I had high hopes for this book, it started well with an interesting premise and while it was far from terrible, it didn't quite live up to that early expectation. The story starts with a bunch of people who have all survived terrible experiences (these are from previous books) and all receive visits from mysterious government agents inviting them to take part in a fear study from which they'll receive a million dollars.
This unlikely start is actually the best part of the book, it builds the tension of what is to come nicely. Unfortunately the pacing is a bit off, it takes half of the book to get to the point of the test and then when it does get started it throws it all at you at once.
It switches from the tense build up to shock horror very quickly, the writing is still good, but it all becomes a bit rushed. The reveal is also a bit disappointing, although there is a bit of a fun tease there.
So while the book didn't quite attain the early promise it is far from a bad book, the writing is strong and it is a fun read, especially if you enjoy visceral horror.
HAUNTED HOUSE is a sequel to the novels AFRAID, TRAPPED, and ENDURANCE. The survivors from those thrillers are all together, and put through a new kind of hell. Also included is Dr. Frank Belgium, from ORIGIN.
All characters have back stories. In the case of HAUNTED HOUSE, these back stories exist in other books.
While HAUNTED HOUSE can be read as a stand alone, and may be the first Kilborn book read by a lot of people, if a reader enjoys it, he/she can read more about these characters in different novels. And fans of these other novels will enjoy seeing familiar characters show up again in a new novel.
- from J.A. Konrath's Blog "A Newbies Guide to Publishing".
Haunted House is available from Amazon (and is an decent read)