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The Couple Upstairs: An addictive psychological thriller with a gripping twist Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B098X8K8N8
- Publisher : Bookouture (13 September 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 1593 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 304 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 826 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Nina and Zac are adulting - buying their first home together, and hoping that they’ll create a life, with neighbours as friends, successful businesses, and a happy future together.
That is, until things start going wrong. Nina suspects Chris, the abrasive upstairs neighbour, who has all the hallmarks of a toxic abusive relationship with his pregnant wife, Ness.
This thriller keeps the suspense going at a good pace, until about three quarters through - how much more could go wrong? Quite a lot, it would seem. Nina is in a battle for her relationship, her business, her sanity, it would seem, and eventually, her life. Who is behind this campaign of terror? That kept me guessing to the end, but I did find the dragged-out revenge plans a bit OTT. That’s just me. I like my revenge subtle.
The last book I read was one in which poses the question "how well do you know your neighbours?" as did the one before that? Am I sensing a pattern here? LOL However, not to be outdone, Shalini puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and thrashes out yet another outstanding domestic thriller that will have us questioning just how well we really do know our neighbours!
“Our new home was supposed to be a chance to leave our past behind. But was moving here the worst mistake of our lives?”
When Nina and Zac first set eyes on 15A Mistletoe Lane, it's love at first sight. The flat, which was once couple with the upstairs flat to make an even bigger home, is perfect for their needs with a couple of outbuildings in which Nina can house her online fashion business which she has named "Mistletoe Lane" in honour of their first home together.
Excited at the prospect of all the things they could do with the space, Zac and Nina arrive on moving-in day to a welcoming party in the form of Chris and Vanessa Jackson who are expecting their first child and live in the upstairs flat. Almost at once, Chris immediately defers to Zac and practically ignoring Nina whilst his wife Vanessa barely utters a word expect to hand over a chocolate cake she baked as a welcome gift. After devouring the scrumptious cake, Nina and Zac suddenly fall ill to a mysterious stomach bug some hours later. It couldn't have been the cake, surely? But even so, the two events now linked in their minds, Nina can barely stomach the thought of chocolate since.
As soon as they have set up their new home, Nina decides to throw a flat-warming party, inviting the neighbours as well as their friends and family. It proves to be something of a success as they meet and greet their new neighbours and catch up with old friends. Although it's a shame her brother Henry's fiance Belinda had to turn up. The woman is a self-absorbed cow, always looking down her nose at Nina and never far from Nina's mother whose champagne taste has her looking a little distastefully at the dated decor of their new home. Despite some of their neighbours looking a little like fish out of water, the evening is a success. And Zac and Nina are looking forward to settling into this neighbourhood which is just a stone's throw from the beach.
Throughout the day Zac is busy with his self-employed plumbing business whilst Nina busies herself with launching "Mistletoe Lane". Although this place was initially out of their budget, because it was to be a working from home business they were able to factor that into their mortgage to negotiate a loan with the help of her new investor. As it was, if it hadn't have been for her investor they might never have known about the existence of this place and Nina hasn't stopped thanking her lucky stars.
And then things begin to go wrong...
Despite their initial friendliness, their upstairs neighbours appear to be somewhat standoffish to the point of rude. And then there are the catastrophic arguments to which Zac and Nina are subjected with the crashing and moving about of furniture and Chris' angry shouts. And why does Chris always defer to Zac but ignore Nina? Why does his wife never speak or hardly leave the flat? Is she intimidated or fearful of him? And why is Zac so enamoured by his new buddy Chris and unable to see what Nina does?
As if that's not enough, her business starts to collapse. Nina had initially employed Vanessa on a casual basis for three hours three days a week. Until her investor got wind of it and the drop in their reviewer rating and suggest Nina let her go until business picks up enough to employ an assistant. Her once popular business now begins to struggle in light of recent bad reviews which now affect sales. From a top that gave a customer a bad rash to comments about rude staff and customer service, Nina has no idea who is doing this to her or why? She begins to suspect her brother's fiance Belinda, thinking she may fear Nina as a rival to her high-end designer stores. But if it isn't, then who is out to destroy her? And more importantly, why?
