BOOK CLUB: The Secret of Cold Hill

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By Peter James
ISBN: 9781509816248
Imprint: Macmillan

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James. Peter James is a number one best selling author known for crime and thriller novels.


This book is the sequel to The House of Cold Hill. I haven’t read the first book, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying The Secret of Cold Hill.

The Secret of Cold Hill is definitely a thriller. It is a book that is hard to put down, you want to know what is going to happen!  Quite hard to review without giving too much away!

the secret of cold hill by peter james

Cold Hill house has been razed to the ground by fire. A new housing development is being built on the estate of 25 acres with ultra  modern  homes. Two families move into finished homes.

For Jason and Emily Danes, a young couple married for 5 years, this house is their dream and forever home. The house has a wonderful huge loft for Jason to use for his art studio.

The only others who have moved into the estate are Maurice and Claudette  Penze-Weedell.  They are an older couple who plan to live out their retirement in their exciting new property. The two couples are the only ones living in the estate, they couldn’t be more opposite. There are some quite amusing interactions between the two neighbours!

The only thing the couples have in common is … both feel they are not alone in their new homes! Strange events, shadowy figures, thumping noises!

A wonderful haunted house story, leading to a climatic ending! I thoroughly loved the book. I give it 5 stars!

I do know one thing after reading this book! I won’t ever have voice-activated lighting, heating, or microwave system in my house…ever !!!

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James. You can read their reviews of this creepy thriller in the comments section below. Read it? We’d love for you to contribute to our discussion!

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Secret of Cold Hill

  1. Thankyou Beautyandlace and panmacmillan for the opportunity to review ‘The Secret of Cold Hill’ by Peter James.
    Jason Danes and his wife Emily are shown their ‘perfect’ house by real estate agent Paul Jordan it’s in part of a new estate in Cold Hill park. These are exclusive houses and they are only the second family to move into this area of the estate.
    The house they are buying is a miniature model of Cold Hill House which was built in the georgian style after the original house was destroyed by fire.
    Jason a 39year old is an oil painting artist and the house is ideal for him with room for his studio whilst Emily is a caterer and it has plenty of space for her catering requirements.
    They are busy getting settled in and almost immediately things begin to happen! Down at the local pub there are very weird people and their neighbours from over the road although friendly are strange. Maurice and Claudette Penze-Weedell are very unusual!
    The locals are almost hostile towards them.

    This book is the follow up to ‘The House on Cold Hill’ which I now really, really want to read. It was a book I read very quickly, (a) because it was so good (a bit spooky) and (b) because the short chapters kept me reading!

  2. I found this novel suspenseful and mysterious but I would not recommend it as a bedtime story. Some of the imagery is very intense and dark and with the addition of supernatural beings hovering around there are some spine tingling moments. I am left with uncertainty regarding the ending because for me it left a few too many questions –it is difficult to elaborate without spoilers but suffice to say I have a different perspective on the paranormal activities within the story. The mysterious element weaving throughout with lots of twists and turns kept me wondering if there are many dimensions with many realities? A great book made even more spooky by the fact that the author, Peter James, found inspiration for his Cold Hill books from personal experiences with supernatural beings. The following link is a you tube preview from the author.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_hgWtYjCZw&feature=youtu.be

  3. I really liked the story line to The Secret of Cold Hill and found the writers descriptions of people, their homes and the town was really good. It gave me the feeling that you really knew the main characters. I really enjoyed this book and seriously couldn’t put it down. With the mysterious strange happenings around the home as well as in the home it kept me guessing what was going to happen next and which characters were real or not. I found the story well written not dreadfully scary though and weird why Jason’s wife Emily never remembered anything I found that conflicting at times. All in all though I would recommend this book its a great read with lots of detail and questionable things happening through out the book to keep you wanting to read more and more. Great story.

    Thank you so much Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for this opportunity to review this book.

  4. Peter James never lets me down. I love his books. I enjoyed
    This book albeit a bit spooky and very different from his other books. I like the short chapters it makes for easy reading. I would recommend this book as I found it hard to put down.

  5. Dear Beauty and Lace members

    I read my first Peter James novel, Dead at First Sight, as part of this awesome book club. So when there was another opportunity to read one of Peter’s books, I jumped at the chance.
    The Secret of Cold Hill is the second in the Cold Hill series, but can be read on its own. I read, and loved it, despite not having read the first book, The House on Cold Hill.

    Peter is a great author and his style is engaging and thrilling. The Secret of Cold Hill is about a young couple who move into their dream mansion on the highest point of a new estate. Their excitement and enthusiasm for the new house wanes as supernatural events become more frequent. The twists and turns in the story line kept me up very late as I couldn’t put the book down.

    The numerous unusual characters were weaved into the web of intrigue with perfection.

    The ending was astounding.

    Thank you to @beautyandlace and @panmacmillan for the opportunity to read and to review ‘The Secret of Cold Hill’ by Peter James. And I very much look forward to my next book.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Secret Of Cold Hill by Peter James.

    This was definitely a different read to his other books.

    It kept me turning the pages to try to figure out what was going on and what was happening.

