The House Swap; Rebecca Fleet
Pamela Dorman Books - 2018
Personally, as a private person, I think the whole idea of a "house swap" is rather creepy. I'd never consider it, but, that is the set up for this novel.
Can a one week "house swap" fix a crumbling marriage and a steamy affair?" Caroline and Francis, who have been having some marriage difficulties, are willing to give this a try. In 2013, Francis was a therapist with some sort of a pill addiction. His wife, Caroline was the breadwinner, with primary responsibility for parenting are in need of an escape. She begins an affair which a much younger man as a way to cope with the stresses at home.
Now in 2015, they decide to swap their flat for a week with the owner of a house in an upscale London suburb, leaving their young son with Caroline's mother.
When the couple arrives at their Chiswick, London house swap they finds the place oddly sterile with only the bare necessities. It almost looks like the house was staged. It isn't long before things begin to happen that seem to indicate that whoever owns the place knows too much about Caroline and about her past. There's also an attractive woman next door who seems to be a bit too friendly that adds to the creep factor.
This is a psychological thriller complete with flawed, unlikable character and some sex as well. I found the first half of the book easy to put down and harder to pick up as it seemed to take forever for the story to get going, taking me 2 weeks to finish this one. The story is told mostly from Caroline's POV both prior to the house swap and the present. I actually felt sorry for their young son Eddie, even though he was a very minor character, as this couple were not good parents.
Rating - 3.5/5 stars