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House of Echoes [Paperback]

Barbara Erskine
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

19 Feb 2009

When Joss, an adopted child, discovers that her real mother has left the beautiful family home, Belheddon Hall, to her, she is thrilled, until she discovers that the Hall is haunted by a presence which will not tolerate husbands or sons living in the house.

Joss Grant is eager to begin a new life when she inherits Belheddon Hall. She brings her husband, Luke, and their small son, Tom, to the dilapidated house, and sets about discovering her family roots which lie in the village.

But not long after they move in, Tom wakes screaming at night. Joss hears echoing voices and senses an invisible presence, watching her from the shadows. Are they spirits from the past? Or is she imagining them? As she learns, with mounting horror, of Belheddon’s tragic and dramatic history, her fear grows very real, for she realises that both her family and her own sanity are at the mercy of a violent and powerful energy which seems beyond anyone’s control.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (19 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007280785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007280780
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of many bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus three collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty-six languages. Her first novel, Lady of Hay, has sold over two million copies worldwide. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.

Photograph © Karolina Webb

Product Description

Review

'Her forte is mood, atmosphere and the toe-curling frisson.' Sunday Times

‘Readers of Barbara Erskine are held in thrall’
Woman’s Realm

‘Stephen King meeting Ruth Rendell’
Frank Delaney

'Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable' The Times

From the Back Cover

The past isn't always dead or buried…

When Joss Grant, adopted at birth, inherits Belheddon Hall – a beautyful old house on the East Anglian coast – it is like a dream come true. Eager to begin a new life there with Luke, her husband, and Tom, her small son, she is also impatient to find out about her newly discovered family who lived there for generations.

But not long after they move in, Tom wakes screaming at night. Joss hears echoing voices and senses an invisible presence, watching her from the shadows. Are they spirits from the past? Or is she imagining them? As she learns, with mounting horror, of Belheddon's tragic and dramatic history, her fear grows very real, for she realises that both her family and her own sanity are at the mercy of a violent and powerful energy which seems beyond anyone's control.

