Review: The House of Little Bones by Beverly Lee

cover of The House of Little Bones by Beverly LeeThe House of Little Bones by Beverly Lee
Self-Published (September 2021)
126 pages; $8.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

As far as this reader knows, The House of Little Bones is Beverley Lee’s first novella-length release. At just under two hundred pages, fans of Lee’s literary prose and gothic storytelling style will love this fast-paced chiller.

David Lansdown is a popular British author accustomed to life in the public eye. Privately, he has fallen in love with his publisher’s son, Luca. In a momentary lapse of judgment, their taboo relationship is discovered and David’s publicist sends him away to a house on a desolate moor in order to weather the media storm of his scandal.

Lee does an excellent job developing the main characters in order for readers to invest in their situation. The element of forbidden love between David and Luca adds to the supernatural tension building as the story progresses.

The narrative splits into two points of view, David trying to settle into “Bone Hollow” but feeling like he’s not alone, and Luca desperately trying to make sure his lover is safe even though they have been forced apart.

As much as I enjoy burning through a horror novella, there are aspects of this story that felt hurried. Since the story begins with Luca and David being driven away from each other, the reader isn’t privy to their chemistry or dynamic which makes their relationship feel a little flat.

Also, the story within the story about the origins of Bone Crone is my favorite part,but I was left wondering if the placement of that narrative would have better served the atmosphere had it prefaced our tale rather than closed it. I’m not sure. In any case, Beverley Lee is one of my favorite storytellers. She has a vivid, dark imagination and I always know I’m going to get something creepy and menacing when I read her books. The House of Little Bones is the perfect one-sitting read on a dark and stormy night — just pray the lights stay on.

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