I have a friend. She is bubbly, light. Her personality around me is bottled sunshine. She runs from bugs, hates snakes, and leaps away from anything that goes bump in the night.
One day we are having a conversation and she mentions that a family member wrote a book, and the person is such a skilled writer. Now my friend and I have discussed books before. She is a romance lover. I have recommended romances with twists, for example Nalini Singh and Sonali Dev, but she loves straight romances, and even historical ones if my memory serves me correctly.
Those thoughts were on my mind when she enthusiastically recommended her relative’s book. She loved it, someone she knew wrote it, so I expected some bias, and I also thought it was going to be similar to the books she told me she loved to read. My friend mentioned in passing as well that the book was optioned for movie rights. Looking back, she probably mentioned it was not a romance, but my brain did not pick up on that at all!
It is me. It is a book. A new author. A friend’s family member. Plus, when I looked it up, it was on Kindle Unlimited. There was absolutely no reason not to give it a try.
Then I read the prologue. It is available on Amazon to sample read, so technically this is not a spoiler.
The prologue reads as a woman sitting in a house with a dead body upstairs. She is sure she will be arrested. There is guilt. There is fear. The police are in the house questioning her, and just as she claims, she only heard a sound and found the body. A young officer shouts he has found something unbelievable upstairs.
At that point, I stopped. I had searched and downloaded the book, but not paid too much attention to the reviews, or comments, etc. It is my friend’s relative book. I am reading it anyhow.
After that prologue, I go back and check. My brain registers for the first time the description. “An absolutely addictive psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist.”
My mind drops back to my friend. Miss I love Romance. Miss Bottled Sunshine.
Suddenly, a voice in my head laughs. ‘Never judge a book by its cover!’
I was the ass in assumed.
This is the first time I am mentioning this chain of events. Hopefully, my friend laughs as hard as I did at myself.
Because The Housemaid is not a romance novel. There is some romance in it, and one couple whose relationship you may support by the end. The rest of it… well, it demonstrates why the female of any species is much more deadly than the male side could ever be.
This review will NOT spoil any of this book. Every line, each layer of description and point of view is masterfully done. If you read it, you should get it clean and clear without prejudice. Too many books promise twists that drop your jaw and end up only doing so by making you yawn. This book is not about that. This book pelts your jaw to the floor with no apology!
What struck me (and deceives you while reading initially) was the easy way the author leads you down a particular train of thought. Throughout the book she builds you up, making you believe you know what is the truth, who are the villains, who are the heroes. But by the end, you will feel as naïve as I did, thinking my sunshiny friend would only send me happy romance novels to read.
The prologue I will say was brilliant. I cannot say it was a mislead because this actually happens, however it gives you a false interpretation of the actual events. Again, I refuse to give any spoilers. This book and anyone who dives into it does not deserve that. Readers of The Housemaid deserve to discover all of the shocking reveals as they read, and to scream in surprise as I did.
If you love thrillers that leave you gasping, put your hands on this book. As a lover of mysteries and thrillers, this story lit me afire. I highly recommend it and now if you read it, you have a better idea of what to expect, unlike me, initially lol! Even though it was put on my radar, and now yours, through my bubbly friend who loves to read happy romance novels.
Please note too, this book topped Amazon’s charts, and is a verified best seller. All well earned accolades.
Did I mention it is now a series? :D!