My husband and I often daydream about selling all of our possessions and buying a little cabin in the middle of the woods in Vermont or upstate New York. We could read books all day and listen to music; he could write and I could knit scarves and no one would bother us. Well, after reading House of Echoes, upstate New York is off the fantasy list. Brandon Duffy scared me. And I loved every second of it.

Ben Tierney inherits a small plot of land in the town of Swannhaven (upstate New York) from his Grandmother. With grandiose visons of a new start and a second chance at life, he decides to move his wife, Caroline, and two children, eight year old Charlie and a little baby nicknamed Bub, away from the hustle and bustle of their life in New York City. The young couple purchases a decrepit yet magnificent centuries-old manor in Swannhaven with the intention of renovating it into a charming Bed and Breakfast. But almost as soon as they arrive in this rather Podunk town, their fantasies begin turning into the worst nightmare they could imagine.

The characters of Ben, Caroline, and Charlie are all immensely sympathetic. Ben genuinely wants to do what is best for his family but cannot seem to grasp anything beyond his own suppressed desires. Caroline is dealing with the loss of her job and a mean case of postpartum depression. And Charlie is a very introverted young boy who has trouble relating to other kids and takes his fantasy life too far into his own reality. My favorite character in the novel was the town of Swannhaven; rich with a bloody history, dauntless resolve, and lurid secrets. All of this woven together creates a stunning novel that you won’t be able to put down.

House of Echoes is a must-read for any and all horror fans. If you loved The Shining, this book is perfect for you. Fans of mystery and thriller novels will also love the ‘whodunit’ aspects of the novel and everyone will appreciate Duffy’s wonderfully crafted prose. It’s difficult to believe that this is Brandon Duffy’s first novel – I’m profoundly anxious to see what he has in store for us next.


This title will be available to borrow from your library on April 14th but you can read a sample and then place a hold right now!


Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive and will be sure to do her research before moving to a small town in the middle of nowhere.