Book Review: Gallows Hill

GALLOWS HILL | Darcy Coates
09.06.2022 | Poisoned Pen Press
Rating: 3/5 stars


The Hull family has owned the Gallows Hill Winery for generations, living and working on the beautiful grounds where they grow their famous grapes. Until the night Mr. and Mrs. Hull settle down for the evening…and are dead by morning. When their daughter, Margot, inherits the family business, she wants nothing to do with it. The winery is valued for its unparalleled produce, but it’s built on a field where hundreds of convicts were once hanged, and the locals whisper morbid rumors. They say the ground is cursed. It’s been more than a decade since Margot last saw her childhood home. But now that she’s alone in the sprawling, dilapidated building, she begins to believe the curse is more than real―and that she may be the next victim of the house that never rests…

It’s undeniable that Darcy Coates has a gift for setting books in some of the eeriest, creepiest, and most isolated of locations. Gallows Hill follows this same model, but this time with a winery, home to a dark and disturbing past. I absolutely loved this location and the way that Coates made it come to life. Our main character, along with the reader, has no idea what they’re getting into, which opens the door for a series of unsettling events. 

While I loved everything about the premise and even where the direction of the story ultimately led, I struggled with the pacing. After reading several books from Coates, I know that she loves a slower-paced story, but this one just didn’t work to keep my attention. Once it started to feel overly repetitive, I knew I needed to either DNF or switch to audio. 

Out of curiosity for what was left to happen, I went the audio route and it helped so much! The action really starts to kick off after the halfway point of this story and the narration of the audio helped to keep me captivated, while bringing to life the strange events of this story. I highly recommend the audiobook route if you’re interested in picking this one up!

A huge thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for my gifted copy!

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