Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: WestBow Press (April 10, 2006)
Reviewed by Vennessa Ng
Kill or be killed.
It was hardly the advice Jack and Stephanie Singleton were looking for to save their marriage. A road trip to a counselling session in Montgomery, Alabama goes drastically wrong and finds them lost in the backwoods. As night sets in, the “Wayside Inn” seems a godsend to the weary couple.
The Singletons’ enter the genteel Inn, hoping to find help for their desperate situation. Instead they meet Randy Messarue and Lesley Taylor, who are also road trip causalities.
With no host in sight, the couples follow the instruction note attached to the front door and sign themselves in. As the foursome contemplate the dining table lavishly set for four, the lights flicker and die, leaving the guests in the dark. When the lights mysteriously come back on, the Inn’s hosts also appear; Betty, Stewart, and Pete.
It soon becomes apparent that this is no ordinary Inn.
Welcome to White’s house.
Barsidious White has three simple rules for his house:
1) God came to my house and I killed him.
2) I will kill anyone who comes to my house as I killed God.
3) Give me one dead body and I might let rule two slide.
Jack, Stephanie, Randy, and Lesley are soon caught up in a cruel game in a house that seems to know their every move.
But this is not your average haunted house story. When you combine the minds of two of the masters in the supernatural thriller genre, you expect something beyond typical. Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker deliver an edge-of-your-seat plot encapsulating a theme that will leave you reflecting on its ramifications for a long time after.
Peretti and Dekker refuse to whitewash the true nature of evil or their villains. In HOUSE, Barsidious White is the embodiment of evil. As far as White is concerned, the guilty must die, and everyone is guilty.
In White’s house, evil is pitched against evil.
HOUSE sets out to epitomise the human heart. Nothing we do can clean our hearts of the evil that resides within. So if the wages of sin is death, and we have all sinned, then why should we be allowed to live? This is the question Peretti and Dekker tackle in this enthralling novel that touches the very heart of its readers.
As a reader more familiar with Dekker’s past work than Peretti’s, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this collaboration. The writing is flawless. The seamless continuity of this novel is testament to the two creative minds behind it and their commitment to a quality story.
Dekker fans will not be disappointed. HOUSE is tied into his current Project Showdown series by expanding on one of the characters from SHOWDOWN.
Readers concerned about the violence depicted in SHOWDOWN shouldn’t have a problem with HOUSE. The violence is still there, it’s no less evil, but I found it more toned down.
Peretti and Dekker invite you to enter HOUSE, where losing your life could be the only way to win.
Two authors, one exceptional story
To read an interview with Frank Peretti visit Novel Journey
(April 2006 archives).