The Toll House

Paperback, 368 pages

English language

Published Oct. 4, 2023 by Sphere (Little, Brown and Company).

Copied ISBN!
3 stars (1 review)

The past isn't always dead and buried . . .

A house with history. That's how the estate agent described the old toll house on the edge of the town. For Kelda it's the perfect rural home for her young son Dylan after a difficult few years.

But when Kelda finds a death mask concealed behind one of the walls, everything changes. Inexplicable things happen in the house, Kelda cannot shake the feeling of being watched and Dylan is plagued by nightmares, convinced he can see figures in his room. As Dylan's behaviour becomes increasingly challenging, Kelda seeks answers in the house's mysterious past. But she's running out of time.

Because something has awoken.

And now it won't rest . . .

2 editions

An okay-ish haunted house story.

3 stars

The toll house is haunted: we get ghostly apparitions, small pebbles mysteriously appearing all over the house, a death mask staring out from its hiding place inside a wall, and other supposedly spooky stuff. The book follows two timelines, one is the present time, the other takes place in 1863-64 and is narrated from the last toll house keeper's (and murderer's) perspective, which was rather gruesome. Overall, it wasn't a really spooky read, offered nothing new or original, and had way too much family/relationship drama, a few totally unnecessary characters, pointless romance subplots, and school/work problems the main character and her son struggled with. The book looked promising, but, unfortunately, didn't really deliver. I've read worse, though, so I give it three stars.

CW: murder, illness/death, blood/gore, pregnancy, miscarriage, child death, domestic violence, jealousy & controlling behaviour, sexual assault, drugs & alcohol.


  • Horror
  • Haunted House
  • Ghosts