Author : Lesley Kare
Title : The Apartment Upstairs
Pages : 300
Publisher : Transworld
Publication date : June 23, 2022
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Scarlett’s aunt lived – and was brutally murdered – in the apartment upstairs. But Scarlett is determined that life should return to some kind of normal, even if that means living with just a ceiling between her and the scene of such a devastating crime. After all, this is her home. She’s safe here. Isn’t she?
Dee is busy balancing her job as a funeral director with organizing an event to mark the disappearance of her best friend, ten years ago. So she’s got enough on her plate without worrying about the threatening messages that are appearing on her company’s Facebook page.
When Scarlett approaches Dee about planning her aunt’s funeral, an unexpected link between them emerges. Together, the two women could uncover secrets that have long been buried. Even while someone wants to stop them digging.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Dee’s friend Gina went missing ten years ago, never to be seen again, and Scarlett’s aunt was brutally murdered in the apartment above Scarlett’s own place. The two meet when Scarlett contacts Dee’s funeral company to arrange her aunt’s funeral. Immediately you assume the two of them will dig up some skeletons and as the reader, you will not be the only one making assumptions. This is one of those stories where you suspect just about everyone.
It seemed rather predictable to me what had happened to Rebecca but the other part of the story kept me guessing right up until the reveal. Proving once more that you never really know someone, nor should you ever trust anyone. I mean, really, if you have trust issues, you might want to reconsider reading this one 😉. Some things became rather silly and somewhat over the top. Some characters’ behaviours had me utterly baffled at times. Yet, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, I couldn’t stop reading.
What I think the author did really well was explore the different ways people deal with grief. Both Dee and her friend Lindsay are obviously affected by the disappearance of Gina. But whereas Dee ended up living quite the sheltered life and often being afraid of putting herself out there, Lindsay did the exact opposite. Cracks start to appear in their friendship when Lindsay’s behaviour seemingly gets entirely out of control now that the tenth anniversary of Gina’s disappearance is approaching and while I wouldn’t necessarily approve of the way Dee tackled those particular instances, I could absolutely understand it.
Scarlett, on the other hand, is determined to have life continue as before. She will not consider the idea of moving as her apartment has been modified and adjusted to her every need. But who is creeping around her garden in the middle of the night or wandering around the apartment upstairs when they think Scarlett isn’t home? That bit was too easy to figure out, to be honest.
‘The Apartment Upstairs‘ felt more of a murder mystery to me than a psychological thriller. I was expecting it to be fabulously gripping and compelling but it didn’t quite deliver that for me. Full of suspense, yes. However, lacking the tension I look for in this genre. It’s definitely a quickie page-turner of a read though, but somehow Lesley Kara can’t ever seem to reach that same level of her debut ‘The Rumour‘, in my most humble opinion of course, so I always remain rather underwhelmed. Be that as it may, I enjoyed it for what it was although I could have done without the unnecessary pandemic reminder at the end.
The Apartment Upstairs is available to buy. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
20 Books of Summer : 5/20