My Friday Post: The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

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Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week I’m featuring one of my current library loans, The House on Cold Hill by Peter James. I borrowed this book because I like Peter James’s books. This is a standalone novel, not one of his Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series.

The House on Cold Hill

‘Are we nearly there yet?’

Johnny, a smouldering cigar in his mouth, looked in the rear-view mirror. He loved his kids, but Felix, who had just turned eight, could be an irritating little sod sometimes. ‘That’s the third time you’ve asked in ten minutes,’ he said, loudly, above the sound of the Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’ blaring from the radio.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

‘It’s your birthday soon,’ Caro said, during a commerical break in the TV programme. ‘You’re going to be an old man!’

‘Yep, tell me about it,’ Ollie replied.

‘Forty! Still you’re wearing pretty well.’



Moving from the heart of the city of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for born townies, Ollie Harcourt, his wife, Caro, and their twelve-year-old daughter, Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated, Georgian mansion – they are filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, Ollie has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and with its acres of land, he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, a base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being removed from all her friends.

But within days of moving in, it soon becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents in the house. At first it is only a friend of Jade, talking to her on Facetime, who sees a spectral woman standing behind her. Then there are more sightings of her, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. Two weeks after moving in, Caro, out in the garden, is startled to see faces staring out of an upstairs window of the house.

The window of a room which holds the secret to the house’s dark history . . . a room which does not appear to exist . . .

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

13 thoughts on “My Friday Post: The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

  1. This sounds like an interesting and spooky story. I haven’t read anything by Peter James, so thanks for mentioning The House on Cold Hill. 🙂


  2. I keep trying with Peter James but somehow he and I don’t seem to hit it off. Perhaps I should read a one off, perhaps it is Roy Grace I don’t warm to.


  3. I like Peter James’ writing, and this seems like an interesting departure from his Roy Grace novels. Hmm..intriguing. I’ll be interested in what you think of it, Margaret.


  4. I’ve read some of his earliest books in the series because I like the Brighton setting, but I’m not sure I’d go for the plot of this one. Hope you enjoy it.


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