as well as his characters. Highly recommended by me!
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Well, I had high hopes for this and Janz, given the positive reviews, but I was not impressed, especially given the blurbs that compared this to Edward Lee's work. The HOS definitely tries to bend some horror tropes; I mean, is this a haunted house story or a succubi story? Even by the end it was not clear, but that I suppose is a positive.

The story switches repeatedly from past to present, with the present dominating. Paul Carver, basically a slacker with dreams of becoming a writer while work
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
Paul Carver never knew his uncle Myles or anything about him other than the fact that his family disliked him. He was never spoken of and never to be asked about. Still, that seems no reason to refuse a free mansion and a large sum of cash. Paul packs up, leaves his old life and former girlfriend behind and drives all night to claim his inheritance. When Paul arrives he finds that his family are not the only ones who hated Myles Carver. The local sheriff seems to bear a grudge as well. Strange c ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not the biggest ghost story fan, but this was very well done. This one unfolds quite nice. The haunted house and the creepy family history kept me reading on to find out what other kinds of debauchery would take place. Not to say to much, but the sex scene toward the end was a eye popping shocker. One minute everything is fine. Next minute I was shacking my head with a bit of a gag reflex. Nice job, that. Looking forward to my next book by Mr. Janz.
Andi Rawson
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
Michael Hicks
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
My review of HOUSE OF SKIN can be found at High Fever Books.

Flame Tree Press’ Year of Janz continues with this latest reissue of Jonathan Janz’s House of Skin. In it, aspiring author Paul Carver moves into a large estate bequeathed to him by his uncle. If you’re at all familiar with Janz’s brand of horror, you’ll know right away there’s plenty more going on, and the scintillating title alone is a dead giveaway to that! Adjoining the house is the family cemetery, going back several generations. V
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, ghosts
After placing Jonathan's debut novel, The Sorrows, on my Fave Five of 2012 list, I was eager to see how his next effort, published in the second half of last year, would pan out. House of Skin is a title alluded to in The Sorrows, as the protagonist works on the score of a film project by that name, but I will say right now that the book threw me, because the horror went in a much different direction than I expected--and that's probably a good thing, too.

After his estranged uncle dies, Paul Carv
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"House of Skin" is an outstanding supernatural tale that's filled with murder, obsession, possession, sex, chilling plot twists, and outstanding writing. Author Jonathan Janz has set the bar high for his next work because this novel is so hard to put down.

The plot revolves around the cursed Carver family and their estate, Watermere. When Paul Carver inherits the estate from his not-so-dear departed uncle, Miles Carver, he leaves his life and girlfriend behind in Memphis and moves to Indiana. As
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before starting this read, I was aware that House of Skin is Janz's first novel. Because of this, I had a brief thought that perhaps the story wouldn't grab me as quickly as the others. Well friends, that thought quickly went away, because I got hooked on this one as fast as any other Janz read. Since I've read his newest work, I can definitely see how his writing has developed since House of Skin, but I'm truly impressed that this was his first published novel.

House of Skin is now among my fav
Richard K. Wilson
Janz knocks another out of the Ball Park with 'House Of Skin'!!! I have read tons of horror, and yes this one took me longer than a week to listen to, however....this will make your skin crawl!! No pun intended!

Paul Carver has no fucking idea what is in store for him when he inherits the haunted estate; Watermere from his Uncle Myles and Aunt Annabel.....but forget everything you have ever read about hauntings, and especially stories about an erotic Succubus! As I have stated before, no one can
Hunter Shea
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, horror novels can be sexy, especially when they're crafted by an author at the top of his game. House of Skin is a dark ride down the into the depths of the corrupted souls that have lived in the Watermere estate. Intrigue and the ghosts of dirty deeds abound in one of the most gripping stories I've read all year. Who or what was Myles Carver and his deliciously deviant wife Annabel? And what has Paul Myles gotten himself into as he claims his inheritance on the haunted estate with a past s ...more
Jan 21, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
I finished up to chapter ten of this book and I don't want to read any further. The descriptions of the female characters irritated me ("The sight of the woman mesmerized him. He was forty yards away, yet he was already nervous he'd frighten her into flight. A deer hunter must feel this way before the kill, he thought. Lightning flashed and he distinguished her outline more clearly. The garment was a negligee rather than a dress. The drizzle made it cling to her body. And what a body it was. He ...more
Jade Lopert
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Alright, so every review of this book so far has given it lots of big shiny stars. I just can't though. This book is perhaps the single most unoriginal horror novel I have ever read (and that is saying A LOT). It's actually unfortunate, because I think Janz has wonderful gift for story telling and imagery. He managed to combine a back story and current story and make both equally as interesting which is one hell of a talent. His dialogue is completely believable and doesn't ever feel unnatural.

Zoé-lee O'farrell
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Another month and another love letter to Mr Janz! Ok, I may reel it in this time! Promise! However, every book I read, just gets better and better.

Two storylines are running through the book, Paul and Julia’s. Julia is the first we meet and Ted Brand, Paul’s lawyer. Julia, sweet and innocent, oh so innocent at first, but is she what she seems? Paul, running away from an ex-girlfriend, everything he knows all because he has been left a ton of cash and the house Watermere. However, this is a Janz
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Janz, author of such notable horror novels The Sorrows, Savage Species, Dust Devils, and the newly released Castle of Sorrows, has crafted a chilling story of madness, murder, and undying supernatural hunger. Paul Carver, wannabe writer, inherits his infamous relative's fortune and Victorian estate in rural Indiana. He moves there, thinking a fresh start will help him realize his dreams of becoming a horror novelist. But little does he know that truth is stranger than fiction, and after ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Another fantastic book by Jonathan Janz!
This story captivates you from the beginning and doesn't let up. I had no idea where it was going and that is a good thing, predictably is not something you want in any book.
This was well written and Jonathan's frame story technique made it all the more intriguing.
You get it all with this book and it's definitely not for the faint at heart. Great characters (some likeable...some not so) and scenes. You will be shocked, horrified, grossed out and of course
Rachel Hall
So I guess by my rating it's pretty clear that I was pretty unimpressed. This was another goodreads recommend I just happened to take a chance on so I'm not too broken up about it, but House of Skin is not something I would recommend to someone else. The plot is confused and forced because it seems the author tried to mash several archetypal horror stories into a a big jumbled mess that didn't ever quite come together for me, not even in the end. I would say maybe not put in the time to read thi ...more
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Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels. He is represented for Film & TV by Ryan Lewis (executive producer of Bird Box). His work has been championed by authors like Josh Malerman, Jack Ketchum, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novels Childr ...more

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