#allthebookreviews – The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

More psychological thrillers for the #allthebookreviews duo!

Thanks to HQ Digital and Netgalley for the advanced ebook copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

Happy belated release day to THE DOLL HOUSE by Phoebe Morgan (released September 14th)

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars

Following the lives of sisters, Corinne and Ashley.  Corrine is married to Dominic and they are at their last IVF attempt to start their family.  She feels as if someone has been inside their home and pieces of her childhood doll house keeps popping up sporadically.  Dominic isn’t sure this is something to worry about and thinks between the anniversary of her father’s death and the fertility drugs that she may just be imagining things.  Ashley and James have three children but he’s been acting shifty lately and Ashley’s beginning to suspect something is going on outside of the home.

Mostly we veer back and forth between the sister’s perspectives, every once in a while jumping into Dominic’s perspective and the POV of someone unknown to us that travels from past to present.  The author does a good job in showing realistic situations – the angst of a woman trying to get pregnant and having a difficult time being around people with kids.  The paranoia and suspicions of a wife thinking her husband is having an affair and unable to confront the situation.  I wish there had been more of Corinne and Ashley’s past to give a more parallel view with the antagonist.  To only have the past of one character didn’t give me a full feel for everyone.  The little twists at the end were a nice touch though I did feel I needed a little bit more as it didn’t come together as seamlessly as I would have liked.  The best way I can explain it as that I felt there were pieces missing to make it more of a shock for me.  For having such realistic characters to then go into a direction that, for me, needed a little more explanation just didn’t quite hit home.  There seemed to be so much build up that it seemed to drag in certain places and then end rather abruptly..  I think I either needed more from their childhood or more from the antagonist to really understand the entire situation.  Due to that I felt like this was more contemporary drama than thriller for my taste.

A solid debut novel effort.  I would certainly read more from the author as I can only see better things coming from her in the future.

My Thoughts: 4.5/5 stars

Do you want a fantastic psychological thriller? Well look no further! This debut novel by Phoebe Morgan, THE DOLL  HOUSE, is unnerving and I could not put it down. This has everything us thrillers fans want, unreliable narrators, red herrings, and the unknown storytellers (always adds an element of mystery!)

We follow two sisters, Ashley and Corinne. They recently lost their father and are trying to cope. Ashley is a mother of three, but suspects that her husband is having an affair. Corinne appears to have the perfect life. Little does everyone know, she’s experienced three failed IVF treatments and it’s her last opportunity to have a baby. She finds a small part of a doll house outside of her apartment one day – it must be a sign. Slowly more and more pieces start to appear and she realizes they look eerily familiar. They resemble the doll house that she and Ashley had growing up – who could be sending these?

This thriller moved at a fast pace and it kept me on my toes! We jump between perspectives – one of them being from an unknown narrator. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep even the most seasoned of thriller readers on their toes! Not only was this a well-written story, but the characters were well-developed and complex. You feel for Corinne and Ashley. You understand Corinne’s resentment towards women with children because of her struggle with infertility. It was interesting seeing how the different characters dealt with loss and seeing the story from different perspectives. Especially the unknown narrator.

Overall, if you want a thriller you won’t want to put down, then this is the next one on your TBR. The author keeps you guessing and the build up leads to a great ending. Great characters and a dark and eerie atmosphere are the perfect storm for this creepy debut!

 

What are some debut books that you’ve enjoyed so far this year?

–Jess

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