A new thriller about a woman given an offer of accommodation that is too good to be true.
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When I read the premise of this novel, it immediately reminded me of a previous book I had read. After racking my brain and trawling through Goodreads, it came to me: the premise was similar to that of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. While that book had not been the greatest, I hoped that this novel would be more up my alley.
Published March 28, 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
Data from Goodreads
Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye. Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a shockingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.
Adder House sounds too good to be true… But Freya really can’t afford to be cynical, and Dr Marsden is adamant she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents.
But Adder House has secrets. Even behind a locked front door, Freya feels as if she’s being watched: objects moving, unfamiliar smells, the blinking light of a concealed camera… and it’s not long before she begins to suspect that her dream home is hiding a nightmarish reality. Was it really chance that led her here—or something unthinkably dark?
As the truth about Adder House starts to unravel, can Freya and Skye get out—or will they be locked in forever?
My Review: It’s Better than Lock Every Door
The Pros: What worked for me
- I actually really liked the main character in this book, which was certainly not the case in Lock Every Door. Here, Freya is a mother who still has common sense and can tell when something is odd or too good to be true. She also has an interesting backstory that makes her relatable.
- I liked that the story flitted between Freya’s past and present. Not only did it give the reader a better picture of her, it also allowed us to see who she used to be before she found herself needing an apartment. If anything, I wanted more of this.
- I liked the inclusion of well-known psychological theories. As someone with a background in psychology, I’m always appreciative of tidbits from that field in a novel.
The Cons: What I didn’t like
- The author decided to mix up styles and use some journal entries to add a different perspective. While I liked some of them because they were told in 3rd person from a new character’s perspective and referenced a famous psychological experiment, there were other entries that I hated because I REALLY don’t like 2nd person narratives – especially when it isn’t done well.
- The relationships between all of the tenants was not really explained and that ruined the veracity of the reveal.
- The actual reveal was just so hard to believe. Even though I knew the story was going in that direction and I pegged the instigator quite early on, I still think it was too far-fetched and under-developed.
- The ending was definitely a let-down in that things were just so messily resolved and convenient. I don’t know why authors tend to have all of this hype and build up just to end things on such an anticlimactic note.
Overall, I think I liked this book better than Lock Every Door, at least in that the protagonist was a bit more aware in this novel that things were a bit strange. However, the blend of storytelling format wasn’t very well executed and the ending itself was too contrived to be believable. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2.5/5 stars.