The Carrow Haunt
"The dead are restless here..." Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she's asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow's phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous. At first, it's everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance. Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house's original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls. But by then it's too late to escape.

The Carrow Haunt Details

TitleThe Carrow Haunt
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 26th, 2018
PublisherBlack Owl Books
Rating
GenreHorror, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Ghosts, Fiction, Thriller

The Carrow Haunt Review

  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    I was genuinely shocked by how good this was... well, for at least half the book. Maybe a little over that and then majorly disappointed by the rest. Now if you've read many of the reviews that may come as a surprise as I've noticed at least a few of the reviews note that they felt the book picked up around the 60% mark. This no doubt will come down to personal taste.So to explain my disappointment, let me first start by saying that the haunted house sub-genre is my favorite style of horror nove I was genuinely shocked by how good this was... well, for at least half the book. Maybe a little over that and then majorly disappointed by the rest. Now if you've read many of the reviews that may come as a surprise as I've noticed at least a few of the reviews note that they felt the book picked up around the 60% mark. This no doubt will come down to personal taste.So to explain my disappointment, let me first start by saying that the haunted house sub-genre is my favorite style of horror novel. Good or bad, I'm more likely to enjoy a haunted house story over any other. It's also a genre that frankly is often formulaic... but it can be. It is hard to reinvent the ghost story without losing the charm of how the tale is told. It is so difficult to do anything new with the haunted house story, that it usually comes down to how one puts their own spin on essentially the same story. When told well (Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House or King's The Shining) it is borderline sublime. When told poorly... it is just boring. This is not boring and as I said, for a little over halfway, I would have called it sublime. It took its time, starting with a literal tour of the house. It built up every room, they spoke of murders committed in each one... this had so much potential to present literally a different haunting in each room and I found the ideas fascinating! Even better, it presented a situation where the characters not just leaving the moment things got too spooky felt natural... hell, we didn't even have the annoying "just the house settling" moments of denial, as our crew here was actively looking for ghosts and thus accepting of the weirder aspects of the house.Then, sadly, the book went in a different direction becoming something bearing a close resemblance to a locked door mystery and while the hauntings were still in effect, only one was really built into anything from a plot standpoint.This was made even more disappointing as frankly (view spoiler)[the locked mystery went nowhere as SURPRISE a ghost was behind it and not one of our heroes actually died and we all live happily ever after. To say this felt like a cop out would be an understatement. (hide spoiler)]This started off such a wonderful slow burn horror, presenting itself as something like an actual tour of a fictional haunted house and that concept was so intriguing, to see it go off in a different direction was not only disappointing, but to see it resolve the entire story in the way that it did was just a shame. I'm still giving the book 3/5 stars as the ending was written competently enough that I didn't feel the book was a waste of time, but it certainly did not hold up to the brilliant start.
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Whoa!! This was a creepy, atmospheric, chill ride into the ghostly unknown of the Carrow House!Tour guide, Remy loves taking people through Carrow House explaining things that have happened within its walls as the house is known for being haunted. People from previous tours have literally disappeared through the years or ended up dead. When one of Remy's tourists (Mark) shows an interest in the house and tells her that he would love to have her host a week long stay for seven guests, Remy thinks Whoa!! This was a creepy, atmospheric, chill ride into the ghostly unknown of the Carrow House!Tour guide, Remy loves taking people through Carrow House explaining things that have happened within its walls as the house is known for being haunted. People from previous tours have literally disappeared through the years or ended up dead. When one of Remy's tourists (Mark) shows an interest in the house and tells her that he would love to have her host a week long stay for seven guests, Remy thinks nothing of it as she has personally never seen anything happen as long as she has been a tour guide.The seven guests arrive which includes a psychic medium and a ghost hunter in the mix along with other people that are interested in the ghostly house. Once everyone meets and greets along with picking out the rooms they will be staying in, the house seems to settle down.There is a storm brewing outside and as it moves toward Carrow House it ends up cutting everyone off from reaching the mainland. The only way across is over a bridge that is constantly being pounded by waves from the ocean. The house goes into full active mode when the medium decides to conduct a séance and then all hell breaks loose as the paranormal energy increases to the point of slamming doors, breaking glass, footsteps in upper rooms of the house, and apparitions gliding along the hallways. What is haunting Carrow House? Will the guests make it out alive? No spoilers here as you will just have to read the book. This book was one of the most scariest so far by author, Darcy Coates! The author, captured the ghostly essence of the house and throws the reader right into the haunting.Every emotion of the characters is felt by the reader and the atmosphere of the haunting just stays with you as you read the book! I became so immersed in the book that I felt the dread and trepidation of the characters as they endured the paranormal activity in the house. Chills and thills is the name of the game in this book! This was a classic ghost story and it will be going on my favorites shelf! Awesome job Darcy Coates for scaring the wits out of me! Five stars all the way for this one!
