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Monday, March 26, 2018

REVIEW: The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet @pameladormanbooks @rebeccalfleet #partner

The House Swap
by Rebecca Fleet

Thanks so much to Pamela Dorman Books and Astoria Bookshop for this fantastic domestic noir thriller.  If you're looking for a slow burn of domestic suspense with a touch of character study, then this is one you need to add to your TBR.

Publisher:  Pamela Dorman Books
Publishing:  May 22, 2018
320 Pages
Genres:  Domestic Suspense/Noir/Thriller

Goodreads Synopsis:

Be careful who you let in . . .

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap--from their city flat to a townhouse in a leafy, upscale London suburb--they jump at the chance for a week away from home, their son, and the tensions that have pushed their marriage to the brink.

As the couple settles in, the old problems that permeate their marriage--his unhealthy behaviors, her indiscretions--start bubbling to the surface. But while they attempt to mend their relationship, their neighbor, an intense young woman, is showing a little too much interest in their activities.

Meanwhile, Caroline slowly begins to uncover some signs of life in the stark house--signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music might seem innocent to anyone else--but to her they are clues. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone who knows her, someone who knows the secrets she's desperate to forget... 

My Review:

"A house swap becomes the eerie backdrop to a crumbling marriage, a torrid affair, and the fatal consequences that unfold."

As a person who reads a lot of thrillers, it's few and far between that I find one that truly stands out or gets to me much these days.  This one did but in a subtle way where I could weirdly relate to certain tangents portrayed in the book.   I think anyone who has been in a long term relationship or marriage understands how hard it is to maintain a good one and how easy it is for people to take their partners for granted... and how any relating actions impact not just their own lives, but the lives of others.

We mainly see through Caroline's POV - in the past during her marriage crumbling, the affair that ensued and then in the present, on holiday with her husband, Francis, trying to repair and piece together the shards of the marriage they once had.  Occasionally we get to see through Francis's eyes and then through a narrator, the person she house swapped with, that is unknown for most of the story.  Fleet does a great job in showing how it takes two people to rock the boat, two people to destroy a marriage and two people to repair it, if repair is even possible.  

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Well thriller lovers, I can tell there's going to be some split on this book.  It doesn't give you that big twisty feel or that AHA moment that most people tend to love from these types of books.  What it does is give you a look inside a broken marriage and the reasons why.   A look at how the actions of both Caroline and Francis impact the people around them.  

I don't know you guys, there's just something I really liked about this book.  While it may not have had me eagerly turning each page with the urgency of needing to know what happened, I did become engrossed in what was going to happen.  There's no real sense of thrill or suspense until further into the book as a lot of build up is given.  I do wish there was more into the background or character build of both Francis and Carl.  I need more answers about these men.

I would put this more into a domestic drama/suspense read rather than a dead on thriller.  This suits well for a quick, easy read if you're looking for something to read pool side or as a lighter "thriller" than what you might expect.  

A very solid and compelling read for a US debut! 


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