The Woman Downstairs by Elisabeth Carpenter

Today I have a review of The Woman Downstairs by Elisabeth Carpenter. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

What’s this book about?

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…

My review

I’ve read all of Elisabeth Carpenters books now and I have to say that…OMG THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SO FAR!! Now this will be a no spoiler review but I have to say that when you get to the end of part one, I 100% guarantee that you will flick back to what you have read before whilst your brain catches up with what your eyes have just discovered!! Honestly, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I think Elisabeth Carpenter is clearly very VERY good at what she does to pull this off!

I read a book with a similar plot before where human remains have been found in a property but this book takes that idea and delivers an intriguing narrative that winds its way around two women living in the same block of flats. There’s Sarah, living apart from her husband after his affair but happy with her cosy life as a single mum and her job at the local cafe. But after the human remains are discovered at Nelson Heights she notices someone hanging round and that makes the journalism student very suspicious indeed. And then there’s Laura who’s had a tough time recently after her father has passed away. She’s taken a leap into the workplace after being his carer for years but struggling with her mental health after being relentlessly bullied when younger. She’s lived at the flats longer than Sarah so maybe she has clues to why someone someone living there hasn’t been missed by anyone for nearly two years?

The Woman Downstairs is a twisty, suspenseful thriller that I physically couldn’t put down once I picked it up. It was my favourite type of psychological thriller-one where I suspected everyone but didn’t have a clue where it was going until it hit me across the face with its brilliant plot twist. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about the twist here (even though it’s an absolute corker!!) but the characters of the two women who kept me gripped throughout. Both had very different lives but they intersected in a way they could never have dreamed of and I loved how it all came together.

The Woman Downstairs is an utterly brilliant, addictive read and one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish and it’s a highly recommended from me!

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 2008. 

Elisabeth was awarded a Northern Writers’ New Fiction award, and was longlisted for 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.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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