Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea – Tour Stop and Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  4 August 2020

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia


Today is my tour stop for The Suicide House, thanks to Read the Book Tours!



A chilling murder in a prestigious prep school is at the heart of this riveting new novel from acclaimed author Charlie Donlea, featuring forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore and her psychologist partner, Lane Phillips.

Inside the walls of Indiana’s elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont’s students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don’t let your candle go out–unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .

One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house–to kill themselves.

Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn’t ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win–or to survive. . . .




Thank you to Penguin Books Australia for sending me a copy of The Suicide House!


The Man in the Mirror is an urban legend, turned game, for invited students of Westmont Preparatory High School only. Given tasks to complete, to gain entry to a rumoured exclusive club, it should all be in fun.  But for one set of students, it ends in the murder of two members of their group.  A presumed open and shut case of a teacher snapping, but as the remaining students return to the scene of the crime, one by one, to take their own lives, a detective and two crime podcasters suspect there might be more answers to be found.
This was a brilliant thriller that I thought I had worked out so many times! 😄  I love thrillers that are told from several different points of view, as The Suicide House is, especially when the killer’s point of view is included, but you’re not sure who they are!  The entire story was so gripping I read it all in one night.  I just had to know what happened.  One of the characters, Rory, has some sensory processing differences and Autism.  I really enjoyed the way the author wrote about these as part of Rory’s personality and that her partner accepted her needs automatically.  There was no sign of another character trying to ‘change’ her, which is so often the case.
Throughout the book, the narrative flashes back to different times and there were a lot of characters to keep track of (something I’m notoriously bad at 😄) but the way they all merged together at the end was phenomenal.  I would never have guessed the outcome in a million years and that made it one of my new favourite thrillers!  I haven’t read any other books by Charlie Donlea yet, but I’ll definitely be seeking them out now.  I noticed at the back of the book, there was mention of the other books tying in some of the characters from The Suicide House so I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them!



Image from my Instagram account

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