The House Swap
A NovelBook - 2018
From the critics
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Have you ever considered doing a house swap? It sounds like a great idea, right? You get to spend a week or two in another part of the country, or another part of the world even, without hotel bills, and in return a stranger spends time in your house. But that might be the drawback, especially for the paranoid among us, an absolute stranger could be spending time in your home, going through your possessions and uncovering your secrets! This is the premise of Rebecca Fleet's thriller, The House Swap.
Caroline and her husband Francis decide to take part in such an arrangement, and they exchange their apartment in a busy northern city for a week in a house in the leafy suburbs of London. They plan to use the opportunity to explore London and generally just relax. They've had a tumultuous couple of years and both have done things they aren't proud of, but they want to make a go of their marriage so they’re looking at this time away as a sort of second honeymoon.
When they arrive at the house things just don't look right. It's eerily sterile, almost as if the place has been staged. There are no clues as to the personality of the person that lives there. However, as Caroline looks harder she realizes that certain things seem to have been placed in the house for her benefit. Her favourite flowers, and music that's special to her. It's almost as if the person who has lent them their house knows her. Then there's the question of an overly curious neighbor who is just a little bit too friendly. Does this neighbor know the person that owns the house? She dodges Caroline's questions.
Things become more than a little bit creepy when Caroline begins to receive texts containing pictures of her own home. Her face has been cut out of the family portraits hanging in the hallway. Her clothes have been shredded. It’s only her fear of having her past uncovered that keeps her from racing home to confront the culprit.
The House Swap is full of some great twists and turns. Just when you think Caroline's indiscretions are catching up with her, the plot takes yet another clever turn. Fleet is a skillful thriller writer and if you liked novels like The Girl on the Train, then I think you might enjoy The House Swap.
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