The House Mate by Nina Manning
ABOUT THE BOOK
The perfect life? …Or the perfect lie?
When Regi moves into her new houseshare, she’s ready for a clean slate. A new home. A new routine. A new identity…
Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.
But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price…
I chose this book because of the psychological thriller element, but although I was really invested in Regi’s heart-wrenching story, it fell short for me.
The signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) described in the novel are well-researched. I had a friend with this disorder who was traumatized and developed similar compulsions, i.e. excessive door locking, counting, and extreme cleaning after his home was broken into.
I was intrigued by Ms. Manning’s plot beginning with an eye-opening prologue and then giving the reader a look into the life of an interesting and vulnerable main character trying to deal with a traumatic secret and a very real mental health disorder while moving on with her life as a traditional college student. The suspense is gradual but effective and the idea of using Instagram posts as a relief for her anxiety is unique. However, the ending was confusing and did not mesh with the climax of the story which was unbelievably coincidental and unfortunately, a real let down for me.
Overall, this is a promising thriller told in past and present. The well-written scenes are compelling and nail-biting as well as moving and heartbreaking. The characters are intriguing and mysterious. Unfortunately, I had more questions than answers at the end.
Thank you to Ms. Manning for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.
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