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    THE CARROW HAUNT is the latest novel from author Darcy Coates. This novel had so much in terms of genre-overlap! We have horror in many forms: supernatural, psychological, a long-dead serial killer, gruesome deaths, ghosts, gore, and bodies. Also present is a strong thriller/detective element that had me second guessing just about every idea that I attempted to predict. "Welcome, dear ones, to the dreaded Carrow House." Remy Allier gives guided tours through the area's "most haunted house" onc THE CARROW HAUNT is the latest novel from author Darcy Coates. This novel had so much in terms of genre-overlap! We have horror in many forms: supernatural, psychological, a long-dead serial killer, gruesome deaths, ghosts, gore, and bodies. Also present is a strong thriller/detective element that had me second guessing just about every idea that I attempted to predict. "Welcome, dear ones, to the dreaded Carrow House." Remy Allier gives guided tours through the area's "most haunted house" once a week, when the weather permits. Located in an island-like area, with only one bridge spanning Carrow's land to the "mainland", the isolation of the location is as absolute as it can get. As a tour guide, Remy knows all aspects of Carrow's long and sullied history. Built by John and Marie Carrow as a sanitarium initially, a tragic fire led to it being renovated into a Grand Hotel.Their biggest mistake was in the hiring of a certain gardener, by the name of Edgar Porter. " . . . in small towns like the ones nearest Carrow House, there was a pervasive subconscious assumption that the rich and influential couldn't be criminals . . . " Even after the initial saga was over, the estate carried with it an unmistakable taint. The series of deaths and disappearances continued on, unabated, until it was eventually left untenanted. A spoiled rich teenager, April Mahon, had the former hotel purchased for herself. She took great pains in having the original furnishings restored to how it was in its murderous heyday. ". . . There's a recurring theme of tragedy befalling anyone who lives in the building . . . aside for brief research-related stays, no human has attempted to live in it since." After one tour, Remy is approached by a rich businessman, Mark Sulligent, with a proposition to rent Carrow House for a two week period. He plans on studying the psychic phenomena through various means; a medium, a modern-day ghost hunter, and a few select individuals with an interest in Carrow. ". . . Two weeks in the state's most haunted house. This is either going to be a great decision or the worst experience of my life." One of Darcy Coates' greatest strengths in this novel is in her choice of characters. Each and every one of them carries a unique personality--some quite at odds with others--and I found every individual to be both mentally captivating and original. I never caught myself attempting to figure out "who was who" for they were all completely fleshed out as the novel progressed. ". . . It took a certain kind of person to appreciate a malevolent supernatural entity." Whether you like or dislike their personalities, each character remains "true" to themselves and behaves exactly as the author has led us to believe they will. We have some very mysterious individuals, as well as those that go through no deception in showing just who they are and what they think of the others. ". . . It was the truth, but delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer . . . " When things start to get heated, Coates leaves us with a genuine feeling for each of the house's "guests", and I couldn't help but speculate on what other motives these individuals may have been harboring that led them to this place. ". . . Carrow is supposed to have unusually high energy levels. It's part of the reason its spirit activity is so elevated." As for the atmosphere in this book, words alone can't even begin to do it justice! The first third or so of this novel sets the background, characters, and present situation to absolute perfection. I felt completely immersed in the shadows at Carrow as if I were a "silent observer", actually IN the gothic mansion, myself. After that point, the action ramps up exponentially, and the oppressive, disquieting feeling becomes nearly overwhelming at times. This is where it became impossible to distance myself, mentally, and I began to carry the book everywhere I went. " . . . .people can be afraid of things. Horribly, permanently afraid . . . the fear takes root in their lives and twists them and controls them . . ." Carrow House, itself, is as much a character as any other here. Its unique location, connection to so many horrific and gruesome deaths all throughout its history, and ability to seemingly hold so many spirits and dark secrets within its walls, make it one of the most formidable forces there. ". . . now that it has guests, it's waking up." Overall, a supernatural horror novel that captured my attention from the very beginning, tightening it's hold over me the further my reading progressed. There was truly so much that I found "new " going on in this story, that I never once was able to guess at an accurate conclusion. Coates managed to keep throwing new twists into the mix, just at the points when I thought I might possibly manage a "guess". This tactic combined with the omnipresent foreboding atmosphere, made for a novel that I never wanted to put down.Highly recommended!
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  • Tom Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    I had a really fun time reading this spooky little book. Darcy’s words flow smoothly, and paint vivid descriptions of her scenes that really bring them to life. This story follows a team of people assembled to investigate a legendary haunted house. It’s a familiar premise, but Darcy’s execution and the colorful bunch of characters are what make it fun. If you like haunted house stories with minimal gore, check out Darcy’s books.
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  • Franzi
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars This was so spooky and atmospheric, I loved it. The premise of a house haunted by the ghosts of those murdered in it isn't the most unique, but this was so wonderfully crafted I enjoyed every second of it. The characters are likeable, the atmosphere is great and I liked the mystery aspect. The writing was easy to read and perfectly describtive.
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  • Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
    January 1, 1970
    The Carrow Haunt is Darcy Coates newest release. It's about a girl named Remy that gives tours of the famously haunted Carrow House. On one of her tours, a guest asks if she will proposition the owner to allow a group of people including Remy, to stay at Carrow House for a couple of weeks in order to study the paranormal phenomena up close and personal. Not willing to pass up a chance to experience some of the sightings she talks about in her tours everyday, Remy agrees to participate; and the o The Carrow Haunt is Darcy Coates newest release. It's about a girl named Remy that gives tours of the famously haunted Carrow House. On one of her tours, a guest asks if she will proposition the owner to allow a group of people including Remy, to stay at Carrow House for a couple of weeks in order to study the paranormal phenomena up close and personal. Not willing to pass up a chance to experience some of the sightings she talks about in her tours everyday, Remy agrees to participate; and the owner, a huge paranormal enthusiast, jumps on the chance, with the stipulation that she has to be included in the guest list too. None of the guests are quite prepared though, for the terrifying experience Carrow House has in store for them. So this is the second book I've ever read by Darcy Coates and I was just as impressed with it as I was with Craven Manor. I love a good ghost and haunted house story and she's delivered in both books. The Carrow Haunt was deliciously creepy and suspenseful! Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I'm definitely looking forward to reading a lot more of her books.
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  • Shaina
    January 1, 1970
    Edit: This was a dynamic haunting story. I loved it. You had your medium ( not fake), the tour guide, the skeptic, the tag-a-long, and your rich girl owner who is desperately a want-to-be medium (to the actual medium’s chagrin) the horribly gory history of the House, and an actually truly very haunted house right on the sea. Everyone has their reason to be there and they are all mixed in with your folks interested in ghosts and others interested in the house and still others are just ready to co Edit: This was a dynamic haunting story. I loved it. You had your medium ( not fake), the tour guide, the skeptic, the tag-a-long, and your rich girl owner who is desperately a want-to-be medium (to the actual medium’s chagrin) the horribly gory history of the House, and an actually truly very haunted house right on the sea. Everyone has their reason to be there and they are all mixed in with your folks interested in ghosts and others interested in the house and still others are just ready to conquer their fear. Recommended. Will read again. This was great. Way to go Darcy! Awe-some! My favorite yet!! Reading it to my husband. He is loving the story, which kicks off right away. I loved it!