"Stephen King meeting Ruth Rendell"
FRANK DELANEY

"Vivid, romantic and deliciously scary…Erskine at her storytelling best"
LIVING

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a beautifully written novel about a haunted manor in the English countryside. It is the story of a young, married woman, Jocelyn Grant, who inherits that country manor, Belheddon Hall, from her biological mother whom she never knew, as she had been put up for adoption a few months after her birth. Jocelyn, her husband, Luke, and her young son, Tom, happily move into the house, despite having heard warnings from the local townspeople that there is something quite odd about the house.
That happiness, however, soon turns to dread, as Jocelyn and her family begin to hear the laughter of young boys echoing throughout the house, as well as see physical manifestations of a knight in armour. Moreover, the scent of roses, at times, permeates the house, and someone or something keeps leaving white roses strewn throughout Belheddon Hall.
Jocelyn also begins to hear a ghostly voice calling out to someone named Katherine and finds herself being sensuously touched by someone other than her husband; someone whom she does not see, until it is too late. Her son, Tom, often sees an apparition, whom he refers to as the "tin man", and wakes up with bruises all over his body. Her fear is compounded when she realizes that no male heir has ever lived to inherit Belheddon Hall, and that the house has come down to her by strict, matrilineal descent.
Understanding the implications of her realization, and by now having two young sons about which to worry, she fights against the disbelief of her husband to combat the evil that lies at the root of the strange and frightening happenings at the Hall. How this is accomplished, and the story brought to its chilling climax, is what keeps the reader riveted to the very end. The book is absolutely gripping. Bravo!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inoffensively cheesy. 9 Oct 2008
By Ellie
Format:Paperback
Given the praise heaped upon it, I was looking forward to reading this book. Although the writing was undeniably good in places (there were several times when my skin did crawl, I admit that much), frankly I was immensely disappointed. The plot was hardly original and I had flashbacks to all those made-for-tv b-movies which are inoffensively cheesy but daft all the same.I found it impossible to engage with any of the main characters, in particular the immensely unlikeable Joss, who seemed to be permanently pregnant or breastfeeding or both. When the local psychic rides into town it bordered on pantomime. Although it was overall quite a pedestrian storyline, the quality of writing helped the climax build well towards the end, so it did start to improve just as the story began winding up. Overall, I would rate this as lightweight and likeable in the great tradition of good holiday reading, but no grand opus.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DON'T TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!! 14 May 2006
Format:Paperback
Erskine at her best, compulsive read, you won't be able to put it down, though at times your to scared to carry on reading! This book has it all, love, mystery, suspense, intrigue & so much more! You will be looking into dark corners & jumping at the slightest noise in the night, gets your imagination racing. The research she puts into her books is astounding, one of our top authors, if you have never read Barara Erskine you don't know what your missing! Give her a go, you won't regreat it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellant 22 Mar 2006
By Gemma
Format:Paperback
This book was the first i have read by Barbara Erskine and since then i have read all the others. It is absolutely excellant in every way, i was gripped from start to finish and was really sad when i had turned the last page and it was over, although i found it hard to turn the light off for fear that there was someone in the corner of my room.
Everyone should read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars house of echoes 11 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback
This was such a fantastic book, the first i have ever read by this author and it certainly will not be the last!!!!!
This book had it all mystery, suspense, heart stopping, exitement and i could go on and on, i read this book in a day and a half as i couldnt put it down, that when you know its a good book!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very lazy attempt..... 16 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I also bought this book on the strength of the good reviews it has vs the bad. I was really looking forward to a great story and some scares, but unfortunately they never came! I agree with some other comments Ive read that it is hard to identify with the characters as they are really inconsistant. As the characters are conversing, literally from one sentance to the next they can seem to have massive mood swings and go from talking reasonably to verbally attacking one another. This is particularly common in conversations between Joss and Lyn. This mood swinging also seems to happen in generally describing the characters actions. In one rather good scene (***spoiler***) Joss has left the house to run off alone along the dark coastal path in the middle of a storm to look for her missing husband - all the while youre expecting something bad to happen while shes frantically scouring the ditches with a torch and peeking over the cliffs at the boiling sea below....and then she looks up to see the lights of a ship in the distance....and for a moment is comforted by the thought of the people on board....WHAT!? Youre in the middle of a tense situation that any minute youre expecting her to find her prone husband lying in a ditch or her to fall off the cliff (if only!) and the rug is whipped out from under you by this namby pamby unrealistic change in emotion for the character in that situation and it completely flattens all the tension thats been built. Not only that; her husband just returns from his jaunt back to the house where no one bats an eyelid, joss returns having obviously not found him or anything else interesting on her pointless trail and just goes "Oh, there you are. What about ANOTHER cup of tea? Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic book as usual from Barbara Erskine
Published 2 days ago by mrs s r williams
5.0 out of 5 stars House of Echoes
Joss inherits a house - Belheddon - completely out of the blue. The inheritance comes just at the right time when Luke, her husband, has lost his job and they need to find... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Damaskcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really scarey. I couldn't put it down.
Published 11 days ago by AC/DC
5.0 out of 5 stars House of Echoes
As is the norm, Barbara Erskine books are a non stop must read experience. I have read as many as the library produced but always found them hard to obtain, hence I now have to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by sammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
It was exciting and very difficult to put down from start to finish; well written and thought out. Anyone who likes suspense mixing past and present will love this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carole A. Godfrey
2.0 out of 5 stars annoying!
I have read other Barbara Erskine books and enjoyed them but not this one. The book is far to long and drawn out! Could have been written in half the size. Read more
Published 3 months ago by danielle a
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
As always with Barbara Erskine's books this was a gripping story, the sort you can not put down. have not all her books yet but the ones I have read all had gripping stories. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wookey1
5.0 out of 5 stars House of Echoes
Great book. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Recommend to anyone who loves mystery, history and ghost stories.
Published 5 months ago by anita802
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love Barbara Erskine
I have read many of Barbara Erskine books and have never been disappointed with the plots. I am looking forward to the next book.
Published 5 months ago by Pam Bicknell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I borrowed this book from a friend and loved it so much that I had to buy it myself. it is a book that I could read over and over again.
Published 5 months ago by Joliz
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