Author: Darcy Coates
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 6th September, 2022
[ I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher. All views are mine. ]
Synopsis of Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates (Goodreads)
The Hull family has owned the Gallows Hill Winery for generations, living and working on the beautiful grounds where they grow their famous grapes. Until the night Mr. and Mrs. Hull settle down for the evening…and are dead by morning.
When their daughter, Margot, inherits the family business, she wants nothing to do with it. The winery is valued for its unparalleled produce, but it’s built on a field where hundreds of convicts were once hanged, and the locals whisper morbid rumors. They say the ground is cursed.
It’s been more than a decade since Margot last saw her childhood home. But now that she’s alone in the sprawling, dilapidated building, she begins to believe the curse is more than real―and that she may be the next victim of the house that never rests…
My Thoughts About Gallows Hill:
Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates is the first horror book I’ve ever read. Well, not exactly. I have tried reading Stephen King before thrice but I DNF’ed his books every time and could not complete it. Gallows Hill is the first horror book that I completed reading and it blew my mind!
Right from the start, I could sense something eerie going on. The vibes were off in this small town. This book starts with Margot’s parents’ funeral. But she doesn’t know her parents because they have left her when she was 8 years old. Why, she doesn’t know. But all the people are looking at her suspiciously. She is having an unwelcoming foreboding feeling in her gut.
She has bequeathed her parents’ house, Gallows Hill, and their winery business. She has to stay in the town for at least few weeks to figure out what she will do next with the house and the winery. Only Kant, her parents’ employee, seems to talk to her nicely. After the funeral, Kant takes her to her parents’ home. She has to spend the night at an unfamiliar house all alone.
The house itself is like a major character in this book. The house is ancient, belonging to their ancestors in the 1700s. There are some sinister vibes coming from the house but Margot couldn’t figure it out what it is. But as she stays in the house that night, she hear bells ringing in the house…and from there she starts experiencing unnatural instances. Soon Margot wants to Gallows Hill and never turn back. She thinks this place is cursed. But she cannot leave.
My favorite part of this book was the atmosphere. It was so dark, grim, and creepy. I felt so creepy reading the descriptions. Some scenes were quite spooky and anxiety- inducing, and felt very claustrophobic. This book made me sleep with the lights on that night. This book also reminded me a lot of the movie “Don’t Breathe” (2016) but with ghosts.
The first half of the book was quite slow but it was all worth it because as soon as I hit 50%, I COULD NOT STOP READING. Literally. I was sucked in into the story, totally and completely hooked in the plot. Every chapter in a mini cliff-hanger and I just had to keep reading the next chapter to know what happened next.
The history behind the Gallows Hill and what happened in the past and why she couldn’t leave town even if she wanted to was so interesting and it all made sense. I loved to see how Margot’s ancestors’ past were all related to the present time. It was a really great backstory and I loved how everything was sorted in the end.
In conclusion, I can only say that this book blew my mind. I never knew I could love a horror book this much. This book was truly creepy but in the best way. I am officially a Darcy Coates fan and I am looking forward to read more of her backlists!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Thank you so much for reading my review. Any feedback would be highly appreciated!
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