The Guest Room by Rona Halsall

Published: January 31, 2022
Pages: 311
Genre: Psychological Thriller
KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Rona Halsall is the author of Best Selling psychological thrillers published by Bookouture. She loves puzzles, and her challenge is to find domestic storylines with twists that her readers will never guess.
She was born in Nottingham, grew up near Blackpool, and went to college in Leeds. She then moved to Snowdonia, North Wales, where she brought up her family working as a business mentor. She now lives on the Isle of Man with her husband and two dogs.

Steph used to think her life was perfect. A happy marriage, two wonderful kids, and a home she felt safe in and called her own. But now her husband has walked out after thirty years, her daughter Bea is married and lives miles away, and Steph’s estranged son hasn’t made contact in years. Home doesn’t feel like the safe haven it once did.

When she begins to hear noises in the night, at first she thinks she’s imagining things. But then she finds open windows she knows she left closed, and a strange smell in the kitchen – and she knows none of it feels right.

Then her front window is smashed, and a young man named Noah helps her fix it. He’s fallen on hard times and Steph impulsively offers him a place to stay. He reminds her of her missing son, and as a mother she finds herself wanting to help him. Also, if he is there, she won’t be home alone.

Before long Noah is living in Bea’s old bedroom, paying rent, and getting his life back on track. Steph’s ex-husband and Bea are furious. But Steph feels secure at last, and that’s what matters.

“More concerning, though… Would they do it again?”

Steph is trying to figure out her next step- her husband of 30 years recently left her, her daughter is married, and her son has been estranged for ten years. The only thing keeping Steph going is her job at the homeless shelter. At the shelter is where she meets Noah, a young man who reminds her of her son, Max, which increases her desire to help him. The question now is, who will help Steph?

This was a deviously twisted story, with a twist that slaps you in the face. I enjoyed the story buildup and the character development. The pacing was steady, with a mass acceleration toward the end.

Steph was a woman lost, trying to figure out her purpose after the life she had known suddenly shattered. Feeling lost, she is determined to find her way. Her daughter, Bea, is always there, but Steph has so much determination to find her way.

Noah is also lost, but for different reasons. He thinks because going to college didn’t work out, he has no choice but to keep moving forward alone. He’s homeless. He doesn’t think he can go home for fear of his family being disappointed. When Steph shows him kindness without expecting anything in return, he feels to protect her.

Bea is the perfect daughter, on paper. She married an ex-football player who has turned into an agent. Her life is seemingly perfect. She constantly tries to get her mum, Steph, to stay at her gorgeous home with her since her husband is away so often.

For most of the novel, Steph comes across as too trusting, but it isn’t that at all. She sees the good in people and situations. And she wants to help. I love the compassion she has for people. The world could use more hearts like Steph’s.

I did not see the twist working out the way it did; that was a well-executed play. The pieces appeared to be free-falling- until they fell into place and left me speechless.

Just when Steph thinks her life is sorted, and she is about to figure out her next step- everything changes. And now, she isn’t sure who to trust.


Leave a Reply