‘A Stranger’s House‘ is Clare Chase’s second novel. I was very happy when I heard that it had been published, as I really loved her first one. Therefore setting the scale of my hopes for her second! Clare’s first book ‘So You Think You Know Me’ was brilliant. You can read my review of it here!
But now for my thoughts on her latest release…..I loved it.
What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?
When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.
But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…
But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?
The lead character in this book is Ruby, after splitting with her partner finds herself in a difficult situation with nowhere to go. She takes on a job as a house sitter. I have often thought a house sitter would be a great job – paid for living and keeping an eye on a house that you don’t have to pay any bills for, and usually really nice houses! After reading this book, I am a bit more sceptical! This house led to a lot of stressful encounters for Ruby. Great idea for a crime mystery though!
This book leads us through Ruby and Nate’s point of view. Ruby is a great character, the Author has put enough detail and thought into Ruby that I could understand her thoughts and movements. Ruby is a writer and her investigations about her books show through in her interest into the mysteries she encounters in A Stranger’s House. She is brave yet emotional. If she weren’t emotional after all she had been through, the character wouldn’t have worked I think.
Nate is a great character too, I didn’t understand him as easily as I did Ruby. I think the Author did this on purpose so that we are left guessing throughout the story. A side line character is Ruby’s friend Steph. I wasn’t as keen on her. I don’t think she was there for Ruby as much as she should have been. But as a side line character maybe we were only supposed to see glimpses of her?
I like that this story was based in Cambridge, you can tell the Author is writing where she knows very well. I haven’t ever been to Cambridge, but I would re read this book if I were to visit. Although I enjoy crime books set in America, I always find the British based ones that tiny bit more relate-able.
There were twists and turns of suspense throughout this novel. It is a page turner to make me suspect everyone. But I didn’t guess until the last few chapters, just before Nate and Ruby. However, I had the insight of hearing the surrounding story which Nate and Ruby did not, despite Ruby’s investigating. As I think back over the book there are clue’s throughout, which made the ‘light bulb’s’ go on in my head as I considered them.
The Author’s imagination to create full rounded characters and great plot lines is what will keep me reading Clare Chase’s books even without knowing the synopsis. The expectations are set high for your third book Clare! Keep writing please!
You can find A Stranger’s House here.
Guest review contributed by Chocolate Pages. The best things in the world are books, chocolate, and baking…or at least, so says this blogger. That sounds pretty good to the rest of us too.