A decade ago in upstate New York, art student Emma McCullough walked into the woods and was never seen again. It’s a mystery that still haunts her bucolic university town and her broken family, especially her sister, Haley, whose need for closure has become an obsession. But now, finally, the first piece of evidence in the vanishing has been found: Emma’s bracelet, lodged in a frozen piece of earth at the bottom of a gorge. For Emma’s three best college friends, for a beloved former teacher, and for Haley, the chilling trinket is more than a clue in a resurrected cold case. It’s a trigger.
Then a woman is attacked during an open house, and the connections between the two crimes, ten winters apart, begin to surface. So do the secrets that run as deep and dark as the currents in this quiet river town.
My thoughts on Open House…
Open House is ‘sprawling’ book, one that covers decades and multiple characters, all of whom seem to have something to hide. Central to these are three people, all of whom knew Emma as a young woman but don’t seem to want to tell her sister, Haley, just how well. Haley, though, is like a dog with a bone and won’t give up until she knows the truth.
I enjoy this type of book – it’s one of the main genres I read. And it had all the elements of a book I would say I would enjoy – murder, mystery, lies and secrets. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a complete hit with me. I struggled to like Haley (though there was no reason why I shouldn’t) and the ‘sprawling’ nature of the plot I mentioned already didn’t help.
I found myself losing where I was in the story, and what people’s relationship with Emily would have been at this point. Was it all bad? No, not at all. I liked Sise’s writing style and the core plot was a good one (with a nice twist at the end, which this type of book always needs). It just wasn’t as good as I had hoped.
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Pity it didn’t quite work for you, since the premise is interesting. But it’s such a crowded field, this kind of book, that they really have to be great to stand out.
You’re absolutely right. So many solid not spectacular books out there.
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[…] wise, there wasn’t a lot – just one book, which I didn’t enjoy too much (Open House by Katie Sise). It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with it as such. It just fell flat […]