Thanks to Poppy Stimpson from Transworld Books for my copy of The House Swap. I love the cover of the ARC, where it has doors to open!
I give you my unbiased review of The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet.
The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet.
Published May 3rd 2018 by Doubleday
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…
I loved the idea of this book. Actually I won a competition last year to have a year subscription to a house swapping website, so it is an idea that I have given thought to! I was intrigued by the description of Caroline and Francis swapping houses with somebody who seems to know Caroline, and has subtle ways of letting Caroline know that somebody knows her secrets.
The chapters flip from present time to past, when things weren’t good in Caroline and Francis’ relationship to present time while they are in this borrowed house. It is easy to follow and the stories of both timelines link up well, so the reader has a good image of what has happened without giving away too much of Caroline’s secret.
The woman on the street where they are staying comes across as creepy and very intense. In my opinion Caroline was too polite in letting the woman worm her way in, but then this woman plays a bigger part as the story goes on……
We know from the start that Francis has addiction problems, and these were written very well. It seemed that the Author had done her research to know how both parties (the addicted Husband and the Wife who watches) could feel in this situation. It would have been good to have a bit more of an insight into Francis’ reasons for his addictions, but this didn’t spoil or impact the story, it just would have been good to know a deeper understanding of Francis. I didn’t take to Caroline at all throughout the book. I felt she was very unsympathetic to her Husband’s problems, and the way she dealt with it was wrong. (in my opinion). I think if Caroline had acted differently this story would not have happened, but that’s the beauty of fiction for you!
The book had a steady pace all the way through, it kept my attention and I wanted to know what happened next at the end of every chapter. As the pages thinned, I had an idea of what the end would be, but as in all good thrillers, there was a twist I didn’t see coming and it finished the story off with a chilling bang. It only takes one decision in life, that could be the decision that changes everything! From a decision Caroline made, comes the twist that chilled me.
House Swap is an enjoyable, steady paced domestic thriller. I would certainly read more of Rebecca Fleet’s books. But, I won’t be renewing that House Swapping subscription this year!