April 27, 2022

Book Review


reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo



“A day will come when certain antiques and old homes will be able to play sounds and voices of our past like record players. Technology will scan the grooves embedded within them as mediums can do without it.”

― Lorin Morgan-Richards

I first became a fan of Chris Coppel when I read The Lodge, where the animals in a hunting lodge come to life, in 2020. I loved it so much that I kept an eye out for his next book. Luckily, Lingering did not disappoint! It is as creepy and atmospheric as his last one, with the added bonus of a haunted house in the English countryside.

Paul and Christy Chappell, slightly sidelined by the Covid pandemic, have been looking for a house for the better part of a year. Despite their rather large budget, they are priced out of any offers. Their real estate agent calls with a listing that has been on the market for a while, Croft House. Croft House is a 16th century cottage with a hodgepodge of extensions and modifications, reminding the reader of a smaller Winchester mystery house. There are several things that strike them as odd, such as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the additions. There is a lovely comforting feel to the house and while hesitant at first, especially after being told the house is not for everyone, they decide to purchase it, despite the repairs it needs. 

Christy’s long estranged father has had a stroke, and though she has no kind or loving thoughts towards him, after suffering years of abuse at his hand, she must take care of him as no facilities are accepting patients because of Covid. The horror of what went on in her childhood home is much scarier than the haunted house they just bought. But Paul must move into the house on his own until she has found a solution for her father. Almost as soon as he moves in, strange things start happening. Why does the mirror steam up in all but one place? Why does the cutlery drawer open on its own? Why is Maggie, their beloved dog, obsessed with the loft-like attic? 

I read this book entirely in one sitting. It was so hard to put down. It is all the things you want in a horror book; dark, disturbing, and creepy. There is one scene with cockroaches which suddenly became my worst nightmare. I haven’t read a good haunted house story in a long time and this one was perfect. Coppel’s characters are all strong, with emphatic opinions and completely relatable. The reader feels like if this can happen to a couple like the Chappells, it can happen to anyone.

Do not read this book in the dark! Trigger warnings include incest and rape.

Lingering is available at:


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