Weatherly Hall

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
292 Pages
Reviewed on 09/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Weatherly Hall, by Andy Hunt, is a gripping psychological thriller with a techno twist. This story is set in the near future, post-Second Civil War, where we see Henry moving into a deserted, neglected mansion he just purchased. It was built before the age of the internet, and he moves into it to get away from the world of ongoing surveillance and tracking that permeates society. As old houses do, the house has a past, but Henry doesn't know the whole story. What is real anymore? What can be believed? Are ghosts real? Do haunted houses indeed exist? Reality versus fiction: this is the kind of confusing world Henry lives in, caught between waking life and nightmares, and he may not have much time left. If you're looking for a fresh twist on the haunted house genre, where the house is the star, keep reading.

Hunt has crafted an intriguing novel to satisfy fans of haunted house scenarios, but this is so much more. The story builds slowly at first, with meticulous descriptions and even floorplan images that get you intimately acquainted with the setting. The character of Henry is built with great description and inner dialogue: you get a real sense of how claustrophobic and paranoid he feels by being monitored all the time. You are on board with his decision to get off the grid and breathe easily for a change. Hunt seamlessly weaves near-future tech into Henry's everyday life, and the story is grounded by Henry himself as he experiences the strange occurrences in his new home. The supporting characters are interesting too. The world through his eyes is intriguing, and he's easy to relate to. The story's suspense builds chapter by chapter, and soon you find yourself immersed in Henry's world and eagerly anticipating how the story unfolds. Fans of Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone will love the eerie, evocative haunted house novel Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt.

Rabia Tanveer

Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt is an immersive psychological thriller that will have you biting your nails in anticipation. Henry wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, so he purchased an abandoned mansion. It suited his mood and his disposition best. Moving into the mansion was ridiculously easy, but living there was another thing. Nothing could have prepared him for what would happen next when he got comfortable in his new house. All Henry wanted was to be left alone, but he did not expect the mansion to surprise him like this. The two-dozen-bedroom mansion had a history and was full of mystery. Staying away from the eyes of society was a big perk of the mansion, but as time went on, Henry wasn’t so sure if staying off the grid was the right decision to make.

At first, I thought Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt was going to be the quintessential ghost story, but it wasn’t, and I loved that. The floor plan given at the beginning of the story was much needed to set the tone and feel of the story. The pace built and became faster as the story progressed, and when we reached a crescendo, it mimicked the flow of action. I am not sure if Henry was already like this or if the mansion and the isolation made him like that, but Henry became obsessed with the house. The author did a fantastic job of describing Henry’s contempt with the surveillance, and living in Weatherly Hall was liberating for him. Henry was on top of whatever strange things happened in the mansion, and he was very invested in figuring out what was wrong with the place. The intensity of the story increased sentence after sentence, and Andy Hunt never let the momentum fall. Weatherly Hall will be loved by fans of all genres.

K.C. Finn

Weatherly Hall is a work of fiction in the psychological thriller sub-genre and was penned by author Andy Hunt. The work is best suited to the mature adult reading audience due to its terrifying subject matter, explicit language, and moderate gore. Our protagonist is Henry, looking to escape the ever-watchful eye of a world where surveillance rules all and civil unrest is rife. At Weatherly Hall, Henry hopes to find solace, but he soon realizes that the lines between reality and imagination are blurring all around him in this stale, desolate house from times gone by.

Author Andy Hunt has crafted a masterpiece of theatrics, psychological thrills, and emotive horror that I can best describe as a post-modern gothic novel. All the elements of traditional haunted house tales are there, but the plot elevates the ghostly part into a journey of the mind, rife with trauma, confusion, and mental anguish. This makes for compelling reading and, as Henry’s character develops more and we learn more about his place in the troubled world he’s trying to escape from, we are drawn in even deeper to the visions that threaten to drown him. It’s a wonderful technique by the author to have us, as readers, trying to unpick reality from fiction at the same time as Henry, and there were some very satisfying moments when we knew more than him, and at other times he was the one to surprise us. Overall, I would highly recommend Weatherly Hall for fans of thriller fiction who appreciate skilled storytelling, atmospheric writing, and realistic psychological horror.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt is a psychological techno-thriller. The Second Civil War is over, and Henry decides to get away from it all – the megapolis, the surveillance, paranoia, everything. He purchases Weatherly Hall, an abandoned mansion built long before the internet era, free of the gadgets and clean steel and glass of the modern world. Making a break for it, he escapes the cameras and arrives at his new home. The real estate listing didn’t tell the whole story, and Henry is about to discover the thinnest of veils between the past and the present. The house has woken up, but its welcome isn’t quite what Henry expected, and now he is in a race against time to discover Weatherly Hall’s secrets before the house shuts him down for good.

Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt offers readers a unique blend of psychological, paranormal, and techno-thriller. A slow starter, the first couple of chapters set the scene for the rest of the story. Andy Hunt has included floor plans in the book to make you acquainted with the layout of Weatherly Hall, which is really useful to help you get your bearings. The main character, Henry, is developed to let us get to know him intimately. Told from his point of view, we learn how the paranoia and claustrophobia of constant monitoring force him to leave town, but he steps from one nightmare straight into another. The supporting cast is an eccentric bunch, all well-developed and interesting people. The suspense builds with each chapter, and the pace picks up the further into it you get, and the descriptive prose will draw you in and transport you right to the heart of the story. This isn’t just for fans of the paranormal – this story will suit anyone who just wants something different to get lost in for a while.

Grant Leishman

Weatherly Hall by Andy Hunt is a futuristic, supernatural thriller set following the American Second Civil War. Henry is tired of the constant surveillance and state control exercised over his and everyone’s lives in this brave new world. Determined to escape, Henry has secretly purchased a rambling old mansion, deep in the countryside where he ultimately plans to live a quiet life, off the grid and away from the constant overview of the state. The mansion is falling apart and in desperate need of repairs but for Henry, it is his salvation from a life he has grown tired of. When Henry moves in and begins repairs, he quickly discovers there is more to this house than meets the eye. Its storied history and its collection of secrets will keep him and his team of handymen brothers on their toes and wary of the house “striking back” at them. What Henry soon discovers, however, is that out here in the desolate countryside, he is still not immune to the interest of law enforcement. He must walk a fine line and take all precautions if he is to realize his dream of a simple life without interference.

Weatherly Hall is a good solid read and if you are a fan of the weird and wonderful and supernatural happenings, then this book will definitely appeal to you. Author Andy Hunt has done an excellent job of portraying a United States that today doesn’t seem too far in the future and as such, it is a sharp jolt to show the path we seem to be heading down. The idea of government surveillance and state control is certainly not a novel one but combined with the supernatural elements of this story, it provides a solid vehicle to reflect on our current climate. Any book which makes the reader examine the world he lives in a little more critically has to have achieved its goal and this story certainly does. The characters Henry comes across in his rural retreat are varied, fascinating, and at times not a little eccentric, which perfectly suits the tone of this narrative. The prose is beautifully descriptive and scary enough to keep a reader on the edge of his or her seat, without becoming overwhelming in gore, blood, and horror. I enjoyed this light escapism and can definitely recommend this read.