How well do you know your neighbour?
Would you trust them with your life?
I heard Emily before I saw her. The harsh smack of heels against cheap wooden floorboards. The loud phone calls. The incessant music.
I knew Emily before I met her. Discarded receipts in our communal hallway. Sticky leftovers in the shared food waste bin. Wine shop vouchers in the letterbox.
Now she’s gone missing, and I’m the only one who can find her. The only one who can save her.
Because I know her best, and I heard everything.
The Girl Upstairs is a spine-tingling psychological thriller of grief and obsession that explores how lonely London can be and how sometimes it’s our neighbours who see us most, who know us best…
So I was flicking through Instagram on Saturday morning and I saw an ad for this book as it was on special offer at 99p. I followed the link and it seemed like my kind of book so I bought it and started straight away as I was just chilling on the sofa after my staff night out the night before! Well, I ended up reading it in the hairdressers chair in the afternoon, the queue for the chippy in the evening and in bed that night-not going to sleep until I reached the very last page. It’s not often I get so excited over a debut novel I had taken a chance on but The Girl Upstairs is fantastic! It’s just so beautifully written with a central character you are never quite sure about and another that is unraveled so carefully it was like unwrapping a delicate and fragile present.
Suzie lives in a ground floor flat underneath Emily, a young woman in her early twenties. Emily is portrayed as a selfish neighbour-noisy and uncaring of those around her-but as we find out more about Suzie we come to realise that she is judging her actions without knowing much about her even though she appears to know EVERYTHING! But the devil is in the detail here and it’s not until Emily goes missing that the overheard lifestyle of the girl upstairs becomes a significant part of who she is but why she has suddenly vanished? Suzie is obsessed with finding out, so obsessed that there is obviously something in her own past that demands she investigates Emily’s disappearance herself when the police don’t seem very interested in helping…
I absolutely loved this book! It’s not fast paced or action packed but it creates a wonderfully atmospheric flow throughout the slowly revealed plot. It played with my emotions too as I realised I had misjudged some characters early on and the revelations when they came weren’t the ones I was expecting so I felt that element of shock as the shattering truths were uncovered. It’s a book I didn’t want to end and when it did, I felt momentarily bereft as though I had lost someone very close to me and I wanted to know where they are now and what they are doing! And, for me, that’s the sign of a brilliantly created fictional storyline-one that felt real and engaging throughout.
A highly recommended 5 star read for me!
The Girl Upstairs was published on 9th December by One More Chapter.
Georgina studied creative writing and film at university and has since pursued a career in videogames journalism, covering some of the most popular games in the world. Her psychological thrillers are inspired by her surroundings, from the congested London streets to the raw English countryside.