#BookReview: The Woman in my Home by C.R. HOWELL @JoffeBooks #psychologicalthriller #domesticthriller

Hi everyone! Today, I have a review for an eBook from an author new to me, C.R. Howell. My last read from them was a 1-star monstrosity, but I’m pleased to say this book makes 3 now that I’ve loved.

This is a gripping read with palpable tension from the get go, which I picked it up via Joffe Books ARC >>>

About the Book:

Book cover for The Woman in my Home by C R Howell. Slightly ajar door with woman in red partly revealed.I thought I could never leave my little girls. But I had to.

My husband told me that the accident was my fault. That I was to blame when our beautiful, funny two-year-old daughter almost died.

So ten months ago I left. I left our isolated house in the wild, windswept village where we lived. I left my little girls. And every day away from them was agony. I missed the soapy smell of their hair and their laughs and the way they played together under the apple tree.

But now I’m back, knocking on my own front door like a stranger.

There’s a woman living in my home. Taking care of my daughters. Sharing a bed with my husband.

And she has a newborn baby.

Everything I thought I knew . . . was a lie.

The absolutely gripping and page-turning new psychological suspense from debut author C.R. Howell, with a killer twist you won’t see coming.

My Review:

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

So gripping I read this in one sitting

Many thanks to Joffe books for this free eARC.

‘She wasn’t crying. That was the terrifying part.’ … From these opening lines, the story and characters pull you in. I connected with them all immediately, and the author has a real knack of making even the narcissistic, controlling, and outright despicable people tolerable enough to read.

Right from the start the tension is palpable and grows with every page. I had to keep remembering to breathe. It’s all the worse for its subtlety. Psychological and emotional abuse scars you in ways people don’t see unless they care to, which makes it so insidious and disgusting. This book captures all of this in a realistic, compelling, and sensitive manner. I could not put this book down!

Though the writing is passive, which would—usually—put me off, the writer executes the narrative skilfully, which makes this a smooth read as well as a compelling one. Here are some lines which stood out for me …

‘[…]as he fixed his gaze on me, the realisation passed over his eyes like a shadow in water.’

And …

‘Though it was he who made me this way—weaker, less sure of myself—he also hated me for it. That was the unfairness—and the stupidity.’

And …

[…]and while feeling grateful for this attention, I also had a prickly sense of exposure, like a creature uncovered in the grass.’

And …

People came, bringing presents and clichés.’

I loved so many it proved difficult to choose so few. The setting is also incredibly well depicted, and I love how the many references to the near mountains enhance the mood, whether it be brightly lit and inspiring or gloomy, overcast, and dangerous.

To some, this may seem a slow read until the final 25%, but the tension and fear is there throughout and so subtly done I loved it. The way the story unfolds, following the same POV but switching between different yet relevant time periods and the present, makes for a tantalising slow reveal about the silent menace and what really happened.

I cannot recommend this book or the author highly enough. It gets a solid five stars from me. Go read this novel.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

 


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon 💕🙂

 

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links … (The book releases today!)

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/


22 Comments on “#BookReview: The Woman in my Home by C.R. HOWELL @JoffeBooks #psychologicalthriller #domesticthriller

  1. Juicy review Harmony. I always enjoy your reviews and have added many to my TBR because of you, lol. <3 xx

    • That’s wonderful! Thanks, Debby, and sorry about your TBR 😉🤗💕🙂

  2. This book sounds really good. Thanks for the review 🩵

  3. I’m not into psychological thrillers so your mention of ‘passive’ actually makes it more appealing. Thanks for the review, Harmony!

    • Oh, Jacqui, the abuse and manipulation are so subtly done! It’s very different from most mainstream psychological thrillers but incredibly enjoyable and effective for that. Thanks for stopping by 💕🙂

  4. A solid five stars – what an endorsement, Harmony! I’ve been reading more suspense/thrillers lately, and this sounds like a captivating one.

    • So captivating! It’s a shame some readers completely miss the subtle abuse and manipulation that runs through right from the start. One person even said nothing happened until the last 30%, which says to me they’re blind to domestic abuse unless it’s via obvious violence. Ugh.
      As a skilled reader/reviewer, I’m sure it will hit you the same way it hit me. Thanks, Teri 💕🙂

  5. What a powerful story captured in your review, Harmony. Thank you for sharing this with us. I will check it out. 🌞

  6. WOW!
    I read the review and went straight to Amazon to get it.
    Love the quotes… love physiological thrillers…
    Great to see you online, Harmony.
    Hugs,

    • That’sfantastic! Thanks so much, Sarah. It’s good to be back, even if only now and then 😁 Hugs 🤗💕🙂