A house swap gone terribly wrong
Would you ever swap houses with a stranger?
That's exactly the setup of the novel The House Swap, by Rebecca Fleet. In this domestic noir novel, Caroline and Francis' marriage is on shaky ground, to say the least. So, when they receive an offer to swap their urban flat for a townhouse in the suburbs, they look at it as a chance to get away from their real life -- and hopefully the tensions that have grown between them -- if only for a week.
When they arrive, they are startled to find that the house barely looks lived in. There are virtually no personal possessions, no photos, no hallmarks of a life lived within. The house serves as the perfect backdrop for Caroline and Francis to start to rebuild their broken marriage. But..
Soon, Caroline starts to notice eerie little things around the house, things that she can't help but feel are connected to a dark secret she's been keeping. Things she thought only one other person knew about.Flowers. A song. The wifi password. Does the person with whom they swapped houses know her? How could they know those details about a night she'd love nothing more than to forget?
Things take another turn toward the strange when a young woman across the street from their new temporary digs suddenly takes an unusual interest in Caroline, and the story spirals into a tangled web of lies, secrets, past indiscretions, and the things Caroline thought she had left in the past.
If you love psychological thrillers that are full of twists and turns that culminate in a conclusion I can virtually guarantee you won't see coming, The House Swap is for you. The story starts off slow, taking its time to lay the ground work for the complexly interwoven plot lines, but it soon picks up steam, taking the reader along for the ride. The intersection of past and present, of who we are in private and the public face we wear, and of one life with conspire to create a book that, once you are ensnared in its grips, keeps you in a choke hold until the last page has been turned.
The House Swap will definitely make you think twice about the secrets you keep and the people you choose to let into your life.
The House Swap is Rebecca Fleet's North American debut. Follow her on Twitter @RebeccaLFleet and Instagram @rebeccafleetwriter