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  • samantha (books-are-my-life20)
    January 1, 1970
    If you love a good haunted house, seances and intrigue than The Carrow Haunt will keep you reading through the night. This is definitely one of Darcy Coates best books and will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Re-read August 2019One of my favorites from Darcy Coates-----------------------------4.25 starsNow this was awesome!Remy organizes tours in the haunted Carrow House. The house has a very rich history, with a serial killer who buried his victims in the basement, and several other mysterious deaths in the last 100 years.When she gets approached by Mark Sulligent, who asks if she’s interested in taking part in an experiment in Carrow House, she doesn’t know what to think. Mark wants to have a group Re-read August 2019One of my favorites from Darcy Coates-----------------------------4.25 starsNow this was awesome!Remy organizes tours in the haunted Carrow House. The house has a very rich history, with a serial killer who buried his victims in the basement, and several other mysterious deaths in the last 100 years.When she gets approached by Mark Sulligent, who asks if she’s interested in taking part in an experiment in Carrow House, she doesn’t know what to think. Mark wants to have a group of 7 or 8 people staying at Carrow House to investigate the ghosts. It sounds vague to Remy, but she’s intrigued nonetheless.And that’s how she finds herself in Carrow House with 7 other people. April is the 17 year old owner of the house. She always wanted a haunted house and her rich parents bought Carrow House for her. She is accompanied by Lucille, who is supposed to watch out for her.Then we have Mark, who organized the whole thing. Marjorie, a well-known medium and her assistant Bernard. Taj, who wants to capture any ghosts on film. And Piers, who is simply trying to make his retired life less boring.At first they only encounter some ghosts, who seem to disappear immediately. But then they all feel there is an evil presence in the house. It is not difficult to figure out this must be Edgar, the serial killer. But while Marjorie keeps trying to tell everyone ghosts can’t hurt anyone, they think differently when one of their group is suddenly found dead….I have to admit it took me almost til halfway before I started liking it. There was nothing wrong with the first half, but somehow it moved a bit too slow for me and I kept putting it down.Halfway through I figured out what my main issue was (at that time). I didn’t really like any of the characters. Remy, our main protagonist, didn’t seem to have any particular character traits. And the people locked up with her in the house were not that likable. BUT…. then the second half happened. And suddenly I found myself unable to put this book down. And because of the events that were happening, I suddenly started to bond with the characters. I suddenly saw that Remy was actually pretty brave and was a good leader of the group. And once I figured out what was the issue with Mark, I really started to like him. Same with all the other characters, when they were bonding with each other, I felt myself bonding with them.This book is super creepy. I absolutely loved the whole situation of them being in a haunted house with a killer ghost (and several other ghosts), and not being able to leave because of the storm. I loved how they voted on what to do, leave and possibly die in the storm, or stay and possibly die because of the ghosts.With this book Darcy Coates immediately made me a fan and I’m going to read all her books now.
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  • Mindi
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWow, did I tear through this one. The beginning reminded me so much of the tour I took at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Coates must have been on a lot of haunted house tours, because she has the tour guide character down pat. I was immediately sucked into this story. Remy is a tour guide at Carrow House, one of the most haunted buildings in the area. Carrow House is isolated and surrounded by the sea on three sides. In order to get to the house you have to cross a bridge, an 4.5 starsWow, did I tear through this one. The beginning reminded me so much of the tour I took at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Coates must have been on a lot of haunted house tours, because she has the tour guide character down pat. I was immediately sucked into this story. Remy is a tour guide at Carrow House, one of the most haunted buildings in the area. Carrow House is isolated and surrounded by the sea on three sides. In order to get to the house you have to cross a bridge, and that's the only way in or out. One night after another successful tour, Remy is asked to host seven guests at Carrow House for a two week paranormal study. Remy loves her job, and while she has some reservations she ultimately decides to host the study.The guests arrive and almost immediately things start to get weird. As the days pass, the group has a few ghost sightings, and Remy in particular is awoken each night but unusual sounds and disturbances. The group remains optimistic, however, when they discover a guest has died in the middle of the night, the group starts to question continuing the study. They quickly realize that they are unable to leave because of a storm that is raging outside and washing the bridge with large waves that are capable of dragging a vehicle out to sea. The group is isolated, under threat, and completely trapped.I was so caught up in this story for almost the entire book. Then at the very end Coates lost me. This is the first of her novel's I've read, and like I said I adored almost the entire story, but I sincerely hope all of her novels don't end this way. I will definitely be reading more from Coates, even though I didn't love the ending. This one is a page turner.
