Tuesday 3 January 2023

Book Review: The Lodger by Helen Scarlett (Historical Fiction)

Title: The Lodger
Author: Helen Scarlett
Publisher: Quercus Books
Publication Date: 19 January 2023
Pages: 352
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

London in 1919 was a city of ghosts and absences, haunted by the men who marched away but never came back from 'the war to end all wars.'

Grace Armstrong believes that she has come to terms with her own loss, the death of her fiancé, the brilliant and dazzling best friend of her brother. He was declared Missing in Action during the Battle of the Somme, but he starts to reappear both in her waking life and dreams.

Grace is appalled when a body, dragged from the Thames, is identified as Catherine Smith, who has lodged with Grace and her family for the last eight years before suddenly disappearing.

Catherine had been more than a lodger; she had become a close friend to Grace, who feels compelled to find out what happened. In doing so she is drawn reluctantly into the sordid and dangerous underbelly of London and a scandal that rocked Edwardian society. Soon Grace finds herself under threat, and the only person prepared to listen is the brooding Tom Monaghan. But Tom has dark shadows of his own to navigate before being able to put his past behind him to help Grace in her quest for the truth.


The Lodger was an okay historical fiction read. The premise sounded interesting from the blurb, and in some ways it was, but I never really got completely invested in the story, nor in the romance aspect, which seemed a bit thrown in without a lot of page time or development. But, that said, there was nothing wrong with the writing and the pacing was fine. I certainly didn't dislike it; I simply didn't love it. If you are into historical fiction with a bit of a mystery twist, you are sure to find something to appreciate here. It gets 3.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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