The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on May 22, 2018 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense
Format & Length: e-book, 320
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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…
Rebecca Fleet’s debut, The House Swap is a slow burning tale of domestic suspense.
Most of this book is told through Caroline’s perspective, alternating between Home (before) and Away (now), with a few chapters from other point of views interspersed sporadically. This structure worked well to develop the story from multiple angles and also to keep the reader always wanting just a little bit more. The writing style helped to set a tense tone that drew out the suspense and kept an edge of unease about it.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot itself so as to avoid spoilers, but I will say that it was well planned. Although I wouldn’t call The House Swap a fast paced novel by any means, it did unravel at a consistent clip with just a hint of urgency to unveil its secrets. The characters themselves were not necessarily likable but were complex enough to understand the reasons behind their actions, and in the end displayed some nice growth.
The House Swap really is quite well done for a debut, and I look forward to seeing what Fleet will do next. Recommended for fans of slow burn suspenseful drama.
*Many thanks to Penguin Random House’s First to Read program for providing an arc of this edition in exchange for an honest review.