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  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    I used to love this building. Now, I would gladly burn it to the ground. Not as great as I wanted it to be, but still a lot of fun and spooks. Having read Hunted back in October, my expectations were high going into this. I wanted more of the interesting characters, exciting readable plot, and of course, the spooks.And I got some of that? The Carrow Haunt did have some fun. It's a bit like a locked house mystery? Is there a trope for when people are trapped together and slowly picked off one I used to love this building. Now, I would gladly burn it to the ground. Not as great as I wanted it to be, but still a lot of fun and spooks. Having read Hunted back in October, my expectations were high going into this. I wanted more of the interesting characters, exciting readable plot, and of course, the spooks.And I got some of that? The Carrow Haunt did have some fun. It's a bit like a locked house mystery? Is there a trope for when people are trapped together and slowly picked off one by one, perhaps with a supernatural element? Because my brain is failing me right now.Anyway, Remy is a haunted house tour guide. Victorian dress, spooky tours, that kind of thing. The Carrow House - serial killers, mysterious fires, and countless reports of ghosts and poltergeists; you name it, Carrow had it. When Remy gets an offer from a rich guest who wants a VIP haunting experience, it's hard to say no. Two weeks living in the house. Two weeks with no contact with the outside world. Two weeks trapped in a haunted house with a medium, a paranormal investigator, and a spook obsessed teen, to name a few. She knew in her bones that if she got out of Carrow, she would never return to it. And it doesn't take long for the chills to start multiplying. Sleepwalking, bleeding walls, apparitions, strange sounds, bodies in the foyer; there's pretty much every haunted house staple. It makes use of a lot of classic scares, but unfortunately doesn't leave a lot of room for originality or spontaneity.Also, it's a pretty good choice if you're a horror newbie or someone looking for lighter horror. Yes, there's bloodshed and ghosts, but nothing terrifying enough to keep you up all night. (Or not terrifying enough to keep me awake at least.)There are very few surprises to be found. Even when I was enjoying the story, it was always there, a constant predictability that the story never managed to shake. It's not bad, just unfortunately scraping barely over the bar. And sadly the characters fell a bit flat too. I don't mind any of them really. Lucille was annoying, but that was kind of her purpose. I like the idea of Remy. She's smart and brave and level headed. She's the kind of character you should be able to really root for in a fictional battle against supernatural forces. But I couldn't connect with her or get a feel for the nitty gritty of the character. That left me wanting.The Carrow Haunt isn't a bad book, it's just lacking that magic spark. It's a read I can say I liked, but unfortunately I didn't quite love it.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    "How can you kill the unkillable?"I've been meaning to read a book by Darcy Coates for forever, and I finally picked up The Carrow Haunt, which is a new release from this year. I ended up really enjoying it! I can always be drawn in with a haunted house story. The Carrow Haunt has such a fun set-up - it's kind of similar to Hell House, except it doesn't suck (sorry, not sorry). The main character is a tour guide at a haunted inn, and she ends up getting the opportunity to stay there for 2 weeks "How can you kill the unkillable?"I've been meaning to read a book by Darcy Coates for forever, and I finally picked up The Carrow Haunt, which is a new release from this year. I ended up really enjoying it! I can always be drawn in with a haunted house story. The Carrow Haunt has such a fun set-up - it's kind of similar to Hell House, except it doesn't suck (sorry, not sorry). The main character is a tour guide at a haunted inn, and she ends up getting the opportunity to stay there for 2 weeks to study the inn. I love it! Does this book bring anything new to the haunted house genre? Not really, but it's so damn entertaining. I was addicted to the story, and I couldn't get through it fast enough. It had a couple good spooky scenes, and I enjoyed being creeped out. I liked the characters, and I absolutely loved that nobody could be trusted in such a creepy environment. I suspected everyone of something at some point. There are some surprising reveals, and I am happy that I didn't automatically solve everything. The only thing I didn't like was the ending, which is why this wasn't a 5⭐ read for me. I'm not really going to go into why to avoid spoilers, but I feel like it didn't really match with the doom and gloom that had been perfectly built by this book. This is just personal preference, so it may work really well for another reader. It wasn't a terrible ending; I was just a bit disappointed.I am definitely a Darcy Coates fan now. This is one of the better haunted house stories I've read , and I can't wait to read more from her. If you haven't read her books yet, I highly recommend picking this one up.
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  • Maria Hill AKA MH Books
    January 1, 1970
    This one is recommended for those who like the thrill of a scary haunted house story. Its very strong on plot combining a serial killer haunted hotel, a mystery and lots and lots of action. This cries out to be a movie and it would be spectacular as such. Personally, I prefer more characterisation and atmosphere build up but I have to admit that Darcy Coates has done an excellent job in plain out writing a haunted house story designed to scare you our of your booties.Recommended to anyone who th This one is recommended for those who like the thrill of a scary haunted house story. Its very strong on plot combining a serial killer haunted hotel, a mystery and lots and lots of action. This cries out to be a movie and it would be spectacular as such. Personally, I prefer more characterisation and atmosphere build up but I have to admit that Darcy Coates has done an excellent job in plain out writing a haunted house story designed to scare you our of your booties.Recommended to anyone who thinks that Stephen King’s The Shining was far too slow paced and that the Hotel needed MORE GHOSTS!
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This book started out as a Haunting of Hill House style ghost story and quickly devolved into goofy (bad) cheesiness. Also, I can’t be the only one who noticed that author is obsessed with having her characters lick their lips. Like so often it could be a drinking game. “Remy licked her lips and started up the stairs...” “Remy licked her lips and replied that she would go check on the others...” “Mark licked his lips and said he would be the one to go out into the storm...” And so on. Just stop This book started out as a Haunting of Hill House style ghost story and quickly devolved into goofy (bad) cheesiness. Also, I can’t be the only one who noticed that author is obsessed with having her characters lick their lips. Like so often it could be a drinking game. “Remy licked her lips and started up the stairs...” “Remy licked her lips and replied that she would go check on the others...” “Mark licked his lips and said he would be the one to go out into the storm...” And so on. Just stop with all the lip licking. Stop. It.
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Fast and fun and strange. This reminded me of a good time cheesy action horror thriller flick. And I mean that in a good way actually. 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4 because this had some good atmosphere throughout.
