Grady Hendrix is the New York Times bestselling author of My Best Friend’s Exorcism and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying. How To Sell A Haunted House is his latest novel. When Louise finds out her parents have passed away, she dreads going home. She does not want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston, and she does not want to deal with her family home that is filled to the rafters with her mother’s lifelong obsession with dolls and puppets. Mostly, though, she does not want to deal with her brother Mark, whom she has never seen eye to eye with. But she’ll need his help to get the house ready for the market because it’s going to take more than just some new paint on the walls.
How To Sell A Haunted House is an excellent horror novel. Hendrix has an uncanny ability to write horror in a humorous manner, and he demonstrates this here. The dialogue throughout is witty, funny and engaging - Hendrix will have you laughing out loud one minute and petrified of the dark the next. Moreover, the atmosphere he creates within the house is tense and creepy. At times, the novel feels stifling and claustrophobic. It is as though we are trapped in the house with Louise and Mark, surrounded by a plethora of creepy puppets. Hendrix is also a master of building suspense. You may think you know exactly where the novel is heading, but Hendrix will completely disprove your theories by the end of the novel, forcing your mind through twists and turns. All in all, Hendrix’s writing style makes for a deliciously addictive read.
It was great to see how Hendrix made the novel into so much more than just a horror book. He takes the novel from horrifying to heartbreaking as he delves into the complicated family dynamics at play in the story. Hendrix’s exploration of Louise and Mark’s relationship was particularly enjoyable. As the story develops, Hendrix paints a picture of their childhoods and the events that unfolded to contribute to their current dysfunctional relationship. Within this, Hendrix also incorporates the notion of inherited trauma, drawing on the events that impacted their mother in her childhood and how these events came back to haunt her own children. Best of all, though, was seeing the evolution of Louise and Mark’s relationship as they came together to work through their trauma and dispel the evil in their childhood home.
How To Sell A Haunted House is a multilayered horror novel that will take you on a rollercoaster journey of emotions.