Why I Enjoyed The Dead House by Dawn KurtagichI

Title: The Dead House
Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . . 

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?



1. I loved how it was written - instead of straight forward narrative it was (as the summary says) written in diary entries, notes, recordings etc.  I liked that because it gave the whole story a different feel.  I was constantly wondering what was left out - what wasn't found and shared.  It was like have most of the pieces of a puzzle - enough to see the picture - but seeing some details were missing.  I guess that could be frustrating, but I found it super intriguing.

2.  I liked Kaitlyn.  Ok I didn't at times, but mostly I felt for her! She thought she knew what was happening, but as the story goes along she feels less and less certain. It made me feel for her.  

3.  The ending.  Again this could be VERY frustrating BUT I loved how it has kept me thinking even after I finished the book.  I keep thinking - well maybe this or maybe that.  Love that!

4.  It kept surprising me! Something would happen, and I'd be like WOW REALLY!? When a book can do that it has more for sure! 

Last thought:  Super enjoyed it! Kept picking it right back up when I'd put it down! 


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