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House of the Lost
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House of the Lost

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  441 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
When novelist Theo Kendal inherits the remote Norfolk house in which 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
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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This book is the story of Theo Kendall, who has just inherited Fenn House from his cousin, Charmery.
He decides to move into the house in order to write his new novel, but the book he begins to write is completely different to the one he planned and then strange things start happening in the house too.
I picked this up from the library, not knowing anything about it. I thought that it would be a spooky read but it wasn't, not really. It was an easy read and I did enjoy it, but it was a little pred
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand that every time I choose a book, I want to witness powerful encounters with spirits. Sometimes I find the uplifting moment I seek. Some are spun in a spooky way but have momentousness. Too many authors gear this revelation to youths. I know all loved-ones stay connected with us but like to see that take place, at least fictionally. Imagine then, that if book descriptions bill themselves as such but do not contain a spiritual meeting: I am severely pissed. This false advertising is n ...more
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 08, 2012 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.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
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
Ruth Downie
Apr 10, 2011 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
Nov 02, 2012 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.
Jayne Thorold
Jun 20, 2012 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.
Celine Hisani
Nov 17, 2012 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.
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 15, 2010 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.
Mary Lou DeVriendt
What a ride! I was up much too late last night because I could not put this down! It is certainly not a light read. It is dark, with several plot threads that get pretty complicated. It was not that difficult to keep track of them all, though, and the way she brought them together to a stunning conclusion was brilliant. I love Sarah Rayne's books. I'm working my way through them all, and I haven't been disappointed yet. This was simply magnificent.
Helen Carolan
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just re-reading this book from one of my favourite authors, Sarah Rayne. Eerie and atmospheric, it is a wonderful read. Theo inherits a house in Norfolk from his murdered cousin and retreats there to write his latest book. But strange things are happening in the house and his book seems to be writing itself. A terrific read.
Dez Nemec
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read this, as I have enjoyed Sarah Rayne's books in the past, but I couldn't. I was around 150 pages in and wondering why I was wasting my time. I didn't like the characters, the ghost and spooky house weren't living up to their potential, and I was just annoyed. Too many books on my shelves to keep going.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: open-lib
I have been wanting to read Sarah Rayne's books for a long time because almost all her books have interesting blurbs which is quite tempting.House of the lost really stumped me, am not really sure what i kinda expected when i started reading, but it was not surely a peak into the turbulent past of Romania under a dictator's rule. It was a brilliant piece of writing with 2 timelines weaving a touching story of love and tragedy mixed with mystery and intrigue.
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 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
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
Feb 22, 2013 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
Sep 23, 2012 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
Joan Harthan
Psychological thriller - her 7th book. Mixed reviews. Complicated plot line. Interesting characters - though rather a lot of them and it did get confusing. A novelist inherits a house in which the cousin he loved was murdered. His new novel (about Romania in the 1980s) seems to be writing itself but it turns out it's what he heard/experienced as a small child. Held my interest until just over half way through when it started to get a bit tedious. The last 1/4 of the book was telling/explaining a ...more
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
Sep 08, 2011 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
Nov 09, 2015 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.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won me over, then lost me then won me over again. I found the story a little hard going at times, quite brutal in places and I almost gave up on it but a tiny spark of interest remained and I am glad I persevered. It all came together in a pleasing way and most of my questions were answered. Not one of my favourites but certainly intriguing enough that I might just read it again one day.
Okay, we've got the modern history of Romania under the Ceau��escus, 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
Jun 01, 2012 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.
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.
Oct 14, 2011 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.
Feb 23, 2015 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.
Mary Ann
Dec 22, 2015 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!!
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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 about Sarah Rayne...