Psychological Thriller with Interesting Subplot

The Apartment - K.L. Slater

“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” or “Caveat Emptor” might be some appropriate ways to describe the main theme of The Apartment, a new suspense thriller by K.L. Slater. The author of nine previous stand-alone psychological crime novels, this latest work demonstrates how a susceptible a vulnerable person can be to predation by the unscrupulous. It explores the power of denial and how suspension of disbelief can cloud judgement during desperate times. Freya is introduced as a woman who is recovering from the recent death of her estranged husband—facing financial hardship while also attempting to maintain stability for her 5-year-old daughter, Skye. Freya is looking at ads for a new place to live when she is approached by a stranger who is seemingly extending extraordinary kindness with no discernible agenda. Freya jumps at what she thinks is a stroke of good luck and an incredible opportunity, despite her initial reservations. Dr. Marsden’s offer of an upscale apartment (at Adder House) at minimal cost and help with enrolling Skye into a prestigious school seems like a godsend at a most critical time. The fact that their “coincidental” meeting may have been orchestrated does not even occur to Freya, and the reader is left helplessly observing her ensnarement in an elaborate trap. After the move she manages to explain away increasing evidence that someone is trying to manipulate and terrorize her. When she does try to account for the strange noises, privacy intrusions and bizarre behavior of her fellow tenants, it is easily dismissed as being caused by her own reactions to stress. Most of the novel is told from Freya’s point-of-view, with other sections narrated by a stalker whose motivations and connection are initially unclear. The stalker describes historical events that appear to be tangential but are eventually revealed to be integral to the current situation at Adder House. The Apartment is a fast-paced and well-constructed thriller complete with plenty of red herrings and misdirection. The book’s subplot is an interesting addition, with a taste of moralistic speculation that adds rather than distracts from the main storyline.  Slater’s existing fans will likely be pleased with this offering, and those new to her writing might be encouraged to seek out earlier works based on its merits.


Thanks to the author, Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing) and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.