  • Mehsi
    January 1, 1970
    The newest Darcy Coates and I was so so so excited to start reading this one. I just had all the right elements and I just couldn't wait. Darcy Coates always knows how to write a great horror/haunted story, and this one also featured a group of people going to stay at a very very haunted place. What could go wrong? I couldn't wait for them to go exploring, for them to delve deeper into the mystery.And there were exciting parts, but sadly at times I found myself bored and wondering when the actio The newest Darcy Coates and I was so so so excited to start reading this one. I just had all the right elements and I just couldn't wait. Darcy Coates always knows how to write a great horror/haunted story, and this one also featured a group of people going to stay at a very very haunted place. What could go wrong? I couldn't wait for them to go exploring, for them to delve deeper into the mystery.And there were exciting parts, but sadly at times I found myself bored and wondering when the action would actually start. When the house would finally show its true colours and the haunting truly would begin. And not such a few scary Boooo parts but actually, honest to all that is holy, scary. Even with something happening around 49% the book didn't get that exciting or creepy until 61%. Yep. 61%. Why I didn't give up? (Well I actually was planning to do so at 34%, but I kept going as I hoped things would change.) Why did I give this book a 4 star rating? Because of what happens after 61%, when it gets creepy. But also because of the cover, the idea of a very haunted house with such a bloody history that it is no wonder no one ever wants to stay for tea, the spooky tours through the house (even if we only saw one true tour), the ending (though I have to say that one was a bit anti-climax as well), what was going on in that house, the history of the house, Remy (my favourite character and she was just the best. She was mostly level-headed, caring, sweet, and her knowledge on the house was just amazing). As you can see there were still several great things about this book, and I did enjoy myself overall while reading this book.Marjorie and Lucille, and later even April, were my least favourite characters in the book. Lucille was a whiny woman who kept drinking and making complaints about every little detail. She quite ruined the experience for me, as I had hoped for at least people who cared about the haunting, and not some whiny thirty-something lady who should just shut up and get dragged away by a ghost. Then there is Marjorie. From the start I just didn't like her and her high and mighty attitude. Woman, so you can talk and see ghosts, puleeeeassee there is no need to act so bitchy about it. Or have such an attitude when someone is into the science aspect, or be so blunt about April's powers. Plus she was just so suspicious at points that I she immediately became a suspect when poop began to hit the fan. (view spoiler)[In the end I was even right, man, this woman has been a medium for a long long time, yet for some reason she forgot all the precautions she should have taken. I guess she thought she was all that, but then again, I would expect this to happen to a beginner, and not someone who knows darn well what ghosts are capable of if they are strong. (hide spoiler)]April later got quite annoying. I first quite liked her and her go go attitude. How she wasn't afraid of anything, how she was eager to get started. But then later, after a rejection, she turns into a total blech of a character. She is supposed to be 17/18 but she felt more like 13/14 with how she acted at times. There was also some romance between Remy and Mark, I have to say I quite liked it. Yes, at times it felt a bit out of place, but generally I was rooting for these two to get together.What Mark's secret was? His reason to host this whole shebang? I was quite suspicious throughout the story, though I could also see that he didn't seem to be one to harm people. So I was waiting patiently for him to confide in one of the characters (I was hoping Remy) and tell us his secret. When we were told... well, it broke my heart. Poor guy.Barnard was a bit like Lucille/Marjorie to me, I found him rude and couldn't stand his attitude, but I could also see that deep down the guy was probably just a very nice guy, he just didn't show it.It was pretty fun to read about the history of the house. Well, as fun as countless of deaths and murders are (so not really). Man, that guy was way too creepy and disturbing. No one was safe in that hotel, and I was quite surprised that no one ever thought to suspect the guy. Then again, as the book also explains he was a white rich dude, one of the higher class. So why suspect him? Right, it is not as if he has blood on his hands? Right? Though I had kind of wished they had explored more of the house. I get that of course a lot of the house has deteriorated over the many years, but still I would have liked some more exploration deeper into the house. Now at times it just felt like they stayed in the same areas over and over again, only moving to certain rooms at times when it was needed. I just got so bored of seeing the same stuff, and I wouldn't have minded a small exploration or them getting lost. :P Plus it also warped my sense on how big the house actually was. At times the house felt humongous, at other times it just felt like a normal house to me.What the guy was planning with all the deaths was a pretty dang disturbing. (view spoiler)[As soon as the cult was mentioned I just knew the guy was part of it, albeit that he was a child at the time. But then again, children are very susceptible to brainwashing and I am sure that having a childhood in a cult has formed who he became. Who knows, he may actually have been a nice guy if he had another childhood. (hide spoiler)] The ending. I will put this under spoiler. (view spoiler)[ So I could kind of live with the idea that Marjorie survived, but the other two? It just made the one who truly died seem to be in vain. Not to mention that it really ruined the scariness of the book for me. I was so excited during those moments and now I find out x and y. Welp. Couldn't we just let those people be dead instead of magically revive them because OMG they were in some kind of coma induced by creepy ghost dude? (hide spoiler)]I did like that the author added an epilogue. Though I think, rather than a tea party, I would have liked to see some of the characters get together again and go ghost hunting again (some people just can't resist even after scary experiences). I also liked that they had no means of getting out of the house as soon as the storm hit. I just adore it when you have a spooky setting already and then the author adds a storm, making everything far less predictable and more spooky. More dangerous. Plus points to the amazing cover. I think I mentioned all that I wanted to mention so I will end with that I would recommend this book to people. It may get a bit boring at times, but there is still plenty of creepiness to go around, and it does get better at around 61%. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
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  • Jerby Verderosa
    January 1, 1970