    Two lots of couples move into The new Cold Hill Park estate, they absolutely love their homes but strange things start to happen.
    The locals tell them that all of the other people that have lived at Cold Hill have died under different circumstances and nobody has lived past the age of 40.

    Will the new couples live long enough to enjoy their new homes?

    #BeautyandLaceOnline#
    #BeautyandLacebooks#
    #BeautyandLace#
    #PanMacmillanAustralia#

  7. ‘You cannot bury evil’ states the spine tingling front cover tagline of bestselling British author Peter James’ brand new novel, The Secret of Cold Hill. Following on from his 2015 release, The House on Cold Hill, which was recently made into a theatre production, the second book in the Cold Hill series is creepy, intense, unpredictable and consuming.

    Cold Hill House perished in a raging fire many years ago. Since this tragedy, a new development has popped up to replace the old site. Top of the range luxurious homes have been erected on this historic site, saying goodbye to the old and introducing new technology friendly houses. When The Secret of Cold Hill opens, an artist and his wife are one of the first residents to move into this revered estate. The couple are very excited to have a new place to call home. They are joined by another couple, Maurice and Claudette. These retirees are determined to make their Cold Hill Park home a relaxing abode to live out their twilight years. However, it doesn’t take long before they realise that their dream home has become a place of nightmares. When things go bump in the night, strange apparitions materialise, and a tragic history continues to haunt this locale, they get much more than bargained for. This lucrative piece of real estate soon becomes an inescapable horror story.

    I didn’t cotton on to the fact that The Secret of Cold Hill is the sequel and follow on novel to The House on Cold Hill, which Peter James penned back in 2015. Despite the fact that I had no prior experience with the first book, I found The Secret of Cold Hill very easy to read. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything, but I am going to make a big effort to source The House on Cold Hill. I am also intrigued by the theatre production of this book too!

    From page one Peter James is able to plunge the reader deep into his spooky scene. There is a strong sense of foreboding surrounding this novel from the onset. We know that something sinister is at work very early on in the piece. I was never scared and my hair didn’t stand on end, but I was filled with an utter sense of dread, as well as speculation. James performs extremely well in this aspect of the novel. James successfully builds a strong sense of puzzlement, bewilderment and he sets the stakes to a high bar. This was amplified further by the fact that the location base for this book is set in familiar grounds for me. I used to reside in the same area as Cold Hill and there is even a reference to my old school, which had me smiling in recognition!

    The characters that populate The Secret of Cold Hill are compelling. Readers will most probably find the lead couple, Jason and Emily, very agreeable and relatable. I genuinely wanted this couple to conquer the feat of Cold Hill Park! On the other hand, I had plenty of for the other couple of the tale, the Penze-Weedell’s. However, I think we have all had cringe worthy neighbours in our lives at some point in time that we wish to avoid at all costs! James utilises a good dose of humour to this couple, which offsets the darkness of this spine tingling tale.

    Classic haunted house characteristics appear during the course of the novel, from ghostly apparitions that disappear as soon as they appear, to sudden temperature drops, stomping feet, cursed voices and a potent aromas add to the issues faced by the new residents of Cold Hill Park. I appreciated the insertion of newspaper reports and even gravestone inscriptions included within the narrative. These extra flourishes add further conjecture to the unfolding tale.

    The Secret of Cold Hill is now the third book I have read recently that fuses old world gothic history with the contemporary. There is also a strong slant towards technology in this book, as the houses populated by the families of this novel all contain highly modernised home systems that are automated and work on voice recognition. Of course we know that technology is not immune to malfunctions, which occurs in The Secret of Cold Hill, but we do question if something more malevolent is at work.

    There is a strong strand of unpredictability that follows The Secret of Cold Hill from the start. The short and highly engrossing chapters are populated by events follow a tight time frame. The novel opens on 20th October and they wraps up on the 27th December. There is an additional chapter based in April 2020, which served to answer a few questions I had about the book but it also posed a few more, which I do hope Peter James is able to extend upon in a possible future issue of this engrossing series.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace Book Club and the publisher, Pan Macmillan, for a copy of this book for review.

  8. Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read The Secrets of Cold Hill . I will definitely be searching for a copy of the prequel to this book The House on Cold Hill. Whilst the Secrets of Cold Hill is readable without reading the prequel, it would add some background to the story. The author is excellent at providing imagery for the reader, making it a bit of a scary night time read! The short chapters lead to late nights as ‘just another chapter’ before sleep can be justified!

  9. The secret of cold Hill
    By Peter James

    Thank you beauty & lace and Pan Macmillan Australia for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

    Peter James is a UK author who is best known for writing crime and thriller novels.

    The secret of cold hill is a good old ghost story with a few eccentric characters, in particular Maurice and Claudette Penza-Weedell. I found their characters amusing and in particular some laugh out loud moments –

    Maurice says Why don’t we – you know – pop up stairs? Followed by Claudette What it’s only 6pm and the moment I laughed out loud when Maurice says So that time of day never bothered you once.

    A book about a new estate with new homes with old stories.

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