Author: K. L. Slater
What I’m Talking About:
British author K.L. Slater ventures into whatever subcategory of thrillers is devoted to buildings, hotels, houses, and in this case, The Apartment. We know right upfront by the title that something‘s up when a too good to be true offer gets dropped in Freya Miller’s lap. Facing the loss of her home, the loss of her friends, and the loss of her husband, Freya is not in a position to look a gift horse in the mouth. So she accepts the affordable rent apartment on the top floor of a converted mansion in the extremely affluent Kensington section of London. She’s ready for a fresh start.
Freya has a chance meeting with Dr. Marsden in a coffee shop when she’s looking at ads for rentals on the local bulletin board. He’s looking for just the right tenant. Hand meet glove. It’s interesting to go into a new read already suspicious and looking for clues. The author’s job is that much harder to make us suspend our disbelief. My litmus test for any thriller is if the protagonist is behaving and making choices in a way any other rational adult would, and yes, she did—even going to see the apartment before she accepted. There was nothing wrong with her thought processes. When something felt off, she followed up on her instinct. If she let something go, it was reasonable under the circumstances. So what’s up with the apartment? Is the title even referring to her apartment?
The Apartment is relatively short coming in under 300 pages and reads more like a “slice of life“ than the methodic unfolding of a story. Freya just goes about making the adjustments of moving, unpacking, trying to find her new normal in a new neighborhood with new neighbors, and a new school for her daughter. Nothing happens the first 50% of the book, just background and build up. Slater gives us the information that justifies Freya’s thought processes and lulls us into a sense of comfort before the big reveal. She lets us entertain our own suspects, the most obvious being Dr. Marsden. He feels a little film noir. Totally has a Vincent Price vibe to him. I admit that I pictured Price in the roll of Dr. Marsden, kind of like his character Roderick Usher in the 1960 adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s House of Usher.
Seemingly concerned and generous. So what’s the catch? Well, read the book. Rest assured that the ending makes sense and was appropriately foreshadowed, but wasn’t an easy slam dunk so far before last chapters as to make it perfunctory by the time you get there. Add this one to your pile of quick, but absorbing summer pool reads for a change of pace from romances.
My Rating: B, Liked It
About the Book:
It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…
Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye. Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a shockingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.
Adder House sounds too good to be true… But Freya really can’t afford to be cynical, and Dr Marsden is adamant she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents.
But Adder House has secrets. Even behind a locked front door, Freya feels as if she’s being watched: objects moving, unfamiliar smells, the blinking light of a concealed camera… and it’s not long before she begins to suspect that her dream home is hiding a nightmarish reality. Was it really chance that led her here—or something unthinkably dark?
As the truth about Adder House starts to unravel, can Freya and Skye get out—or will they be locked in forever?
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format(s): paperback (269 pages), e-book, audiobook
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