Wednesday, October 12, 2022


Title: The House on the Lake
Author: Holly Hill Mangin
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 346
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Eve Beckett finds herself a guest at the mysterious Lake House, but she has no memory of having arrived there. It is an unsettling realization because Lake House is set on an island, and Eve is deathly afraid of water. She would never have chosen to come here. But she stays on, because there is something about the paranormal that appeals to her. Then her sister, Lyn, shows up, also with no memory of having arrived there.

There is something odd about the place. The caretakers, Gail and Hammond, behave strangely. Good looking Nick, who is in charge of maintenance, warns her against his dangerous brother, Ari, who is equally handsome. Eve finds herself drawn to both brothers.

The house, which bears an air of mystery, is rather strange. Rooms keep moving around. Then there is a ghost, a woman only Eve can see. Who is she? And what does she want?

Eve has her hands full, between solving the mystery of the ghost, the house, and figuring out how she got there, besides resolving her feelings for both the brothers. Meanwhile, the house is on a slow decline, with parts of it crumbling and decaying.

Will Eve get back to her home safely before the house is destroyed? Or will she be trapped in this place?


The book is written in the first person present tense PoV of Eve.

It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel. The writing is strong, the descriptions evocative, and I just loved the brooding artwork on the cover. 

I liked the premise of two sisters, twins, taking on a mystery. There is a mystery in their shared past that needs to be resolved, something to do with an accident. The dynamics between them are in full display here.

Eve comes across as an unreliable narrator, as she can’t remember why she is at Lake House. She also has frequent episodes of zoning out.

The mystery itself took too long to be resolved, and I lost patience and interest. The dialogue between Eve and the brothers was cheesy. I did enjoy the parts concerning the house.

The basic premise of the book is rather clever when you think about it. I appreciated the psychology of it all. But the sudden shift from thriller to philosophy was slightly unsettling, particularly when one is expecting the book to pan out like a thriller.

Among the characters, only Nick and Ari seemed well drawn. Both had a strong sense of magnetism. Eve was someone I felt indifferent to. I wish she had figured things out sooner.

(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.) 

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