The Exorcist’s House: Nick Roberts
Reviewed By Priscilla Bettis
The Exorcist’s House by Nick Roberts is a possession story that takes place in the 1990s in rural West Virginia. Daniel and his wife, Nora, buy an old farmhouse and plan to flip it. The demon in the basement has other plans.
The prologue is gripping, not at all an infodump like some prologues tend to be.
Daniel’s story starts gently enough, a pair of eyes here, an odd smell there. But then the alcoholic-like blackouts and bizarre behaviors start. It’s all part of Robert’s excellent pacing throughout the book with tension and stakes rising to ultimate life-or-death, salvation-or-damnation battles.
Roberts chooses his characters’ names well. Variations of “light” in particular. It’s also fun to spot Easter eggs among names and places.
Daniel and Nora’s teen daughter, Alice, has her own plot thread. When Alice’s story hits full speed, about sixty percent into the story, the torture-vs-death type of decisions all three of the family members face and the insidious manipulations of the demon make the book impossible to put down.
Best of all, Roberts knows how to write chilling attack scenes. I actually slapped my palm over my mouth at one point to keep myself from screaming.
Roberts writes from multiple characters’ points of view, but I don’t think it was handled as well as it could have been. After a few paragraphs deep in the thoughts of Daniel, mid-scene we jump to the deep thoughts of Nora or Alice. It was jarring. Even though I got used to Roberts’ style of storytelling after a few chapters, I think he missed an opportunity to up the scare factor by digging into Daniel’s brain and staying, instead of bringing the readers out of the story to switch points of view so often.
It’s hard to get away from stereotypes in a possession story. Not only are there typical paraphernalia like holy water, a Bible, a cross, a rosary, and a priest or two, but also the situation and how it unfolds is pretty predictable because we’ve seen it so many times. The predictability is not necessarily a con, though, because some readers, me included, never tire of a good possession story. Roberts takes the basics, polishes them up, and delivers them with a gleaming, soul-cutting edge.
Chilling attack scenes and a polished plot make The Exorcist’s House a top-notch read. Possession stories never grow old for me, and I devoured this one.
The Exorcist’s House
This psychological thriller follows a family to their Appalachian farmhouse, where they encounter an unimaginable horror.
In the summer of 1994, psychologist Daniel Hill buys a rustic farmhouse nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia.
Along with his wife and teenage daughter, the family uproots their lives in Ohio and moves south. They are initially seduced by the natural beauty of the country setting. That soon changes when they discover a hidden room in the basement with a well, boarded shut and adorned with crucifixes.
Local legends about the previous owner being an exorcist come to light, but by then, all Hell has broken loose.
This 1990s horror novel is perfect for fans of family thriller books, stories of demonic possession, exorcism fiction, the occult, or thrillers like The Exorcist, A Head Full of Ghosts, and The Amityville Horror.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Priscilla Bettis is an avid horror reader and passionate horror author. She’s also an excellent swimmer, which is good because vampires are terrible swimmers. Priscilla shares a home in the Northern Plains of Texas with her two-legged and four-legged family members.
Amazon author page: Priscilla-Bettis