BOOK REVIEW – To Let by Carla Kovach

To Let

What should have been a compelling read was spoiled for me by the multitude of spelling, grammatical and syntax errors! The lack of visible editing made this book very challenging for me to finish.

That said, the idea is good, although not very well implemented. I guessed the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ about halfway through, but couldn’t figure out the ‘how’, which is what kept me reading until the very end.

The book opens with a diary entry from 1991. A troubled teen records her ordeal of being bullied and how she has decided to retaliate at the ringleader. It’s a chilling example of a disturbed and calculated individual who has been driven to drastic action by being treated in a way she can no longer tolerate.

The story continues 10 years later. Libby has fled her cheating boyfriend and is moving into an apartment that her beloved sister Olly has heard is to let. Her landlord (and neighbour) Tim is nice; maybe a bit odd, but aren’t we all in some way or another? Her downstairs neighbours Jess and Kirsty are pleasant and easy going. The only neighbour she never sees is the elusive Mr Bull directly downstairs from her apartment. However, there are the occasional loud noises emanating from his home that make Libby uneasy.

To add to her uneasiness, her ex-boyfriend Gary persists in constantly sending her messages and trying anything he can to convince her he still loves her and wants her back. Libby is under increasing pressure at work, including having to deal with a violent and unpredictable employee. So it’s no wonder that she is prone to bouts of crying and exhaustion as it all becomes too much to manage, and Libby starts to think she is experiencing bouts of paranoia. Add to the mix, Ricardo, who arrives from Naples to look for his daughter Bettina, who was the previous tenant of Libby’s apartment, but seems to have disappeared.

The story twists and turns towards its ending, where it really gets completely out of hand and enters the realms of the unbelievable and improbable. It’s really dragged out and I couldn’t help skipping large chunks, just to get to the conclusion.

A book that starts off with great promise fails to deliver in the end due to poor execution (excuse the pun!).

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