Book Review: The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

In this debut novel by Jaime Jo Wright, mystery and romance collide in a dual-narrative that takes us across time and generations to solve the dark secrets behind The House on Foster Hill. 

From the Publisher:
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives–including her own–are lost?

House On Foster Hill Book

My thoughts:
The initial few chapters of this book were fast-paced page-turners. The suspense was set from the start and I appreciated the authors writing style and ability to draw a reader in within the first few pages. But while the book started off strong, it began to lose steam a quarter of the way through. The mystery surrounding Foster Hill held a lot of potential but I was ultimately disappointed with how it played out.

The modern-day narrative follows a woman named Kaine as she tries to come to grips with the death of her husband. Taunted by an unknown stalker, Kaine believes her husband’s death to be anything but accidental. While this plot line is initially interesting and action-packed, the story quickly morphs into a repetitive Christian romance novel with only slight traces of the thriller that started out so promisingly.

The book is bogged down by Kaine’s sudden and unconvincing relationship, and I struggled to connect with her character, interactions, or motivations. Despite the book’s Christian premise, the characters discussions surrounding faith felt lackluster and less than convincing — a bit of an add on rather than an actual part of their lives. And to top it all off, the thriller ends unsatisfactorily as the motivation behind Kaine’s “masked stalker” is sadly weak and disappointing.

The second narrative (set a century earlier and involving Kaine’s great-grandmother) came across as a much stronger story. Ivy is strong-willed, intriguing, and a more interesting and likable character. Unfortunately, Ivy’s story was also weakened rather than strengthened by the excessive romantic plotline in the second half of the novel.

House On Foster Hill Book Review

All in all, I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

I didn’t love this book but I didn’t necessarily dislike it either. Had this book been marketed as a Christian Romance (rather than a thriller) I could have gone into it with different expectations and perhaps not been so disappointed. For a thriller, the book felt very cluttered — as if they author was trying to cram too many ideas into one book — and lacked a strong conclusion to the suspense built into the first few chapters.

That being said, the mystery aspect to the book did manage to hold my interest and I arrived at the last few chapters curious as to how it would all unravel. I would certainly give future novels by this author another chance.

 

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


Book Review The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

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