A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher #bookreview #horror #suspense #TuesdayBookBlog

A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.

“Mom seems off.”

Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.

She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.

But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.

To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried. 

After reading a couple of this author’s books, I’m thinking Kingfisher might make my auto-buy list.

Sam is an archaeoentomologist, a profession I’d never heard of, and studies insects in archaeological remains. Which sounds so cool to me – and yes, I realize that may sound weird to many people. Her current dig was shut down for several weeks, so she’s heading to NC to visit her mother. The visit is also to check on the mental status of her mother since Sam’s brother says something seems off with her. Sam isn’t home for long before she notices several oddities – a lack of insects in the beautiful backyard rose garden, a gang of vultures hanging around the house, and odd sticky notes her mom posted throughout the house. Then there’s the jar of teeth she finds in the backyard.

Sam is such an easy character to like. She’s witty, intelligent, cares deeply for her mother, and her internal monologue is hilarious. Neighbor and master gardener Phil has no problem keeping up with her, and he’s the kind of guy who isn’t afraid to jump right in and help out when he’s needed. As a woman of science, Sam struggles to find a rational explanation for all the bizarre occurrences. She soon realizes not everything in the world can be explained by science. As a warning, if insects freak you out, these vivid descriptions may cause you to feel phantom bugs crawling up your spine.

With the rose garden being such a prominent part of the story, I loved that most chapters begin with decriptions of various types of roses I’ve never heard of. I’ll never look at rose bushes in quite the same way again. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to Hermes – undoubtedly the coolest vulture I’ve come across.

This novel is an engaging blend of horror injected with humorous moments that I enjoyed from the first page. You may want to keep a can of insect repellent close by while reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

32 thoughts on “A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher #bookreview #horror #suspense #TuesdayBookBlog

    1. It can certainly be a challenge, but this author did it seamlessly, Priscilla. It was nice to break up all the bizarre goings-on with the MC stepping back and making humorous comments on the situations.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This does sound interesting – Humor and horror mixed with a big helping of bugs. I don’t mind bugs but it sounds like this story does for bugs what Jaws does for sharks and The Birds does for birds. Excellent reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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