The Spite House by Johnny Compton | Book Review

“What harm could a ghost do? πŸ‘»

The Spite House by Johnny Compton

Released February 2023

Source: Received for Review Consideration

Goodreads  | Amazon

Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his wife, his house, his whole life behind in Maryland, he’s desperate for money–it’s not easy to find safe work when you can’t provide references, you can’t stay in one place for long, and you’re paranoid that your past is creeping back up on you.

When he comes across the strange ad for the Masson House in Degener, Texas, Eric thinks they may have finally caught a lucky break. The Masson property, notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, needs a caretaker of sorts. The owner is looking for proof of paranormal activity. All they need to do is stay in the house and keep a detailed record of everything that happens there. Provided the house’s horrors don’t drive them all mad, like the caretakers before them.

The job calls to Eric, not just because there’s a huge payout if they can make it through, but because he wants to explore the secrets of the spite house. If it is indeed haunted, maybe it’ll help him understand the uncanny power that clings to his family, driving them from town to town, making them afraid to stop running. A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief and death and the depths of a father’s love, Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is a stunning debut by a horror master in the making.

My 2 Cents for Free!

This is a book about a desperate man named Eric and his two daughters who accept an offer to stay in a weird “Spite House” (yep, it was indeed built out of spite) and bring back proof of paranormal occurrences by some wacky rich woman. I mean, I wouldn’t turn down six fixtures either, but Eric has even more on the line . . .

“What harm could a ghost do? πŸ‘»

I had such high hopes for this one and it started out great but somewhere at the midway mark it lost its momentum for me and I had a real struggle staying focused and nearly called it quits at 70% because I was no longer having a good reading time. It tended to get bogged down with too many side stories and shied away from showing anything actually going on in the house to instead tell all of these other stories about the ghostbusters, Eunice, the reporter, and the past. It was too over-stuffed for my liking. I guess I was only there for the creepy house and a smaller story and that might be a me problem. I was really enjoying the tale of Eric and his daughters Stacy and Dess because they were all on the run from something that was surely terrible and I needed to know all the details but then the POV began bouncing around and everything started getting over-explained and sadly I lost interest.

Maybe it’s me. Who can say? Lots of people have enjoyed this book but I think from here on out I’m going to quit a book when I’m feeling this way because it rarely pans out in the end and that was definitely the case with this one. I was most disappointed with the resolution (or lack thereof) of one of the characters' stories that I was very invested in which felt incomplete in the end.

With that said, if you don’t mind a multi-threaded story, this one has some unique ideas and you might love it.

2.5 Stars



  1. I was hoping this one would be better...but all those POV changes would bug me...and I'm like you, I just want it to be about the creepy house and the ghosts! Why are good ghost/haunted house stories so hard to find?

    1. Sadly it was a little too much for me to track. I was hoping I would love it. The latest T/Kingfisher book is a really good haunted house (sort of - to say too much will spoil) novel. I'll post the review later this week.


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