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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by a haunting true story.... 

When Rowan and her family move into the 1800s home nestled in the woods on a bluff near Lake Michigan, she's looking forward to a summer reprieve. However, she soon discovers that Helme House harbors dark secrets, including people who have vanished from the house and never been found. 

As Rowan digs into the history of Helme House, a series of troubling experiences soon become deadly. 

Helme House is the second stand-alone novel in the Troubled Spirits Series, where paranormal fiction meets true crime. 

Do you believe in ghosts?

©2021 Jacqueline R Erickson (P)2021 Jacqueline R Erickson

What listeners say about Helme House

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

3.5 * - Good world-building and character-building

I really enjoyed the author's writing style - it was very easy for me to envision environments, characters and events as the story progressed. I also like how the author left a little wiggle room for us to form our own opinions about a mundane versus supernatural explanation for the events in the story.

There were a few subjective reasons why I didn't give the story more stars. The main reason is that I didn't particularly like the protagonist. The protagonist was experiencing post-partum depression and this influenced a lot of her thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. If that weren't enough, she also was having difficulty coping with her father's death. The author leveraged her emotional fragility as a mechanism for generating self-doubt, and for other characters to brush off some of of her unusual experiences. I think the author was a wee bit too heavy handed about it, in my opinion. I got tired of her hysteria/neuroticism pretty early in the story and soon wasn't able to sympathize with her. She needed therapy (or at least some good self-help books from the library, or she needed to do some journalling to work through her feelings, or something). Her husband had the patience and compassion of a saint to put up with some of the things she did and said. For example, she lied to him several times during the story, felt guilty, and kept on lying to him and being sneaky. He was a really nice and understanding guy - seemed to me that he deserved better (e.g., more honesty and trust) from her.

I'm wandering into potential spoiler territory here, but I also wasn't quite satisfied about how multiple characters had information about a person who was likely involved in criminal activities from the 1970s, but somehow this obvious person was never investigated or tied to those crimes. The author used the excuse that authorities weren't concerned with happenings at an orphanage, but it seems like the crimes would be easily solvable by a halfway competent detective.

Finally, the family baby seemed to feature heavily in the story and I found myself tuning out the ongoing references to coos, drooling, baby birthday parties, and other baby-related stuff that had nothing to do with the plot. I like babies! But Quinn got a lot of unnecessary airtime and that distracted me from the story instead of adding value. The author writes really well, so I was a bit disappointed to find myself skimming and skipping past most of the baby-related stuff.

Having said that, I'll circle back to one of my initial points and say that I really liked the way that the author created supernatural vs mundane ambiguity to explain the various events in the story. I thought that aspect of the story was quite well done!

The narration was good. Although I prefer narrators who aren't as breathless-sounding, the narration style seemed to align well with the tone of the story and the character of the protagonist. The narrator was clearly telling a story rather than reading words from a book. I sped up the playback speed substantially to suit my personal preferences.

I would read other stories from this author and listen to other audiobooks with this narrator again in the future. I was provided this book upon my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

I based my purchase, largely on the reviews. This wasn't for me. I can't understand or relate to Rowan. The narration is odd. Nothing wrong with it, just noticeable. Sometimes I get the sense the narrator is trying hard at certain words. Whatever it is. There is a deliberate huskiness in the narration, at least it seems to me. I'm 15 chapters in and still bored. Also, annoyed. I don't find any of the characters relatable or likeable.

Rowan's grief is difficult to understand. if one didn't know better, you'd think she'd lost a child or a lover. The people around Rowan laude her for her strength, abilities, and character. But, none of that is development or fleshed out to support that. Instead, we're introduced to a selfish woman, one scream away from being an even more unlikable character.

We don't even know why Rowman and Allen have such an acrimonious relationship. The book is drawn out for no reason.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Suspenseful

Helene just wants a peaceful change. Little does she know that the house has secrets. Definitely grips you and the narrator helps make it realistic.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Eerie and Awesome

Helme house is a spooky story about Rowen, her husband Garrett, and their 1 year old Quinn who move into Helme house for the summer. The house has secrets, as does Rowen and the people who previously lived in the house. I was intrigued and eager to listen to the story to find out what happens. The author does a brilliant job of keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat. The narrator provided a good and entertaining performance for for the creepy scenes. I enjoyed this story, along with the whole series! Note: this book was given to me for free at my request and I have left this objective review voluntarily.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing liston

great read , great book n to be based on a real story makes it even better

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Skip this one

This story is way too long. Not much happens and the little that does is dragged out for too long. The narration and the main character don't help the situation out either. This just was not an enjoyable book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Story was good but…..

Story was good although there was a few inconsistencies. I know when Rowan hurts her ankle but then suddenly it’s her knee then back to the ankle? Maybe I missed something??
My biggest hang up was with the narration. Apparently she can’t pronounce the letter G? Or maybe she’s wearing a retainer or something? Idk but once I noticed it, it made me cringe every time.

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wow!

enjoyed this book. it had a good plot. the narrator was excellent. did a good job on the characters.

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What a great listen!

Helme House by J.R. Erickson was such a fun listen! Ms. Erickson once again crafted a totally unique story that kept me guessing and captivated until the end. Rowan is kind of a hot mess. Aside from dealing with continuing post-partum depression, she's just really in a funk and has decided that she and their daughter are going to live in Helme House while her husband remodels it. Things quickly escalate, as things in Helme House are definitely not nice and peaceful. Rowan feels like time is running out and that there is something really wrong with Helme House. As she investigates what happened in the house in the past, things in the present are creeping up and they're all at risk.

Krystal Hammond did a wonderful job bringing this story to life and I enjoyed listening to her. I'd definitely recommend this book to people that enjoy a good, suspenseful and chilling tale. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review. Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

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Helme House

Krystal Hammond was a terrific narrator!This was an excellent read!A tie in to the Norther Michigan Asylum books,I totally enjoyed it.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Sarah L C
  • 11-11-21

Story good

The story was good flowed well, was a little supernatural but was there and realistic,
Rowen the main character was severely depressed and that certainly came across in the book the author researched this really well or been there themselves sadly, it was so well researched it kind of made the book depressing feel to it despite the story being good,
I would recommend this book

2 people found this helpful