The Invited by Jennifer McMahon flips the haunted house story: instead of unwittingly moving into a haunted house, our main character knowingly builds one.
Helen and Nate begin this horror book not believing in ghosts. After a rough patch and an unexpected inheritance, they are ready for a new start, quit their lucrative jobs (!!!) and move to the country to build their dream house. Though they balk at the idea of their property being haunted, they quickly become believers when funky things are afoot on the estate.
There’s a twist in The Invited, one which I saw coming early on. That’s not a deal-breaker for me. While it’s shockingly wonderful to be gobsmacked, I don’t stand tall in victorious sanctimony when I figure out the twist before it’s officially revealed. It’s okay.
Maybe this one is a little too obvious, though; a little too unshocking to truly call itself a twist. Instead, we could call it a mildly interesting turn with plenty of road signs leading up to it.
This is an enjoyable book, despite it going somewhat off the rails in the final climax.
Even more than horrific, parts of The Invited are stressful. It’s frustrating and kind of vicariously fun to see Helen and Nate’s series of ridiculously bad decisions that lead to the unraveling of their marriage. I had to keep going to see what would happen next.
Many thanks to #netgalley and #doubleday for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.