The Unwelcome Guest
by Amanda Robson
I have just been introduced to the “domestic suspense” novel in reading Amanda Robson’s The Unwelcome Guest. The focus is a power couple: Miles a philosophy professor and his wife Saffron who owns her own niche concierge law firm. They live in Great Britain with their two children and most importantly with Miles’ wealthy, widowed mother Caprice who has decided that living in the annex to the house she bought for them is not suitable. She moves into the big house to be closer to the son she adores.
Caprice detests Saffron from their first meeting and proves herself manipulative, deceptive, and downright evil. The author adds in to that toxic setup Mile’s financially successful brother Aiden who never met Caprice’s standards. He is in love with Saffron, and is divorced from Julie who is Saffron’s assistant. Having gone through a number of nannies, the couple hires Hayley from New Zealand who is good with the children, delighted to live in their luxurious house, and has eyes for Miles.
I did not actually like any of the characters, except the kids. The intrigue within the household made the plot, but I didn’t enjoy reading about it. Evil arose in response to evil, showing the worst side of the characters and often bubbling to the surface.
The format of the book is appropriate for the story which is told in short chapters, sometimes less than a page. Each one is entitled with the name of the character whose point of view is related in the chapter. In this way the action moves forward showing much of the the emotions and motivations of the characters, all the while hiding some of them as well. There are lots of twists and surprises to the very end. I did not fully engage for the first quarter of the book. After that, it was a page turner for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Rating: General—4/5, Personal—3/5
Category: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller
Notes: Trying to be objective as a reviewer, I can share that the book was well written. I liked the way the characters’ thoughts were exposed along with what they actually said. Thus my rating of 4/5. What I learned, however, is that domestic suspense is not a category that attracts me, and for my personal reading pleasure, my rating is 3/5 with no recommendation to read it.
Publication: November 23, 2021—Harper 360 (Avon)
I became Aiden’s challenge. His revenge against his brother for being the one that his woman wanted. If he could bed me, he would. A stag thing; wanting to rut his competition’s mate. Despite the fun I have being with him, the disingenuous nature of his attention always annoys me.
“Caprice’s world centres around Miles. No one else matches him. No one else is good enough. It’s a sadness we both have to face.”
Are you right, Saffron? Is Aiden hitting on you to get back at me? Or is it worse than that. Is he truly in love with you? Aiden Jackson, we have shared much in life, but I am not sharing my wife. My fist clenches. Be careful, Aiden. Still waters run deep.
I don’t read many thrillers because you’re right, they are usually about bad people doing bad things. I loved this line from your review, “Evil arose in response to evil, showing the worst side of the characters and often bubbling to the surface.”
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Thanks, Wendy. We are on the same page on not enjoying reading about “bad people doing bad things.”
I am not surprised you didn’t like any of the characters. From your description, I was thinking none of them sounded likeable. I have avoided this type of book thinking that I would not like it. From your review and your opinion of the book, I think I was right. Great review, Linda!
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Thanks, Gretchen. It was a learning experience for me; it opened my eyes to what I want and don’t want in a book. I just went back to the Goodreads summary. It had suggestions of what was to come, but not how dramatically it would happen. I have to say, however, that the summary was not misleading.
It sounds too negative for me, thanks Linda!
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You are welcome. I don’t think you would enjoy it any more than I did. I’m sure it is the right book for some readers, however.