    Usually, I find myself wavering between two and three stars. This time I had a bit of a happier struggle: three stars or four. I ultimately decided on three stars for some of the plot choices made at the end of the novel. However, the truth is, in general I really had fun reading this book. I am familiar with Darcy Coates and usually find myself gravitating to her work if I want a quick, light, sort-of spooky read. Carrow House delivers on all these accounts: it has a phenomenally eerie setting Usually, I find myself wavering between two and three stars. This time I had a bit of a happier struggle: three stars or four. I ultimately decided on three stars for some of the plot choices made at the end of the novel. However, the truth is, in general I really had fun reading this book. I am familiar with Darcy Coates and usually find myself gravitating to her work if I want a quick, light, sort-of spooky read. Carrow House delivers on all these accounts: it has a phenomenally eerie setting and a wonderfully ludicrous backstory. The entire novel takes place on an old, isolated mansion sitting on a cliff overlooking an ocean. It’s haunted, of course. And get this: it’s haunted because a gardener killed the house’s owner, impersonated him for years, and killed, like, around a hundred people without getting caught. Talk about those odds. This whole setup creates an outrageous but interesting premise. A tour guide for the house and a collection of ‘ghost hunters,’ for lack of a better word, come to stay at the house for two weeks to explore it. For me, I think the highlight of the novel was watching the characters interact with the haunted house, growing increasingly more desperate as danger rises, scraping for solutions. There’s a particularly gripping moment where a character decides that he would rather run over a shaky bridge balanced over a raging ocean in a thunderstorm than remain in the house. The tension in these moments did have me eagerly flicking to the next page, even talking about the novel with the people around me. While overall enjoyable, unfortunately there were a few things that held me back from completely immersing in the novel. My first gripe is one that I have noticed in other Coates novels as well: I can’t fully connect with the characters. While likable, the protagonist and co. had just an edge a flatness to them. They had personalities, but they felt a little cookie-cutter to me, like ‘this is the nice one’ and ‘this is the spoiled one,’ etc. In a lot of ways, the most defining trait that the protagonist and her love interest have are that they are ‘kind people.’ Not really clear personality traits there. In my opinion, this novel’s strongest character was Bernard, a stiff, antisocial, blatantly rude assistant who ends up being a reliable and courageous individual. He at least seemed to have two layers of depth rather than one. My second gripe: the ending. I said that I read Coates when I want a sort-of spooky read. The reality is that I wouldn’t mind if she got at least a tiny bit scarier. This novel is sweet — and I mean sincerely, unironically, entirely sweet. I do not want to give spoilers, but I will say that the novel concludes on that sort of ‘warm fuzzy’ note that you would expect to find in a Christmas movie. Now, I don’t necessarily mind sweet when I’m reading a Christmas Carol or a children’s fantasy book and I want that sort of comfort. But I don’t really go to a story about a mansion haunted by a serial killer ghost because I want sweetness. I felt some of the stakes and the tension of the novel were dimmed due to the overwhelming niceness of its ending. Everything is resolved a little too well, everyone is just a little too happy. It takes the teeth out of the supposed horror of the story. Overall, an exciting read, but one for someone who just wants the tropes of a scary story, not a legitimately scary story.
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  • Amitaf0208
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 out of 5 stars ! very good and entertaining. loved it. highly recommend!
  • Amber J
    January 1, 1970
    This book was really good. I read it while I was on vacation, and reading about a haunted hotel while sleeping in motels adds a whole new level lol. But in all serious I really did find this book very scary. I was jumping at shadows and had to read something lighter before bed just to get some sleep. I found it had a bit of a 'who dunnit?' feel to it, which wasn't bad. I don't think there was anything particularly original to it though. It was and intriguing read, but the concept were pretty typ This book was really good. I read it while I was on vacation, and reading about a haunted hotel while sleeping in motels adds a whole new level lol. But in all serious I really did find this book very scary. I was jumping at shadows and had to read something lighter before bed just to get some sleep. I found it had a bit of a 'who dunnit?' feel to it, which wasn't bad. I don't think there was anything particularly original to it though. It was and intriguing read, but the concept were pretty typical.
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  • Hunter R.
    January 1, 1970
    I really appreciate how simple and engaging these are. Very nice to read in between series.
  • Neonila
    January 1, 1970
    3.5It was a good read overall, but some things felt too convenient.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, where to begin with this book? I went to bed last night just intending to read a chapter or two and finished the entire second half in a single sitting- always a good sign, though not for my sleeping patterns.Most texts by this author follow a quite familiar pattern and contain similar plot-based ingredients: 1. There is a spooky house 2. The main character because isolated and unable to leave the property due to financial/emotional/physical entrapment by spooky things/all of the above 3. T Wow, where to begin with this book? I went to bed last night just intending to read a chapter or two and finished the entire second half in a single sitting- always a good sign, though not for my sleeping patterns.Most texts by this author follow a quite familiar pattern and contain similar plot-based ingredients: 1. There is a spooky house 2. The main character because isolated and unable to leave the property due to financial/emotional/physical entrapment by spooky things/all of the above 3. Things go from creepy to worse by the minute until the grand finale which either resolves the situation or sticks a nail in the coffin of the story in more ways than one (looking at you Rookward House).This book contained and yet managed to subvert these tropes in such a way that this book felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the author's other books, even when it was paying homage to various classic horror films and devices. For example, like in Rose Red, there is a group of paranormal researchers all with different abilities that become trapped within the location they are investigating. However, unlike that film, whilst the characters panic and respond in different ways, in this book they remain both realistic, but also likable.The horror here does not stem from characters being awful to each other while unravelling under the stresses caused by the haunted location, because they actually keep level heads and remain calm for the most part. The horror in part comes from the fact that while the characters are smart, so are the evil forces within the house. The characters plan and strategise and stay strong and yet bad things STILL happen and this has so much more of an emotional impact than the usual horror protagonists acting like idiots and causing the bad things to happen. I actually found myself holding my breath without realising during certain parts of this book because I wanted the characters to be alright, even though I was VERY aware of the genre I was reading. I felt a constant feeling of dread while reading this and it was amazing.Usually Darcy Coates focuses on a very minimalist cast of characters, with less than five characters appearing in a book. Here, we have an ensemble cast and they are all very unique and developed characters even if some are elaborated on more than others. This allowed me to develop favourites without even realising until something bad would happen to them. Normally, I wold just pick a favourite, explain and move on (pun intended), but each character had at least one trait that I found engaging. In this book, we have:* Remy, the main central focus character-wise and she is great. Sweet, inquisitive, assertive and more than a little idealistic, she won me over almost immediately.