The House Swap

Rebecca Fleet. Viking/Dorman, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-55883-5
British author Fleet makes her U.S. debut with a consummately plotted but character-challenged domestic noir. Working mom Caroline, eager to repair her marriage after she ends an affair, hopes that a low-stress, child-free week away with husband Francis will prove therapeutic. When she accepts an online invitation to exchange their flat in center-city Leeds for a house in suburban London, it’s clear from the start that Caroline has unwittingly let a malevolent presence into her home. It doesn’t take long in the London-area house for her to come across subtle clues with intense personal meaning—such as an open bottle of the same aftershave that her ex-lover, Carl, wore hidden behind the bedroom headboard—and to suspect she has stumbled into an elaborate game staged by someone who knows her intimately. The final pages include a stunning twist, but some readers may not stick around for the fireworks, since Caroline and Francis make for difficult company—she’s massively narcissistic, and he’s still fighting the depression and pill addiction that left him near catatonic around the time of the affair. Still, Fleet is a writer to watch. Agent: Caroline Wood, Felicity Bryan Assoc. (U.K.). (May)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 05/22/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-69125-3
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-525-63190-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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