Libby is finally free of her abusive relationship with Gary. She’s found an apartment in a house called Canal House and it’s perfect for her. It’s small, but most of all it’s affordable. As she moves in, she’s sure this is the fresh, new start that she and her cat, Einstein need. If only Gary would just stop trying to call her and would hold off on sending her threatening messages.
As Libby settles into her new home, she gets to know her neighbours: the friendly two girls who are sharing a place so they can save money to travel South America, Tim the rather lovely landlord who’s taken over the running of the house from his mom who can no longer manage and who’s moved to a care home, and the illusive ‘Mr Bull’ who nobody ever sees, but who does seem to make rather a lot of noise whenever he’s home. But everyone basically ignores it and tends to just get on with their own lives. If he doesn’t want to get to know the rest of them, and wants to keep himself to himself, well… that’s his business. At this point, Libby’s happy with people staying away from her. She has enough to deal with, and she just wants to find her feet in her new safe space. With the help of her new friends and her supportive sister Olly, who’s always been her rock, she finally feels she’ll be able to move on.
As much as Libby tries to feel comfortable in her new home though, she just doesn’t seem able to. She can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. She’s sure someone is watching her, following her. And she’s convinced someone has been inside her home and is moving her things around, even removing small items. Could it be Gary? She knew he wouldn’t take her leaving him in a good way, but would he really go to such lengths? Worst of all, Einstein is really not himself – there’s definitely something up with him. Libby is sure that someone else is feeding him, and whereas she’d usually be able to rely on her cat for comfort, he’s behaving erratically and she can’t even depend on him at the moment!
When the father of the previous tenant of Libby’s apartment turns up looking for his daughter, saying that she’s disappeared, Libby realises that she’s not being paranoid and that she’s right to be unnerved. Something is definitely going on at Canal House. But could she really be in danger?
There’s tension right from the start of this slow-burning thriller and on meeting each new character, the reader immediately gets the impression that certain individuals aren’t quite who they claim to be. I did feel a lot of empathy towards Libby after all that she’s already been through, but I would have thought she’d be a bit more street smart by now. Instead, she seems to be incredibly naive, and she seems unable to cope with the slightest things. I loved her sister Olly, who despite whatever’s going on in her own life, is always there for her sister and understands that she will always have to be the stronger of the two. She accepts her role with no resentment or annoyance. It’s a demonstration of what unconditional love is all about.
Psychological thriller fans will love this one. It’s a quick read that they won’t be able to put down. Well-paced with just the right amount of tension, plot twists that will keep you guessing and some pesky red herrings thrown in for good measure, it ticks all the boxes needed for a great suspense-filled escape!
Thank you to Bookouture for another fantastic Books On Tour …
If this sounds familiar, The Houseshare is a rework of To Let, which was previously published by the same author.
Carla started writing more seriously ten years ago after having flirted with musical theatre and occasional writing in her youth.
Since then she has written & produced several stage plays, has four self-published books, has acted in several independent films and is currently in the final stages of production of her feature horror film, Penny for the Guy.
She now writes full-time as well as co-owning a film, photography & video production company located in the heart of Redditch town centre.
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