This was a family drama of sorts jacketed as a thriller. The story has 2 time lines with 3 versions. One was way in the past in the year 2013, where the main character Caroline, goes through turbulence in her marriage, with her prescription pill addict husband and so has an affair. The second version was Caroline in the present, year 2015, when she is on a holiday with the same husband Francis, trying to save the marriage, on a house swap, where the stranger’s house has reminders of her past. The third version is by a stranger who has house swapped with Caroline and is staying at her place. There is the occasional POV of her husband, Francis. This story sounded so exciting when I read the synopsis.
Whom did Caroline and Francis house swap with? Why are there reminders of her past in this home? What is the stranger doing in Caroline’s home? What is the purpose of the rampage and destruction the stranger is on?
But the delivery of the story is pretty slow, the characters self-obsessed and undeveloped, and the whole plot too flimsy. Caroline occupies the major storyline, yet is shown selfish most of the times. The husband had a prescription pill addiction, the reason for that or the support given to him was almost nil in description.
Where is the thrill, the suspense, the twists, if this is a thriller? Where is the race to the ending and the heart pounding finish?
This book is quite unbelievable, but as I am told that is creative license, the characters are unlikable, but I am told that works, the story is extremely slow but I am told that is the new trend. Caroline is supposedly hot but that is because I am told repeatedly how sexy she is in her short dress and skirts. There are lots of erotic scenes during affair, but none with the husband, and they don’t add to the ‘psychological thriller’ aspect.
The only character who drew my emotions out was the child Eddie, who had the mother rushing through his bedtime to meet the lover, and the father in his pill haze. He had my full-on sympathy.
The first emotion evoked was disinterest and the last emotion was happiness — thank God the book is done, and I can delete it from my kindle. It very nearly became DNF. Took me 5 days to read.
This is Rebecca Fleet’s debut, and unless the writing improves, I wouldn’t be reading anymore by her.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Random House UK, Transworld, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
P. S. The story lines were 2013 and 2015, that led me to think that it was written ages ago and published now, as this is the trend of slow moving thrillers.
My rating : 2.5 stars
When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.
On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.
But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget.
Publication date : 3rd May, 2018
Publisher : Random House UK, Transworld, Doubleday
Language : English
Available on Amazon
No thriller, just mind numbingly boring