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The Apartment Upstairs by Lesley Kara @TransworldBooks @alisonbarrow #TheClqrt #LesleyKara #BookReview #TheApartmentUpstairs #BookBlog

Bantam Press 23rd June 2022

Book Description

This Girl

Scarlett’s aunt lived – and was brutally murdered – in the flat 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 this devastating crime. After all, this is her home. She’s safe here isn’t she?

That Girl

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.

There’s Always Some Girl

When Scarlett approaches Dee about planning her aunt’s funeral, an unexpected link emerges between them. Together, the two women will uncover secrets that have long been buried. But someone wants to stop them digging.

It’s only ever ‘that girl’ until it’s someone you know.

My Thoughts

Thank you firstly to the lovely Alison Barrow for my proof copy of This Girl, That Girl, now being published as The Apartment Upstairs I was a big fan of The Rumour, Lesley Kara’s debut novel and I was lucky enough to hear her speak at an author event at the time. You can read my review of The Rumour here.

The Apartment Upstairs is a detailed thriller centering around funeral director Dee, and Scarlett, whose lives cross when Scarlett approaches Dee’s business to arrange the funeral of her Aunt, brutally murdered by her partner in what appears to be a murder / suicide. But as the story unfolds it seems facts surrounding the death aren’t as clear as initially thought, and could there possibly be a link with the missing woman from 10 years ago?

A decent thriller for fans of suspenseful, character driven fiction. A slow build up but with an intricate plot linking the characters; some detail was needed to ‘set the scene’. If I’m being honest I found the first hundred pages a little slow, however the story picked up pace and I found the latter part of the book more compelling. There were two key stories running parallel here – the death of Scarlett’s Aunt and the missing woman – friend of Dee and it was clear fairly early on that Aunt Rebecca had at least known missing Gina. Sub plots included negative reviews for Dee’s business and Dee and her business partner Lindsay’s relationships and these strands were both interesting and added depth to the story.

As the suspense built both characters – Dee and Scarlett made some decisions which I found frustrating and while I appreciate this was designed to drive the plot forward, I found myself feeling annoyed with them for their ‘flakiness!’ That said this book did not quite go in the direction I thought it would, smug me thought I had it all worked out but no! I wonder if the conclusions could have been predicted and I am inclined to think not, however the book ended tidily with an authentic wrap up.

An easy thriller that while slow to build engages with a comprehensive plot and well developed characters.

About the Author

Lesley Kara is the author of Sunday Times bestsellers The Rumour and Who Did You Tell? her debut, The Rumour, was also a Kindle No.1 bestseller. Lesley is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast.

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