The Other Guest – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Other Guest

Author:- Helen Cooper

Date published:- will be published on 16th June 2022

Publisher:- Hodder and Stoughton

No. of pages:- 338 pages

Genre:- Psychological Thriller


Plot:- 4.5/5 stars

Writing:- 4/5 stars

Overall rating:- 4.5/5 stars

One year ago, Leah’s twenty-one-year-old niece, Amy, mysteriously drowned near her family-owned luxury resort on the shores of Lake Garda.

Now, returning to Italy for the first time since Amy’s death, Leah is shocked to find her family seem to have erased all reminders of Amy. Despite the murky circumstances, they insist her death was an accident but Leah knows she must look deeper if she is to uncover the truth.

Meanwhile, in Derby, university counsellor Joanna is recovering from a surprising break-up when she is swept off her feet by a handsome bartender. But after she invites him into her home, Joanna is forced to accept that she doesn’t know him as well as she thought.

What follows is a propulsive game of cat-and mouse as both women begin to realise that appearances can be deceptive – and that the darkest secrets often lie closest to home.

Leah’s niece, Amy was drowned in the lake, near the villa in Italy where Amy’s parents own. Leah then moves to Italy and to the villa one year after her niece died. But to her surprise, Amy’s parents and Leah’s niece Olivia seemed to have erased off memories of Amy. The Leah meets Amy’s friend Francesca who gives her a SIM card, where she tells her that Amy before dying had called her. As Leah listened to the voice message, Leah realizes that there are some secrets that are lying in the villa.

Meanwhile in Derby, Joanna a university councillor is dealing with a student’s suicide. While at the bar she meets a handsome stranger who introduces himself as Callum. When Callum gets into the accident, and Joanna agrees to look after him. But soon, she realises that she doesn’t really know Callum much who might be running away from the past.

The story is told from the perspectives of three women–Leah, Joanne and Amy, hours before the sunset, the time when she drowned in the lake. From start to finish, I was engrossed into the book. In the beginning, you wonder what does Joanne got to do with Leah and Amy though towards the middle, you feel the connection between the three women through one man. The story is fast paced though not much twists and turns. Despite the lack of twists and turns, the story is unputdownable and a page turner in my opinion. However, the ending was a bit predictable but then overall, I actually enjoyed reading this thriller based in northern Italy. The descriptions of northern Italy made me feel like I was in Italy. I also like the slightly family drama mentioned in the book, Amy’s relationship with the bartender Nate and the mention of how Olivia may have been sexually abused by one of the guests all made a juicy unputdownable thriller.

If you like a thriller baded in a holiday villa, then this book is one for you. Looking forward to read more books from this author. Worth 4.5 stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Helen Cooper is a writer of psychological thrillers from Derby, England.

She has taught English and Academic Writing in both Further and Higher Education and was Head of Learning Enhancement at the University of Birmingham. She has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University and has been published in Writers’ Forum, Mslexia, the Lincolnshire Echo and Derbyshire Life. She was shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Prize in 2014 and came third in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize in 2018. The Downstairs Neighbour is her first novel.

Helen has also co-authored two books on academic writing for university students, ‘Where’s Your Argument?’ and ‘Using Feedback to Boost Your Grades’, published by Macmillan International and written in collaboration with Michael Shoolbred.

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