Then just when Nina thought things couldn't get any worse, she sees Chris having a quiet word with Zac outside their flat one afternoon as he returned home from work after which Zac punched his van, jumped in and drove off with Chris in the passenger seat. What had Chris said that had riled Zac up so much? What she discovers makes her blood run cold. And even worse, Zac refuses to take her calls or even talk to her to get her side of the story. But even when he does...he doesn't listen. So entrenched is he in what Chris had told him that he would take the word of a stranger he has known barely weeks over that of his girlfriend who he has known for five years! The very idea was ludicrous.
And just when Nina discovers the truth behind the campaign that has been waged against her, is it too late for her and Zac? Will he reach her in time? Or will he be too late?
Shalini Boland is a go-to author for me as I can always count on her to thrill and entertain me at a rate of knots while still managing a twist here and there to throw me off (sometimes). I hardly ever read the premise to her books before grabbing them because I just know I won't be disappointed because...I've said it before and I'll say it again...even a bad book by Shalini is a good book!
And I wasn't disappointed. THE COUPLE UPSTAIRS is a fast paced addictive, is frustrating, domestic thriller which had me turning the pages in an attempt to finish before dinner. I read this book in one day as it is such a quick and easy read, as most of Shalini's books are.
The story unfolds through Nina's first person narrative with the inclusion of "THEN" chapters by an unnamed character who will leave us guessing as to their identity. I thought one person, then another before quickly adding a couple of others to my suspect list, before discovering my first choice was the culprit. As with all characterisations, we are left guessing throughout as Shalini is a dab hand at painting each one with slightly unpleasant traits. There is an extra twist that may shock some readers but I had the foresight to believe no one and challenge everything...which lead me to an unlikely aspect.
Overall, THE COUPLE UPSTAIRS will not disappoint die-hard Shalini fans and is perfect for those who enjoy a good twisty domestic thriller that is both addictive and fast-paced from beginning to end.
The Couple Upstairs is another belter of a read from Shalini Boland that is fast paced, suspenseful and will have you reading long into the night. It is stories like these that make me glad that I don’t socialise with my neighbours, only exchanging a quick hello if we happen to cross paths.
For Nina and Zac, buying their first home together should be a joyous occasion, but right from the get go things start to go wrong. As the story progresses more and more things start to happen which really starts to put a strain on the once happy and carefree couple. Someone is out to destroy them, but why?
The characters have been well crafted and developed. My heart went out to Nina and she is really put through the wringer. It also wouldn’t be a Shalini Boland book if there wasn’t a good twist thrown in and once again she has delivered.
The Couple Upstairs is another example of whatever Shalini Boland touches, turns to gold. Perfectly plotted and executed, if you are looking for a tense and gripping read then look no further. You get this and so more with this outstanding read!
From the very first chapter I knew I was going to enjoy the story.
I could not put the book down as the story kept me on the edge of my seat.
The drama and suspense are excellent. I have read many of Shalini Boland’s other books and I think they are all fantastic.
I loved all the characters and could easily relate to them.
Top reviews from other countries
The Couple Upstairs is told from Nina's perspective, with intermittent chapters in the past by an unknown person. It's a tense exhilarating read with short chapters that flow seamlessly throughout the book. The plot is well executed with characters that are, in the main, likeable, but I have to admit Chris gave me the creeps! This author creates fiction that reels you in from page one, keeps you hooked and then spits you out at the end, wondering just what the hell happened. She is one of a few authors whose books I will read without even looking at the blurb, because I just know it's going to be a great read, this one was no exception, I devoured it in less than 48 hours, and the final twist was superb. I've awarded this book 5 stars, not only because it's a great read, but also because it recovered my reading mojo, which has been missing in action recently, and that's always a welcome bonus, so thank you Shalini Boland.
The characters were weak. After everything that had happened and was happening to them they couldn't deduce who was trying to wreck their lives? Come on, I didn't have to be Miss Marple to see that!
A twenty year feud over something that wasn't even that interesting? Not my cup of tea at all.
Just when you think the story is heading in one direction you are thrown for a loop and are taken on a new and dangerous path!
Absolutely thrilling read from start to finish