The New Home
August 13, 2021

Book Review

The New Home

reviewed by Pam Guynn

The New Home by Chris Merritt is suspenseful, shocking, and pulls on your heart strings. This psychological thriller is a standalone novel and the second book that I have read by this author.

Freya Northcott and Jack Brown are engaged and have purchased a new home in the London suburb of Weybridge. Jack is a cardiologist and has a new job as a consultant with a local hospital. Freya makes film documentaries. They’re looking forward to fixing up their new house and making it into their forever home.

All of their friends are in London, so Freya is thrilled to meet next door neighbor Emily and hopes they will become best friends. However, things don’t seem to be smooth at a dinner party for the two couples. Then, four months later, Emily and her daughter, Thea, disappear and no one, including the police and Emily’s husband, seem to be looking for them. Freya is determined to find them. Are they dead? Were they kidnapped? Or did something else happen? Who is telling the truth?

Freya is a character that causes readers to feel a lot of emotions. She has depth and is someone that you hope is a reliable narrator. But is she? She can be irritating at times and evoke empathy at other times. The other characters have a variety of depths, but provide either support or conflict to move the story line to its unexpected conclusion.

There are several twists to the story, some predictable while others are surprising. It seems everyone has secrets. How do they play into the story? Are Freya’s efforts to find Emily and Thea helping or a detriment? Who can be trusted? While the writing brought to life the house and garden, I couldn’t tell that this was set in England until nearly the end of the book.

The author drew me into the story immediately. It is mainly told from Freya’s point of view, but there are short chapters from an unknown antagonist. Will you guess who it is? The pacing was somewhat slower in the first half of the book, but that gave this reader time to connect to the characters. The ending is dramatic and riveting. Themes include relationships, domestic abuse, mental health, friendship, secrets, resilience, courage, the importance of communication, and much more.

Overall, this book was creative, moving, intense, impactful, and thought-provoking. Although psychological thrillers are not my favorite genre, the suspense and excellent writing kept me glued to the book. Readers that enjoy psychological thrillers will likely enjoy this novel. I’m looking forward to reading another book by this excellent author.

Bookouture and Chris Merritt provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for September 7, 2021.

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