REVIEW | Just Like Home | Sarah Gailey

Horror thrillers with a pretty pink cover. This book was made for me and Andee and I absolutely adored it. Every book I read from Sarah Gailey is better than the one before and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review.

Character - 10 Atmosphere - 10 Writing - 10 Plot - 10 Intrigue - 10 Logic - 10 Enjoyment - 10 Rating: 10 / 5 stars
Rating: 10 / 5 stars

About the book:

‘Come home.’ Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories – she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there, beneath the house he’d built for his family.

Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting . . . but who else could it possibly be?

There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.

What did I think?

I’m a huge Sarah Gailey fan, so I knew I had to read this ASAP. All I really knew going into this book was that it was a horror-thriller written by an author I love – and that was the best way to experience this book.The audiobook, narrated by Xe Sands, is a fantastic experience and had me feeling genuinely freaked out at several points. The majority of this book tends more towards domestic thriller than outright horror, with the horror kicking in near the end, but I loved that. As a fan of both genres, I loved how well the tropes of each genre were balanced in this story, creating an intense thriller with an emotional twist.

I can’t get too specific without spoilers, and this book is definitely best experienced unspoiled, but even though I started to guess parts of the twist early on, it still managed to shock me in ways that had me rewinding the audiobook to relisten – just to make sure I’d heard right. This was one of those books for me where as soon as I put it down, I realised it was a new favourite for sure. It’s rare that a book is atmospheric enough to make me feel genuinely unnerved when I read, but when my dog walked behind me halfway through this book, I jumped out of my skin. Sarah Gailey’s writing is spectacular, especially in these character-driven stories, and I really hope that they write more horror/thrillers because I adored this and I loved The Echo Wife too.

I absolutely loved Vera as a main character, which in a thriller like this is really important. It was deeply character driven, following her past and present as the story of her serial killer father and her relationship with him unfolds. We discover her loving father and her volatile mother all at once, and I like the way that we see that parallel and the complexities of those relationships in both the past and present sections of the story. Hints are dropped the whole way through about some action in Vera’s past that she’s keeping secret, and I loved putting those pieces together like a complex, horrifying jigsaw. If you like gothic horror or domestic thrillers, this is an absolute must-read.

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Release Date: 21st July 2022

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