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  • Orion Children's Books
  • Orion Children's Books

The Dead House

Dawn Kurtagich

3 Reviews

Rated 0

For National Curriculum Key Stage 3, Interest age: from c 12 years, Fiction, Thrillers (Children's / Teenage), Horror & ghost stories, chillers (Children's / Tee

Carly gets the day. Kaitlin has the night. But what is the truth? A psychological thriller like no other from a stunning new YA talent, for fans of Rick Yancey, Kendare Blake and Stephen King.

Chilling, creepy and compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is a psychological thriller like no other from a stunning YA talent, for fans of Rick Yancey, Kendare Blake and Stephen King.

Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High School burned down. The blaze killed three and injured twenty, and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. For two decades, little was revealed about what became known as the Johnson Incident.

Until now.

A diary has been found in the ruins of the school. In this diary, Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly's twin, tells of the strange and disturbing sequence of events leading to the incident.

But Kaitlyn doesn't exist. She never has.

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Praise for The Dead House

  • Creepy, compelling, and compulsively readable - Victoria Schwab, author of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and VICIOUS

  • Creepy but amazing. I loved it. - Christopher Pike, author of the THIRST and REMEMBER ME series

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Reader reviews (1)

  • I. Am. Speechless. ?I have no idea what just happened. This book was an insane ride that had me hooked within the first few pages and my brain is still trying to catch up with everything that happened. Now, let me try and give a brief summary of what happened, because I'm still not sure myself what went down: The book is made up of a series of diary entries, interview transcripts, emails, notes, and video transcripts, which make a police file for the Johnson Case. The Johnson Case revolves around Carly Johnson who suffers(?) from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and becomes Kaitlyn at night. The two live very harmoniously and leave each other messages and notes - they are essentially sisters who share the same body. Carly has been admitted to Claydon Mental Hospital for treatment of her DID, which is believed to be as a result of her parent's death. Throughout the book, Kaitlyn's diary tells about the events leading up to the 'Johnson Incident' which saw the school burn down, three people killed and 'Carly's' disappearance. I definitely did not do the book justice with that summary, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot because it's such an insane journey that you have to live it to get the full experience. It's such a unique story that will have you questioning everything you've been told and leave you speechless. This is the first psychological thriller that I've read and I was not disappointed. Every chapter brought new questions, and every time I thought I found the answer, there was a plot twist that threw me back to square one. For the majority of the book I had no idea what was going on, but it was a good thing - trust me. The book certainly didn't go where I expected it to go, but I was really happy with the outcome and how the story ended. It's totally crazy and creepy at times, but it was beautifully written and just made sense (even though I still don't know what happened haha). The last quarter of the book was insanely action-packed and I was gripping the book so that I could read as fast as I could to get through it. Everything fell into place at the end and I felt a little stupid for not realising some of the answers earlier - either I wasn't paying attention or Dawn is a fabulous writer (I'm leaning towards the latter!). Overall, if you enjoy psychological thrillers, paranormal, and want to give your mind a real work out, run out and pick up this book! You won't regret it and the story will definitely stay with you long after it's over - I know it will for me.

    Victoria Kennedy

    Rated 5
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Dawn Kurtagich

Dawn Kurtagich writes psychologically sinister fiction, where girls descend into madness, boys see monsters in men, and adults have something to hide. She lives in Wales, but grew up all over the world, predominantly in Africa. She writes and blogs for YA Scream Queens and is a member of the YA League.

Well known and highly respected in the YA community, she tweets @dawnkurtagich and her website can be found at

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