Jamie and Victoria have been trying to have a baby for a long time. When they finally succeed they decide to go off for the last holiday with just them shortly before the baby is due. So of course they go someplace isolated off in the wilds of England which is what you do when you could go into labor any day now. When they wake up the next morning to find themselves locked in the house and their phones and car keys are gone, of course, Victoria goes into labor. Their helpless panic in the situation struck me poorly. Why not smash a window and hotwire the car.

Their strange hosts return with a ridiculous demand and an unexpected turn of events lead Jamie and Victoria into hot water. They lose their baby and Jamie is obsessed with fixing everything.

There is a lot of back and forth in time, a ploy to keep us in suspense because a chronological story would mean there was no mystery at all.

The Guest House is suspenseful but I occasionally found it tedious. Robin Morgan-Bentley really wants to tie up every loose end, some he should have let dangle. I know nothing about his writing process so this is reckless speculation, but the book feels as though it was written with the organizational help of one of those book-writing programs. A lot of authors use them and they are perfectly legitimate. They don’t come up with ideas or craft beautiful sentences and metaphors. They keep track of things you might forget in the midst of a few hundred pages. So we get the truth about an event long ago in Victoria’s past. Did we need that?

My big complaint though is that Jamie is too good a person. He is too forgiving and just not equipped with the normal human levels of spite, pettiness, and revenge. I just can’t be interested in a character who doesn’t feel real. Victoria, on the other hand, felt equally unreal, but for different reasons, but at least she is a complicated person.

I received a copy of The Guest House from the publisher through NetGalley

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