Tuesday 28 June 2022

The Apartment Upstairs by Lesley Kara BLOG TOUR @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #TheApartmentUpstairs #BookReview


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?

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 . . .

The Apartment Upstairs by Lesley Kara was published on 23 June 2022 by Transworld. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

I've been looking forward to Lesley Kara's fourth novel for ages, having read and enjoyed her previous three books, I was expecting another twisty, psychological thriller, and that's exactly what I got. 

This author excels in creating solid female characters and The Apartment Upstairs is told through the eyes of two of the most unusual and intriguing women that I've come across for a long time. 

Scarlett is a fairly isolated, often lonely woman. She suffers with a chronic health condition and this impacts her ability to do as much as she wants to. However, she's lucky enough to live in a beautiful apartment, specially adapted for her by her father and brother. She works from home and until recently, she had the company of her Aunt Rebecca who lived in the apartment upstairs. However, Scarlett and her family have been rocked by the recent tragic death of Rebecca. Brutally murdered, in her own bed by her boyfriend, who then took his own life.  Rebecca's death has had such an impact on Scarlett, as well as her father and brother. She's recently returned home, to the apartment downstairs, but feels uneasy. She's convinced that there's evil lurking upstairs, and strange noises and dark figures in the garden in the early hours of the morning do not help. 

Dee runs Fond Farewells, an alternative undertaking business and becomes involved in the story when Scarlett asks her to make the arrangements for Rebecca's funeral. Dee recognises Rebecca's name, and realises that Dee and her business partner Lindsay were once taught by her, years ago. 

Dee and Lindsay's best friend Gina disappeared many years ago. There's been no trace of her and Dee is helping Gina's family to organise a memorial event for her. 

At first, it would seem that Dee and Scarlett are only connected by Rebecca's death, but it soon becomes clear that they have other, long buried, links and these lead to Gina. 

The Apartment Upstairs is a cleverly structured story that delivers surprise after surprise. Not only do we get a murder mystery, we also get a great insight into a life living with disability and the intricacies of dealing with the bereaved. 
The family dynamics are done so well, with the male members of Scarlett's family assuming that her illness makes her weak, at times almost manipulating her to believe that herself. Dee and Lindsay's relationship is an interesting one to watch play out, often long-term friends will put up with much more from each other than they would from a newer friend. At times they become bitter towards each other, yet at others they are so very close. 

I really enjoyed this twisty thriller, I loved the characters and the complexities of the plotting. Another great read from Lesley Kara. 

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.

She is an alumna of the Faber Academy 'Writing a Novel' course.

She lives on the North Essex coast.

You can follow Lesley on Twitter @LesleyKara or visit her website at www.lesleykara.com

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