Book Review: A House With Good Bones

03.28.2023 | Tor Nightfire
Rating: 5/5 stars


“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. 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.

This is my second book by Kingfisher and it’s fair to say I’ve got a new auto-buy author! 

I absolutely love the way that Kingfisher can mix humor with unsettling scenes and underlying tension. Our main character and narrator, Sam, is a hoot to follow along with as she worries herself over what’s happening with her mom. Sam felt so real through her dialogue and rabbit holes of wandering thoughts. Each reaction felt like something I might say to myself, minus the fact that Sam is filled with way more bug knowledge than I could ever pretend to know. 

On top of a fabulous main character, Kingfisher transports us to an isolated lane in North Carolina that crafts the perfect setting. Sure, the neighbors are a bit odd and there are several vultures just hanging around outside, but the creepiest part is what’s happening inside the house. The scares aren’t over-the-top. They may be subtle at times, but overall the story consistently has a sense of unease. 

I highly recommend going into this one as blindly as possible. I didn’t reread the synopsis before picking it up and I think that helped everything feel very fresh and unsettling as it was happening.

A huge thank you to Tor Nightfire for my gifted copy!

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