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?

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.

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. 

My Review

Looking at other reviews I can see that this book is going to be marmite – some loving it enough to give it 5 stars and some not at all.

For me it was more soap opera than high end drama. The characters were not particularly likeable – apart from Scarlett. Dee was OK but so judgmental where her friend Lindsay was concerned. I know Lindsay’s behaviour was terrible at times, but did Dee ever ask herself why. What underlying problems might her friend have had? Could she have helped instead of calling her names? No spoilers, so can’t say more.

Scarlett’s brother Ollie comes across as a bit untrustworthy, his best mate Mickey is just a yob (Scarlett what were you thinking), and all Dee’s friends seem to have secrets about something. We assume Aunt Rebecca was wonderful, but was she? All we know about her was that she was a teacher with a love of literature, and that she was suffering from early onset dementia (very young – I initially thought she was in her sixties at least, but she was only mid-fifties). This could have been explored in more depth and with great sensitivity – I would have found that a more interesting storyline.

I expected a really interesting twist, but by the end I was, as someone else said, underwhelmed and there was one massive event that was left unanswered – again something I was interested in but it ended ‘not with a bang but a whimper.’ And it wasn’t the only loose end.

Ultimately I found the ending a bit grubby and incestuous (metaphorically speaking) and it could have been so good. I just wanted something more dramatic and new.

To be fair, it was well written and the characters were adequately drawn – I just didn’t like most of them.

3.5 / 5 stars

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Lesley Kara’s debut The Rumour was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in 18 countries and optioned for TV. The Rumour was the highest selling crime fiction debut of 2019 in the UK and a Kindle No. 1 bestseller. Her second novel Who Did You Tell? was also a Sunday Times bestseller. Her third novel The Dare was published on 2021 and her fourth The Apartment Upstairs was published in June 2022.

Lesley worked for many years as a lecturer and manager in a large college of further education in London. She now lives in Suffolk and writes full-time.

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