* Mark- secretive and charismatic with his own motives for arranging the trip, he initially seemed interesting, but untrustworthy. I loved his relationship with Remy, but I squinted suspiciously at his actions on many occasions throughout the book. Luckily this did not stop my reading progress.* April- the teenage owner of the very spooky scary house with a love of the paranormal, which is more than a little bit alarming in its intensity for both me and the other characters. Seemed the most likely to sabotage escape plans or cause something terrible to happen.*Lucille- April's tag-along, she initially appeared snooty and (smartly) unwilling to even be in the house. Pretty much reeked of desperation, but I don't think I would handle a super haunted house with any more grace. Getting wine-drunk while near malevolent forces is always a bad plan though.* Taj- sweet boy, good boy, deserved better boy. It was fantastic to have a scientific approach in the horror genre without them being presented as a know-it-all or downright skeptic.*Majorie- she annoyed me so much initially, but I also really enjoyed and became attached to her blunt nature and forwardness, she and her assistant Bernard had such a great and unusual relationship.*Bernard- his character arc and development was a little predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. As rude and blunt as his employer, he comes across as very cold, but was really just antisocial and actually strong and reliable in a crisis. I would happily read a whole book about Bernard being Bernard.The main antagonist for me, rather than being Carrow, who came across as evil but almost generic in his design, was the house. The Carrow Haunt was indeed the real star of the show/book for me. I am in love with houses that become characters in their own right and this one did that in style.Used as a scene of many grisly and gruesome murders, accidents and disappearances, this location screams danger even before it properly awakened to ruin everybody's day.On a personal level, I also just find something absolutely fascinating in the concept that a realm of accepted personal protection and harmony, like a home, can transform into a literal manifestation of horror and turn against its inhabitants and become a monster in its own right.This book was a well-conceptualised and explored thesis of horror and yet still contained Darcy Coates's trademark fluent and engaging writing style, so that even in slower moments that I could tell were building up to big peaks, development and tension were always present. I just had to know what was going to happen next!There was a couple of plot points I felt were a bit too convenient, but they all fit together nicely and added a touch of foreshadowing, so while I wasn't a big fan of some of the reveals regarding the character of Carrow and his motivations, it didn't hinder my enjoyment.In conclusion, this is one of my favourite horror books which I have read recently, not just by Darcy Coates, but in a very long time. My only fear is that now I won't read anything that lives up to the high expectations, The Carrow Haunt has set for my other books to live up to and that is a very scary thought indeed...
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  • Tana △⃒⃘ ⚯͛ Cozyreadings
    January 1, 1970
    17/03/2019 I wish I’d never started, but I cannot stop. Death is the next step. Heaven owes me no mercy, so I will make my ownI enjoyed this more than I expected! This really had me on edge the whole time, and even had a couple of gasps when the deaths started happening. (view spoiler)[ I will say that I was a bit dissapointed by the fact that Lucille and Piers turned out to be alive, and that Remy managed to get them out. I wish that Raj would have magically survived too then. Why let him st 17/03/2019 I wish I’d never started, but I cannot stop. Death is the next step. Heaven owes me no mercy, so I will make my ownI enjoyed this more than I expected! This really had me on edge the whole time, and even had a couple of gasps when the deaths started happening. (view spoiler)[ I will say that I was a bit dissapointed by the fact that Lucille and Piers turned out to be alive, and that Remy managed to get them out. I wish that Raj would have magically survived too then. Why let him stay dead as the only person?? Also: the ghost of Edgar and John battling it out at the end didn't really make sense to me at all. Couldn't he have done that earlier, and why didn't he show himself to the group if he was there? (hide spoiler)]4.25!
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  • Andrew “The Weirdling” Glos
    January 1, 1970
    I suppose I should start by owning that Darcy Coates is one of my favorite horror writers and that I have a special love for haunted house yarns. Put those two together and I was probably predisposed to love this book from the beginning. The things about Ms Coates’ tales is that they really aren’t ground breaking. Like, not at all. She tells haunted house stories that are very classical and formulaic. Whether it’s the person inheriting a house from a forgotten relative, the one where the person I suppose I should start by owning that Darcy Coates is one of my favorite horror writers and that I have a special love for haunted house yarns. Put those two together and I was probably predisposed to love this book from the beginning. The things about Ms Coates’ tales is that they really aren’t ground breaking. Like, not at all. She tells haunted house stories that are very classical and formulaic. Whether it’s the person inheriting a house from a forgotten relative, the one where the person starts over in a cheap place, the one where someone goes to an old persons house to conduct some piece of business, or the one where a team of researchers agree to spend time in a famous haunted house- she sticks to the tried and true formulas. That’s said, her books are always great. They never fail to deliver and spook the heck out of me. She is a true master at making what should be a dull over-used formula do everything it was first designed to do. So, the Carrow Haunt is the one where a group of people end up spending time in a house that’s famous for being haunted. There’s the protagonist and all the obligatories- you know, the owner, a rich businessman, a psychic, a parapsychologist with all their equipment, and so forth. Coates shakes this one up a bit with an Agatha Christie-like question of whether one of the people there is up to no good. It adds an extra bit of depth to the story and makes it that much more enjoyable. As usual, a fun read by Ms Coates. I recommend any of her books.
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  • Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    3.25/5 starsThis was a fun quick read that pretty much provided exactly what I wanted. I love haunted house stories and The Carrow Haunt is just that. There were several moments during this book that I got that awesome creepy vibe that makes you want to look behind you and make sure no ghosts are following! It's fairly predictable but the pace moved along well enough that I still enjoyed it and will be checking out more of the authors work.
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  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    A really great horror book! Wow, it definitely took me by surprise, during the halfway mark I was a tad bit bored but the second half blew me away. If you love paranormal haunted house type stories then I think this is the book for you. This will definitely keep you in suspense and maybe even blow your mind a little as I truly had no idea how this story would end. A perfect read for Halloween or the spooky season.
