I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Abberton House by Debbie Ioanna
Published by panther publishing on September 1 2020
Genres: Horror, Haunted House
Buy on Amazon
This novel takes you on a journey between 1916 and 2016, following two very different families as they live their lives in Abberton House, an old, large farm house on the outskirts of a beautiful and quiet village near Skipton, North Yorkshire. In 1916, the war is underway and Henry has been called up, leaving his wife and three children at home. They keep in touch via letters but when he returns, his whole family have mysteriously disappeared. There are rumours of an affair but Henry refuses to believe it and spends the rest of his life searching for his lost family.The mystery is still talked about in 2016 when Adam and Catherine move in to the house along with their five-year-old daughter, Bella. As they begin to settle in to their new lives, strange things begin to happen. Bella speaks to imaginary friends, faces are seen in the windows and mysterious footsteps sound from above. As events progress and time goes on, Catherine tries to dig deeper in to the history of the house and learns of some chilling truths. There is an old rumour in the village of what happened inside the house in 1916 which has been passed on for generations, but how much is rumour and how much is truth? Things take a terrifying turn when Catherine and Adam are pushed to the limit and take drastic action to rid the house of the angry spirits before any more damage is done.
Abberton House gave me serious cover love. A house has an impact upon its environment and in this story’s case – the families too. An imposing shadow, a constant watcher through time. A gothic horror that is perfect for the start of spooky season – definitely one to add to your never-ending TBR pile. A story to unnerve you, because instantly you get a creeping sense of dread, red alarm going off in your head, an itch you can’t scratch but I was absolutely here for it. Once again, Panther Publishing are knocking it out of the park with their horror line and are fast becoming my go to indie press.
Starting this book by Debbie Ioanna is like being transported into a Hollywood movie. The arty narrative, the eerie atmosphere and you are sucked into the centre of it. This is your life and you’re dealing with the consequences. The razor-sharp narrative wraps itself around you and engulfs you in the action, it has no intentions of letting you go, you might fight it, but you know its fruitless.
Abberton House introduces us to a family from 1916. Be prepared for an extensive backstory, you know that they will play an important role further down the line. Its eerily sinister in a Pandora’s box type of scenario. War time separation. Parenting. A discharged, haunted solider with PTSD. Fast-forward to 2016 and begin to fall in love with another family, with similar struggles and aims and plans for the future. They decide to move away from the city and buy a farmhouse in the countryside. A place for their daughter and other potential children to grow up. A place to invest in. I held my kindle tightly, I shouted not that house! But they didn’t listen, they bought Abberton House.
Page after stunning page I went through the motions with this kind-hearted family. I loved Bella and Catherine. I wanted to warn them. I wanted to protect them. I ached to turn the next page, the frightening situation, little incidents making you think twice. I’m pretty sure I could hear my own home creak and shudder in camaraderie. The author added so many nuances to resonate with her readers. It was so easy to envision the scenario the characters are facing, Debbie takes feelings and turns it into words, flawlessly, something that I think a lot of authors struggle to get right.
The pacing was fast and the tension oozing from the pages had me turning pages at a rate of 50mph. it had everything that I just adore in a horror novel. The story often had me cold to the bone, the chilling undertones had me rooted to the spot. The details and the clues sent me on a magical mystery tour. Is there a face in the window looking back at you? What’s the footsteps you just heard in the night? When I had finished the story (too quickly I may add) I had broken out into a sweat, gasping for breath and thanking the horror gods for this absolute gem.
Abberton House epitomizes everything that is humanity and horror. Beautifully orchestrated and Ioanna has certainly brought the chills into the soul of the story. Dark, gripping and visceral.
Thanks to Panther Publishing for a an e-copy of the book and a spot on the blog tour, always a pleasure!
ABOUT DEBBIE IOANNA
This webpage is dedicated to my writing. I love posting blogs (although they’re more like rants…) and short stories. I might do a poem if I’m feeling particularly artistic but that’s not very often. Fiction and Ranting is my forte.
My books are for sale on Amazon on kindle and paperback so feel free to have a gander (https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=debbie+ioanna) I welcome all kinds of feedback and appreciate reviews. I am an indie author so all writing/editing/proof reading/marketing is done by me. I’m no expert, so any tips are great!