Book review: The House mate by CL Pattison

I’m a big fan of house share-from-hell stories so couldn’t wait to get stuck into this one.

Pharmacist Megan who’s calm and organised and theatre set designer Chloe, who’s creative and sensitive and suffers from night terrors, have been best friends forever since meeting at university twelve years ago. Now both living in London they find the perfect house to share but the only way they can afford the rent is to find a third tenant. When they meet Sammi, a freelance fashion journalist who loves cooking, she seems the perfect house mate.

But gradually doubts creep in and suspicion grows between Megan and Sammi, while Sammi seems determined to get close to Chloe. Strange things happen and Megan and Chloe wonder if letting a stranger into their house was really such a good idea.

This is a light, quick read that for me got better and better as it went along. I loved the Single White Female vibe and was desperate to see where it would all lead.

It’s a story about friendship, rivalry and mental health. told in three viewpoints – Megan, Chloe and an anonymous, disturbed and damaged eleven year-old girl. Obviously, this girl is going to grow up to be one of the housemates but which? I had a hunch from the start but had to keep reading to see if I was right and most importantly how this character had been shaped into the person she now was. Watch out for lies, misdirection and unreliable narrators!

I love the small cast which makes for a brilliantly claustrophobic situation and reinforces the tension between the women. I’d hate to be in a house-share with any of these women but they make for a highly readable psychological thriller which I think would appeal to fans of Louise Jensen and Laura Marshall.

The House Mate is published by Headline and is available in kindle, paperback and audiobook formats.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a review copy which has in no way influenced my opinion.


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