The Stranger House by Reginald Hill

The Stranger House

A stunning new psychological thriller set in past and present-day Cumbria from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.Things move slowly in the tiny village of Illthwaite, but that’s about to change with the arrival of two strangers. Sam Flood is a young Australian post-grad en route to Cambridge. Miguel Madero is a Spanish historian in flight from a seminary. They have nothing in common and no connection, except that they bo...

Details The Stranger House

TitleThe Stranger House
Release DateNov 28th, 2006
PublisherSeal Books
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews The Stranger House

  • Cleopatra Pullen
    Reginald Hill departs from his normal genre of detective fiction in The Stranger House, instead we have one mystery that spans decades to the forced migration of children to Australia and another that goes back centuries to the time of the reformation.Sam Flood, Australian and former priest, Miguel Madro who is half-Spanish meet at The Stranger House in Illthwaite, Cumbria. With the two strangers thrown together to uncover what happened to their ...
  • Will Byrnes
    Illthwaite, in Cumbria is a dark place, literally, caught in season-long shadow. Like the roach motel, once a family moves in it does not check out. It has a deep history and not the nicest one. Samantha Flood has come to Illthwaite from her native Australia seeking answers to questions about her family history. Miguel Madero, of both British and Spanish heritage, is seeking answers of a similar kind. They cross paths in a place where ancient sig...
  • Antonia
    as ever an interesting book by reginald hill. his use of language amazes me, there again were a couple of words i had never heard of before. he manages to draw you into an odd world of small places and (let's call them) interesting people. the structure was somewhat odd with the main climax happening around the middle of the book and then having basically no action but the characters just retelling things before picking up again. i guess that's t...
  • Andy Weston
    This is a 3.5 stars, in my ongoing campaign for a larger scale! I am a big admirer of Reginald Hill, whose Dalziel books were something special. Better though was "The Woodcutter", and as I am living in the Lakes at the moment I was very keen to read this. The storyline is good, the setting is tremendous but some of the characters could be stronger. They are not as believable as they should be, and my other criticism is that in the middle 300 pag...
  • Tanja Berg
    I regularly listen to audio books by Reginald Hill. He is incredibly witty and the plots are beautifull wound together. "The Stranger House" is no exception and I think this is my favorite so far. It's a stand alone and not part of the detective series that the other books I've read (listened to) by him have been.Miguel Madero and Samantha Flood - a man of good and a mathematician - arrive at the tiny village of Illthwaite and both stay at the pu...
  • Karen S.
    I’ll give this book 3 stars, and would recommend it as an ok read. I liked the story. I did not like the main female character. I’m all for strong females, but she was rude, thought she was better/smarter than everyone, and to me, not likable at all. If it weren’t for the unpleasant female lead I may have enjoyed this book a bit more than I did.
  • Miranda
    3.5 stars - an okay to fun read, but not on the read-again pile
  • Ian Mapp
    There is a lot going on in this book that manages to cross a number of styles, mystery, paranormal, relationships. history, crime.It was not a total success for me, as it is a long book and parts of it seem to work better than other but everytime i was starting to lose interest, a new twist or approach was deployed and I started to enjoy again.The book is about two unrelated people coming from abroad to the UK to try and understand something abou...
  • James Perkins
    Based on religious doctrine and moral outrage, this book had a lot of potential, but the two lead characters were not given a proper chance to shine. The first, an Australian "mathematical genius" whose only numerical ability seemed to be harping on about it, used too many overly British and unAustralian expressions in her speech and thoughts, the combination of which highlighted the naivete rather than the cleverness of the author. Why didn't th...
  • Brooke
    Reginald Hill has written dozens of books, but this is the first one that I have read. The Stranger House follows two people, Australian mathematician Samantha Flood and Spanish ex-almost-priest Miguel Madero, who travel to a small British town called Illthwaite to search out the history of their respective families. The novel is filled with a lot of coincidences, a small dash of the supernatural, a bunch of eccentric and memorable characters, an...
  • Pamela Mclaren
    This is an intriguing and qite different book about two children who grow up following the trail of their families and ending up in the same small town and struggling with what they find out and what they have to slowly winnow from clues and misdirection by the townspeople.I'm not sure that I like either main character but the girl — a young woman who is small as a child and behaves through much of the book as a spoiled brat — is particularly...
  • Dottie Kiminya
    A rather strange book pardon the pun. Starts out real well, but it begins to stall in the middle and gets almost boring. With the promise of ghosts and a mathematical genius I must admit I expected a lot more action. However towards the end it gets intriguing again and I couldn't help feel like the author waited too long to get to the climax. I don't know though because weird enough I could literally not put this book down as I kept turning each ...
  • Dana Stabenow
