blog tour · book review · psychological suspense · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Lodger

The Lodger

She’s in your home…

Leigh Simons can’t say for sure what made her do it. A moment of madness, perhaps, but when the young, loud and gorgeous waitress at her favourite coffee shop reveals she is homeless, Leigh offers her the empty room in her house.

In your head…

Gina is the perfect lodger; Leigh, lonely and frustrated with her life, becomes infatuated with the woman – her boldness, her zeal. If only Leigh could be more like Gina…

And missing without trace.

So when Leigh returns from a work trip she’s shocked to find Gina missing. Where could the young woman have gone…and why?

Leigh fears that something terrible has happened – why else would Gina leave her?

But as she sets out to find her missing lodger, what Leigh discovers changes everything she knows about Gina….and her own life, too.

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Author Bio

Valerie Keogh is the internationally bestselling author of several psychological thrillers and crime series, most recently published by Bloodhound.

She originally comes from Dublin but now lives in Wiltshire and worked as a nurse for many years.

Her first thriller for Boldwood will be published in August 2022.

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My Review

The Lodger is a story that drags you into the plot, if only to scream and shout at the main character, Leigh, about so many things. She should have stood up to the creep at work and reported him sooner; she should have not let the boyfriend walk all over her …and she should never, never, never have taken in a lodger on a whim, no matter how kind of her it was to do so.

But that’s where we’re at now. Leigh has a lodger in Gina, a selfish boyfriend in Matt, and an anger management course to attend as a result of finally showing Bernard Ledbetter that his leery ways are not acceptable.
At this point, Gina seems to be the least of her problems. That is, until she returns from the anger management course to find Gina gone, clothes all packed up, and the briefest of notes saying, “I’m sorry.” Matt is in Salisbury where his teaching job is based, acting very oddly and cutting her phone calls short. So, Leigh returns to work to face Ledbetter, only to find he has not been in since she called him out, and everyone seems to have taken his side, blaming her for upsetting the ‘poor man’.
Is there any wonder she feels angry? She has so many unanswered questions: Why did Gina leave? Why is Matt being such a jerk? And why would anyone believe Ledbetter over her?

Things go from bad to worse when she hears movement in her house overnight, finds a disembodied hand in her garden, discovers Matt is lying to her about being at school, and questions are being raised about the missing Ledbetter.

So many twists, so many secrets … just when you believe one thing happened, along comes a swift change of direction to send you into another rabbit hole. If you don’t get giddy from all the twists, then are you even human? 😉

The Lodger is a fantastic thriller in the vein of “if it can go wrong, it will”. Leigh’s self-doubts and insecurities lead her to imagine all sorts of scenarios, and she feels that she’s being mocked for simply thinking those things could be possible. I think this phrase sums it up best:

Sometimes, the brain can overload, decide it’s not going to process anything else. And so it was with Leigh. This last week was the end of her capability.

Getting to the truth is complicated as there are so many layers to peel back, yet Leigh is left with a dilemma –to do the right thing or take the easy way out. Her decision might surprise you, but it will leave you believing in the ability to turn your life around … and if it means wearing more purple, then so be it.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and now I’ve learnt she has a vast back catalogue that I’m going to check out.

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