Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog Tour: The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

ARC clearly defined in accordance with policy here


Today, I'm hosting the final stop on the blog tour for The Upstairs Room, by Kate Murray-Browne. The cover of this caught my eye on Netgalley instantly, and I was thrilled when the publishers got in touch to see if I'd like to take part in the blog tour. Thanks to Don and Picador!


Eleanor and Richard have bought the house of their dreams - a Victorian townhouse in London. They rent the basement out to Zoe, a twenty-something year old receptionist at the development firm where Richard works. As Richard becomes slightly obsessed with keeping tabs on Zoe, Eleanor is convinced that something evil is at work in the house. The name "Emily" appears in scrawls all over the walls, and her youngest child Rosie becomes more and more hostile. Eleanor soon realises that the house may be affecting her health, and vows to figure out what's going on.

Meanwhile, Zoe is contemplating her life and comparing herself to others who seem to have done more. She has horrific nightmares and dreams about the presence of a young girl. Is the house starting to affect her too? 


I've been describing this as "Hammer Horror meets David Nicholls". There are two very different stories linked by the house - Zoe's story is the contemporary relationship drama, a young woman unsure of what she wants from life. Eleanor's is the story of a woman in a marriage bordering on stale, who is desperately trying to figure out why the house is having such a detrimental effect on her health. She's worried about her children, especially her daughter Rosie. She wants to find out what happened in the house - and who "Emily" is........or was. 

This novel could have worked without Zoe's story - but I think it adds another dimension, and gives the book a modern feel. It's set in 2013, but parts of it are so creepy and dark that you could be forgiven for thinking it was a gothic setting. 

I'd recommend this if you like contemporary stories with a creepy edge. I'm a big fan of houses being used as characters, and this one has plenty of personality. I also liked that there were some genuinely quite spooky moments (the one that inspired the photograph above gave me chills). 

The Upstairs Room is published today, July 27th by Picador. 


If you'd like to visit the other stops on the blog tour, you can find them below - there are extracts, reviews and lots more. 


Talk at me!