    His last and he was still at the top of his form. Great characters in Sam, Mig, and Hill's native Cumbria, two -- or is it three -- maybe four, actually, now that I count up -- mysteries and two murders to solve, and a seamless interweaving of two pasts (the Englands of Elizabeth I and II) and the present. Maybe the denouement is a little over the top, but who cares when you find lines like this on every page:She liked it best when they got to th...
  • Liz Nutting
    This was a compelling mystery, especially for those who like a little side of supernatural with their whodunits. I thought the ending especially good--a logical resolution of the key issues, without even a hint of deus ex machina.
  • Mark Lisac
    How does stuff like this get into international best-seller status? If it were 80 pages longer I'd give it 1 star. It's an OK beach read, I guess, if you're really bored. The pacing is strong enough to keep the pages turning, but the story begins to bog down about halfway through and at 533 pages it's too long. I kept on to the end largely to see if the occasional glints of decent story telling would improve into a better book. They did not. If a...
  • Cliff
    In this novel, Reginald Hill has stepped away from Dalziel and Pascoe. This is a stand alone story which features two people, one Spaniard, one Australian, seeking answers to their past in a small, closely knit, village in the English Lake District. The Australian is intereted in her Grandmother's background, that lady having emigrated to Australia in the early 1960s without any family whatsoever. The Spaniard is looking at much older history in ...
  • FM
    This book had just the oddest tone to me . . . in some ways, it reminded me of a Daphne du Maurier novel at the beginning with strange ghostly priests showing up to one of the main characters. Then it seemed like a 70s-era thriller because of the sort of gothic feel of the town (the weird brothers, the frightened priest, the forgotten grave . . .). But it was also juxtaposed with contemporary details about cell phones and the internet . . . I don...
  • Betsy
    I read the Dalziel and Pasco series years ago and loved its style and wit. This standalone novel brought me back to those times. I had forgotten Reginald Hill’s wonderful way with the English language which had me checking my dictionary often. He also has a way with diffusing tension with laughter. I had a little problem with the supernatural aspects but I forgave him this as I fell in love with his writing again. He was great writer and sadly ...
  • Charlie
    Interesting read. Very, very slow getting started, but like most of Hill's work, a good mystery. He shows off his talent in crisp character development - both a well-drawn woman mathematician and an ex-seminarian who sees visions - plus a village full of secretive citizens. The two strangers are forced to work together solving crimes from 50 and 500 years ago. The last surprise is in the very last line.
  • Vicki Doris
    Mathematics and WineLife has many variables and our heroine, Sam Flood, believes it can be a sum of mathematical equations. Whereas, Miguel Madura, our hero, sees life a combination of religion and the unknown spiritual world. These two are out to solve their own historical mysteries with the help and hinderance of the residents of Illwraithe, the center of the two quests for truth.
  • Amanda Clawson
    This is one of those books that I am so sad it is over. I loved the setting and the characters. The plot was interesting and I really got a kick out of the main character Sam. I am honestly astonished that several of the reviews I just read said that they did not like this character. I understand that people have different tastes though. However, I strongly recommend this book!! If you like Colin Dexter or Elizabeth George I think you will really...
  • JW
    I’m on page 58 and I’m questioning why I chose this book to read. I’m sure I’ve read other Reginald Hill books and enjoyed them (I think?) but now I’m questioning myself. Cringey, weird, wandering, shallow, stereotypical, pointless... it is well below zero here, and instead of wanting to cocoon with this book, something I do too much of I’ll admit, I have a strong desire to give this book back (even throw it into a snowbank) and go fo...
  • Lucy Takeda
    I've read numerous Dalziel and Pascoe novels, and am in the process of rereading. I ran across this title. It is not Dalziel and Pascoe; it is an enthralling, historical, and mystical mystery. Two strangers come to a small village in Cumberland looking for answers to their ancestry, and uncover layers and layers of secrecy.
  • Plum-crazy
    This is the first - & only - Reginald Hill book I've read & I had high hopes for it from the blurb & the fact that I enjoy Dalziel & Pascoe on TV. I was sadly disappointed. It's a longish book, 600+ pages, didn't hold my interest & I nearly gave up on it a few times. However, I persevered & finished it, although I think only part 4 kept me gripped.
  • Lynda
    This is a dark village with even weirder people living in it.You follow two people with ties to this place...IllthwaiteA few ghosts from the past are intertwined!The story starts off really good but then, I lost interest and struggled to end the book!just two stars sorry!
  • Lola
    Did like this book, the story like about Mig and Sam searching for their ancestors is compelling enough to keep the reader entertained but To be hones I was expecting a little more mystery to it, i felt like it resolved quite easy.
  • Julie Round
    A thoroughly enjoyable mystery with believable characters and enough twists and turns to keep any reader guessing. Atmospheric and absorbing.
  • Eric Cohen
    An excellent read with engaging characters and lots of well-researched historical information.
  • Linda Johnson
    A different take on the personal impact when veterans return from war
  • Laura Ferguson
    Interesting book. Not sure about the portrayal of cumbrians though. I also found myself having to guess who Michael Galley is (?) I can only assume it's Miguel Madero but other than that minor confusion right at the end I loved all the different themes in this book and the build up to the various events.