Becchina, a small Italian town, is dying. Its youth move to the cities as fast as they can. Its elders are dying of old age. To counter this trend, the town’s mayor is selling abandoned villas for only a single euro. It is a deal that Kate cannot pass up. The grandparents of Kate’s husband, Tommy, still live in the town. Kate and Tommy buy a beautiful villa on a hill overlooking the town. They are happily renovating it when they start seeing and hearing some disturbing things. What is causing the banging doors and eerie shadows at night? How can they get rid of those large, yellow-eyed rats that seem to infest some areas of their house? Most importantly, why is their home known as The House of Last Resort?
I love genre mashups. And this one is unique. It’s part romance, part family drama, part flipping primer, and part horror tale (and two kinds of horror at that). My only issue is that each part is revealed sequentially rather that merged into a stew. The horror feeling of dread is very subtle until the last third of the book. The flipping part only lasts for the first fifty pages. I am worried that if you only like one of the genres, you will be bored for the rest of the book, which makes The House of Last Resort very difficult to recommend. I enjoyed it but I like all the represented genres. Because of its patchy feel, I can only give it 3 stars.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.