Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books / Penguin Random House Audio
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Genre: Adult Fiction / Domestic Drama / Mystery
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 daughter and the tensions that have pushed their marriage to the brink.
The house is stark, pared back and almost sinister in its emptiness: a blank canvas upon which they can try to start again, and rebuild what has been lost between them. But slowly, Caroline begins to uncover some signs–signs that connect to her life. The flowers in the bathroom and the music in the CD player might seem innocent to anyone else–but to her they are clues. It seems the person they have swapped homes with is someone who knows her, who knows the secrets she’d hoped to forget . . .
The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet has such a unique premise and I was very intrigued by the plot of two people swapping houses. Anyone going into this book must be aware that it is a very slow burn, and it definitely took me some time to get into. I wasn’t fully invested in the story until a ways in, and I have to admit I was a little confused at first as to what was going on. I listened to the audio, and this is one of those books where you have to pay attention, or you might miss something. I also have to note that the audiobook was really well done and helped keep me engaged in the book. Elizabeth Knowelden & Elliot Hill are the narrators and I loved the choice made to whisper for the unknown character which is marked by italics in the novel. I would highly recommend it as long as you won’t get distracted and can focus on it.
I thought the end was a little anticlimactic which brought down the rating for me, but overall The House Swap is a really well-written, twisty book. I thought it was fairly suspenseful and I did really enjoy Fleet’s writing style. This is a North American debut and I think it will be interesting to see what her newest book, The Second Wife, is like. I really enjoyed the two different timelines and the unknown narrator style, along with the multiple viewpoints. I think this is best described as a blend of mystery, suspense, and a domestic drama instead of a thriller, so I would keep that in mind as well.
Thank you to the publisher for my review copy via Edelweiss. All opinions and thoughts are my own.