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  • Eve
    January 1, 1970
    Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Ghosts “. . . Two weeks in the state’s most haunted house. This is either going to be a great decision or the worst experience of my life.” I don’t normally read books that fall into the horror genre because they are often too disturbing, malicious and make me feel uncomfortable. Darcy Coates has something in her books that makes me enjoy them, so I can easily make an exception to her books. You can't kill what's already dead. THE CARROW HAUNT have a Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Ghosts “. . . Two weeks in the state’s most haunted house. This is either going to be a great decision or the worst experience of my life.” I don’t normally read books that fall into the horror genre because they are often too disturbing, malicious and make me feel uncomfortable. Darcy Coates has something in her books that makes me enjoy them, so I can easily make an exception to her books. You can't kill what's already dead. THE CARROW HAUNT have all things I'd expect from good ghost story: old haunted house, isolation of the location, great set of characters that are flawed but not frustratingly stupid, bleeding walls, slamming doors, cold spots, an eerie atmosphere, seances, a raging storm outside and very creepy ghost inside that has its own devious plans for the guests...I really enjoy the writing style, how Coates creates the athmosphere and flesh out the characters. The first part of this story may sound slow but it set up the background, characters and situation, so once the action kicks in, I felt completely involved at The Carrow Haunt and I anxiously wanted to find out what happens next. The sense of danger threatening the team was so well done and I couldn't figure out how things turn out.I enjoyed the characters -- each of them carried their own unique personality, they were all captivating and original. Sometimes I read a book with large supporting cast of characters and I find myself wondering "who was who" but Darcy Coates had all of her characters completely fleshed out, so I was never confused.Highly recommend it to everyone who want well-plotted ghost story with haunted house, creepy atmosphere, heart pounding action, and good ending.
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  • Brendan
    January 1, 1970
    3.5I thought I would shake it up a bit for the beginning of 2019 and read a book I normally would not read. I liked it for the better half, but it escaped me in the later, but I'll cover this in my conclusion. Darcy Coates has written a good book. The story beats are a little cliche, but overall it passed my expectations, the cover is brilliant. The haunted house sub genre is a tough story model to break, it has been done to death so Coates knew the challenges going into the book. The storyline 3.5I thought I would shake it up a bit for the beginning of 2019 and read a book I normally would not read. I liked it for the better half, but it escaped me in the later, but I'll cover this in my conclusion. Darcy Coates has written a good book. The story beats are a little cliche, but overall it passed my expectations, the cover is brilliant. The haunted house sub genre is a tough story model to break, it has been done to death so Coates knew the challenges going into the book. The storyline is atmospheric and annoys you to be swept into the overall story, even if the idea of going into the haunted house lacks polish. I get writers like to think their work is isolated, but when you reference the outside world or set your story in the world, you need to acknowledge pop culture. You are forgiven when you set the book in the 70s for instance, but having a character like Remy who is oblivious to the many horror films and troupes, it's a stretch. So when a character offers riches for staying two weeks in a haunted house, alarm bells should be ringing, but not here. Overcoming some of the cliches of the storyline is half the battle, but you do get swept up in the storyline and Coates has a mini cliffhanger style of writitng, which is nice. The characters are quite one dimensional and don't carry a lot of history. This feels like a Hollywood horror film, an airport novel if you will. You don't have the in depth character study like literature and by the end you only learn tiny amounts about each character. When the bad things start occuring and they do in a big way, characters actually do some of the smart things and suspect each other. I'll give Coates points for this twist in the narrative and this Ten Little Indians moment, holds up. One of the biggest issues with the overall storyline is central haunting, so when they start thinking about why this is happening, it is a little late. Why the 3.5?The book is harmless and is quick to read. It is an airport novel, but saying that, it attempts to be better and that is why I added the extra .5 to my overall score. Coates constructs a story, that works for the first half, but drops in the final half. When the dots start coming together, you are not surprised, but there are weird story connections that don't work. Everything is a little too convenient and that happy ending will suit if Coates writes a sequel, if not I'll be constantly annoyed. The conclusion was okay, but like I said before, they don't really explore the characters or the cult that was one of the central basis for the haunting. I give all the points for the first half of the book, when it was uncomfortable to read, when it was scary. You won't hold this as a classic of the genre, but it is a good book and has a little fun along the way. My next book is a high concept novel Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby. It is from a publication house Angry Robot who are doing some pulp storytelling. Just keen to see what the talent is like. Another detour.
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  • julia ☆ [owls reads]
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars! * No one is up here. No one living, at least. The Carrow Haunt is a fast-moving and creepy novel with wonderful characters and a fascinating setting. The plot is engrossing and rather complex, with many shocking twists and scary reveals along the way. There is some very light romance, but the overall atmosphere of the novel is eerie and filled with terrible secrets.Darcy Coates delivers an engaging story that offers an unique take on the premise of haunted houses. The writin 4 stars! * No one is up here. No one living, at least. The Carrow Haunt is a fast-moving and creepy novel with wonderful characters and a fascinating setting. The plot is engrossing and rather complex, with many shocking twists and scary reveals along the way. There is some very light romance, but the overall atmosphere of the novel is eerie and filled with terrible secrets.Darcy Coates delivers an engaging story that offers an unique take on the premise of haunted houses. The writing is great and very easy to get into, especially when narrated through Remy’s perspective. The plot set up is also very well executed, which makes this an equal parts intriguing and unsettling read.This is a really fun read, despite its hauntings! The fast pace holds steady throughout the entire book; so once you get started, it’s hard to stop reading it. The beginning chapters are very very well written and set up the creepiness level really well. There’s a certain charm to it that weaves itself through the narrative and stays until the very end.The characters are also amazing. Each and every one of them is layered and very well developed. I absolutely loved Remy as the story’s narrator, especially considering her profession, and what every character has to contribute to the story. It really makes you feel for them as things really start happening at the old Carrow House — the real star of this novel!Haunted houses are always so fun, and Coates does a good job at establishing Carrow House’s history. It’s an incredible setting for this story and the bits and pieces of information about it sprinkled throughout the story only make it even better. Some of it is a bit info-dumpy, but it’s overall such a cool place. I do have to say that some of the more… creepy scenes left a bit to be desired, but it’s still such a good read.The Carrow Haunt is a quick and engaging read with complex characters and a great setting. The haunted house plot is done very well, with lots of scares and hauntings and ghost activity. The focus is very much on the horror of it all, although the book does have a tiny bit of romance, and a happy ending, to balance it all. Great read for Halloween! * Series: Standalone.POV: Told from Remy’s POV.Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[None. (hide spoiler)]Cliffhanger: No.HEA: (view spoiler)[Yes! (hide spoiler)]
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