Book Review: The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin

TheRoombytheLakeAbout the Book

When Caitlin moved from London to New York, she thought she had left her problems behind: her alcoholic father, her dead mother, the pressure to succeed. But now, down to her last dollar in a foreign city, she is desperately lonely. Then she meets Jake. Handsome, smart, slightly damaged Jake. It looks like she has found the fresh start she longed for. But Caitlin realizes too late that she might become lost forever…

Format: Hardcover Publisher: Head of Zeus Pages: 368
Publication: 10th Aug 2017 Genre: Thriller

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My Review

Following the death of her mother after years of acute mental illness and feeling betrayed by her father’s relapse into alcohol dependency, Caitlin escapes to New York, leaving no trace behind of her intended destination. Intelligent but socially awkward, Caitlin is introspective, a loner by nature, with no previous serious relationships and hypersensitive to any sign she may have inherited the psychoses of her mother.

Caitlin is seeking a sanctuary and after weeks roaming New York alone dares to believe she has found it in the person of Jake. He seems to understand her and it appears Caitlin has at last found someone with whom she can share the thoughts and fears she’s kept hidden for so long.   When Jake invites her to travel upstate to meet the loving family he’s told her about, Caitlin readily accepts. What follows will test Caitlin’s resilience, her sense of her own identity, her strength of will and her very sanity.

The author creates a convincing picture of a damaged, traumatised individual making subsequent events believable. This is definitely a slow burner that builds in tension as, with a growing sense of unease – like Caitlin – the reader starts to question whether what appears benign is really masking something more insidious and much, much darker.

I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers Head of Zeus in return for an honest review.

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In three words: Unsettling, dark, psychological


EmmaDibdinAbout the Author

Emma says: ‘I’m a lifelong writer and pop culture nerd, and feel endlessly grateful to have a job that combines both. Since moving to New York from London two years ago, I’ve spent a lot of time brewing coffee, writing fiction, and covering the ever-broadening selection of Peak TV – all while fighting a one-woman war against the culinary tyranny of cilantro. My first novel, The Room By The Lake, will be published in the UK on 10th August 2017.

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