A compelling and hypnotic domestic noir novel in which a house swap becomes the eerie backdrop to a crumbling marriage and tantalizing affair, and the fatal consequences that unfold.
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 . . .
British author Fleet makes her U.S. debut with a consummately plotted but character-challenged domestic noir. Working mom Caroline, eager to repair her marriage after she ends an affair, hopes that a low-stress, child-free week away with husband Francis will prove therapeutic. When she accepts an online invitation to exchange their flat in center-city Leeds for a house in suburban London, it's clear from the start that Caroline has unwittingly let a malevolent presence into her home. It doesn't take long in the London-area house for her to come across subtle clues with intense personal meaning such as an open bottle of the same aftershave that her ex-lover, Carl, wore hidden behind the bedroom headboard and to suspect she has stumbled into an elaborate game staged by someone who knows her intimately. The final pages include a stunning twist, but some readers may not stick around for the fireworks, since Caroline and Francis make for difficult company she's massively narcissistic, and he's still fighting the depression and pill addiction that left him near catatonic around the time of the affair. Still, Fleet is a writer to watch.