Friday, June 30, 2023

Book Review: The Roommate

Also known as The Flatmate (UK)

By Sara Steven

It was surreal returning to work after a five-month enforced sabbatical following the suspicious death of my best friend Livvy at a work event. I was grateful for the time away to grieve and had slotted straight back in work But a surprise awaited my return. Amanda Dowd, Livvy’s replacement, was firmly entrenched as my new flatmate in the company apartment. Something didn’t feel right, I felt on edge. But everyone seemed to love Amanda.

Even my ex-Jayden was blinded by her outgoing personality and model looks. Yet her desperation to become friends felt unnatural. When I began to receive calls, photos and presents supposedly from Livvy, I became spooked… someone was targeting me, watching me. With my job, home and life on the line, I had to find out who was doing this to me. I knew I hadn’t caused Livvy’s death; I still believed it was no accident. Someone else was guilty and I had to find out who before I was next… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Gemma Rogers is an expert at writing thrillers, and The Roommate is the latest great addition. I loved not knowing what’s really going on or who the real culprit is, with moments that made me question if even Ria, the main character, could be a suspect! Are the threats, the phone calls, text messages and macabre gifts actual events that have occurred, or is it all in Ria’s head? Even Ria questions that. 

As the synopsis indicates, everyone loves Amanda. Even the way she’s portrayed within the pages showcased a potentially likable character. There were glimpses of possible anarchy, particularly when Ria faces off with Amanda, seeking the truth. Yet, anyone would become defensive when there are accusations. Is Amanda the one who is pulling the strings, or is it someone else? I even sought out secondary characters who could potentially be the troublemakers, because it was the ultimate mystery. 

I appreciated the backstories provided for both Ria and Amanda. It helped to better understand where both characters come from, particularly with how Ria was raised and the type of homelife she had with her mother, and the relations that Amanda has with her family. It better explained their motives, too. Ria will stop at nothing to discover the truth about her best friend Livvy, even if that means risking her own life to do it. The climax to the story was riveting!

I was completely all in for this Single White Female-esque story! The Roommate will leave you guessing the entire time you read it, making it the ultimate page-turner.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links: 
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble

Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Her debut novel Stalker was published in September 2019 and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband and two daughters.

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