The Dead House

The Dead House

by Billy O'Callahan

Overview: This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O'Callaghan's hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.

Carole Zwicker (12/09/18):This is the kind of story that captivates you, however, at some points, you are almost afraid to turn the pages. Artist Maggie Turner has fled London to the West coast of Ireland in search of a peaceful life after an abusive relationship. She falls in love with a cottage dating back to the Great Famine. After extensive renovations. Maggie invites three friends from the city for a house-warming weekend. During the visit, a Ouija board is brought out and the four friends attempt to reach spirits in the house. To say that this does not end well would be an understatement. The prose in this short novel is lyrical and beautiful. Billy O'Callaghan has successfully managed to describe the West coast of Ireland so well that you can see it and feel it. This is an Irish ghost story that you will not forget.
Rating: *****

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