3 out of 4 stars
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Shirley Day’s The Insect House is a psychological mystery. It is a thriller like no other. An estranged brother returns home after decades as the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and return are somewhat unpleasant and mysterious.
Helen, a woman well past her prime, looks forward to her brother’s return with a mix of emotions, anxiety, affection, and fear. Her whole life has revolved around nursing an aging mother, being a doting wife, and keeping a dark family secret. Her husband, Tim, lives in a fantasy of his own, lusting after the beautiful Carla. Upon Gareth’s return, everything spirals out of control. Will Helen be able to manage this and heal her family? Or will she go down the drain with it?
I found this book very different. I don’t know if that is the right word for it. It was a bit slow and uninteresting at first, but the story climaxed beautifully as all the missing plot pieces came together in the end. The book was written in the third person, with each chapter dedicated to a main character’s point of view; the events were interwoven and explained in simple language. I also enjoyed the author’s adoption of suspense; from the get-go, I was curious to know who the priest was and how Helen and Gareth were connected to his death. Bits of truth is revealed to the reader at certain points to lure them to a satisfactory end.
Although I had a refreshing time with this book, I felt that the story was stretched far too long and that the conflict could have been resolved much earlier. I also observed that the book had far too many chapters, which ended up being exhausting in the long run.
Regardless, Shirley Day’s The Insect House is a truly marvelous piece of literature that is worth every minute. The book is a must-read for lovers of mystery and psychological thrillers. I recommend it for readers that are sixteen years and above. The book was well edited as I found only two notable errors, which I was able to pick out because I was looking out for them. I will rate the book 3 out of 4 stars; this is based on the fact that I feel the story should have ended way earlier than it did and also due to the lack of character development.
The Insect House
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