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Publisher's Summary

Ran McGhie's world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow's oldest merchant families.

Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his newfound home, he finds that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word - the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall's endless corridors, Ran's grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror...the reflection of a woman....

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly.

©2017 Michael J. Malone (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cinematic Scots chiller

I think I like it more in retrospect than I did as I was listening, which is probably because the main character became rather irritating. There’s a strong cast of characters and the premise is good but I think it would be more successful if it were filmed. The house, the books, the pool, the lift etc make a great cinematic backdrop to the ghostly and mental health strands. A good film maker could trim down the repetition, move the plot along a little faster and create an atmospheric contemporary chiller.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 12-10-17

A Fine Cocktail of Contemporary & Gothic Twists

In House of spines Michael Malone achieves a heady mix of contemporary and more traditional Gothic themes. Ranald McGee is a struggling young writer with a dark and troubled past. He carries with him enormous mental baggage as a result and even everyday life can be a challenge to him. Only medication can keep him on an even keel now. A death in a family he doesn’t know existed then pitches him into a complex inheritance with yes, you guessed it, a creepy old house with a sinister past at the heart of it. What follows is then a complete mind funk of events as Ran struggles to separate what might be real from what’s supernatural from what is merely a product of his over-heated brain.

I enjoyed the characters and they were voiced very well by David Elliot who is a new narrator to me, in fact this appears to be his Audible debut. Be warned I’m a sucker for a Celtic accent but I’d certainly be happy to listen to more from him.

I think if a mix of family drama, psychological thriller, Gothic supernatural and even a light touch of romance is up your street then this is a book to have on your list. The only caution I’d make is that if you are looking for a book to deliver just one of those things this might frustrate as it does mix the genres to an extent.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angie
  • 02-12-18

Spooky story

I enjoyed the story and the narrator was very good giving clear narration. I could visualise the characters and the house and it’s rooms easily. The tale was entertaining from the very first chapter, sometimes a little dark and sometimes light. A good balance. I can recommend this audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 01-27-18

Captivating read

Would you listen to House of Spines again? Why?

Yes I would because the narration was excellent and the story was gripping

What other book might you compare House of Spines to, and why?

I would have to compare it to several books and yet none. It is a gentle mix of gothic supernatural tales set in a victorian mansion but included psychological and thriller elements too. House on the Hill meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

What about David Elliot’s performance did you like?

Loved his accent, his pace.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A man with a troubled past finds refuge-or does he?

Any additional comments?

This book ticked all of the boxes for me. I love supernatural stories and equally love stories about someone changing their life, moving to a new place etc. It had some things to say about mental illness and loneliness too. I loved it. On a personal note it is really a local story for me as a Glaswegian who used to live in Bearsden, although it was perhaps a Bearsden from thirty years ago when it was more like a village. I could visualise the cafe at the Cross-maybe even had a coffee there myself!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaggy
  • 05-29-18

Promising story but a muddled plot.

Overall this starts out as a promising story with a very sympathetic main character. Ran suffers from mental health issues that distort his sense of reality and that coupled with his very strange and hitherto unknown family would have made a very fine tale. My mouth almost watered at the description of the fine old gothic house which Ran unexpectedly inherits and I couldn't wait to find out what the inevitable downside would be. Sadly this was let down by the ghost theme which was rather corny and insipid and a very unwelcome silly element. Additionally the re-telling of his uncle's backstory became tedious and to be honest as a reader I couldn't work out who I was supposed to believe. I admit I did care about what happened to Ran, and the ending was quite tense and nail-biting, but my conclusion at the end was duh?

Praise however must be given to Michael J Malone who has a truly beautiful voice and I hope to hear more from him in future productions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Geraldine Quirke
  • 02-22-18

loved it<br />

could listen to the narrator all day. He was outstanding. would listen to any book read by him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P Atkins
  • 05-03-18

Loved It!

A good story and I really enjoyed David Elliot's narration. I could picture the house as it was described, and once started I had to listen to the end.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 01-28-18

Too silly for words

Dear me! This was supposed to be full of suspense and have me on the edge of my seat, it really was just plain daft. There was enough of a story for me to offer a second star, and the narrator was ok. The spookiness - just wasn't, but it was silliness beyond belief.
The characters weren't too bad, so I did read most of it, flipping through bits when my boredom level was peaked.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful