EXCERPT: ‘Nina? Are you coming in, then? ‘ Zac’s warm brown eyes beckon.
I realise I’m standing on the doorstep in a dream while Zac has stepped into the hallway. Suddenly, I’m giddy with nerves and excitement. I can’t wait to get inside, but I’m also a little anxious. The one and only time we saw the inside of the flat was three months ago before we put in the offer. I knew we had to move fast to secure it. Property gets snapped up so quickly in this area. I hope it lives up to my memory.
ABOUT ‘THE COUPLE UPSTAIRS’: I should never have become friends with the couple upstairs…
The first time I step inside this cosy apartment with its sash windows, just minutes from the sea, I think it would be the perfect place for me and my partner Zac to start again. A chance to leave our troubled past behind.
Chris and Vanessa, the couple upstairs, are so welcoming: smiles, flowers, a home-baked cake. It’s strange how he does all the talking, and she seems so shy, but I’m just thrilled to have new friends nearby.
But everything starts to go wrong… my business begins to crumble, I can’t ignore the whispers at our housewarming party and loud arguments from upstairs keep me awake at night. I can’t sleep, I can’t think straight and I feel like someone is watching me in my own home.
And then Zac comes home one afternoon, his face clenched with fury, and says he knows what’s going on. He knows about my secret…
He won’t listen to me. He storms out and I’m left in tears, completely devastated.
Why has my life fallen apart since we moved here? Am I going mad? Or is someone trying to destroy us?
If only I’d known what I know now.
If only I hadn’t trusted the couple upstairs.
MY THOUGHTS: I have read, loved and rated books by this author at five stars in the past but, to be honest, The Couple Upstairs was a very average read. As I got to the 50% mark, I realised I was bored. I seriously debated not finishing, and couldn’t quite believe I was considering doing this to a book by Shalini Boland! I had decided to read one more chapter – they are very short – when Boland threw me a curveball, and I kept reading.
Even though I kept reading, The Couple Upstairs was ultimately a disappointment for me. ‘Average’, and ‘obvious’ are the words that come to mind, and there’s no way that I consider this to be a psychological thriller. No thrills, no suspense, and the psychological motivation is very weak.
Even though this is written in the first person, I didn’t feel that I was there, living Nina’s experiences. I didn’t like Nina, or Zac, their families, or their neighbours. I didn’t relate to any of them.
There were a number of things that seemed totally unrealistic to me, from buying a flat after only one viewing, to the end where (view spoiler)
Not a read that I will be recommending. This author can do, and has done, much better. Had this been the gripping psychological thriller it’s promoted as, I would have read the 260 odd pages in one sitting rather than taking 3 days, as I did.
I: @shaboland @bookouture
T: @ShaliniBoland @Bookouture
THE AUTHOR: Hello 🙂 I write suspense thrillers and dark adventures, and I live in Dorset, England with my husband, two children and our dog. I only write reviews for books I enjoy!
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Couple Upstairs by Shalini Boland via Netgalley for review.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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