The Woman Downstairs by Elisabeth Carpenter
Genre: Thriller/ Women’s Fiction
Published: 6th February 2020, Orion Books
Swathi’s Rating: 3.5/5
About the Book:
Can you ever really know your neighbours?
When human remains are found in a ground floor flat, the residents of Nelson Heights are shocked to learn that there was a dead body in their building for over three years.
Sarah lives at the flat above and after the remains are found, she feels threatened by a stranger hanging around the building.
Laura has lived in the building for as long as she can remember, caring for her elderly father, though there is more to her story than she is letting on.
As the investigation starts to heat up, and the two women become more involved, it’s clear that someone isn’t telling the truth about what went on all those years ago…
When human remains are found in the empty apartment at Nelson heights, Sarah is terrified as well as curious to know more about the situation. Soon she discovers, the remains are 2 years old, which means there had been a corpse lying just below her flat for 2 years since she’d moved in. How creepy is that!
Sarah, is a journalist living with her son at Nelson Heights, also working as a waitress at the neighborhood Cafe. Her ex-husband Alex is a cop working on the case and her current boyfriend Rob, an IT guy seems to be ghosting her recently. Reluctant to know more about the case, she starts digging into the person and she’s about to discover shocking facts about her neighbors!
Meanwhile we get to know about Laura, who is currently jobless at her 30s and living with her dad as a carer who died 2 years ago. Now she barely leaves her house, and suffers from insecurity. She had a horrible time at her primary school where she was bullied by the kids and her father homeschooled her afterwards. Her mom is nowhere near her and she has no good friends to support. Now her job searches are mostly a failure but when she gets a telecaller job, she doesn’t hesitate to join even when her boss is among her bullies from primary school.
It’s not until later when the connection is revealed and you’d have to travel almost 80 percent of the book to discover that. Meanwhile we get to befriend both the women, their lives and everything about them. All the while, the mystery remains and the reader has no clue of what’s going on. I liked the parallel narrations the author had implied. It kept me hooked and curious all along. Watch out for bullying, office place harassment, loneliness, depression and suppressed feelings in the characters involved. Emotional, dark and creepy this book is a treat for crime fiction fans! Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for having me on the blog tour. Do follow the bloggers here to know more about the book.
Meet the Author:
Elisabeth Carpenter lives in Preston with her family. She completed a BA in English Literature and Language with the Open University in 2011.
Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award and was longlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 and 2016) and the MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015). She loves living in the north of England and sets most of her stories in the area, including the novel she is writing at the moment. She currently works as a bookkeeper.