The Vacancy in Room 10

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A somewhat madcap mystery focusing on young women scorned, misunderstood, and betrayed, – and their search for closure. Focusing mainly on two first person POV heroines, Cass and Anna, each telling their separate story, and expanding to include a troupe of big-hearted down-on-their-luck colorful ladies, whose bbq hotdogs, poolside slurps, and sisterly geniality set the tone for Cass and Anna’s exile to the Sycamores, a former motel, now rundown apartment complex, situated outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“The Sycamores is where broken people live”.

Cassidy Abbott – aka Cass – is a lovely, (if somewhat rough around the edges) handy-woman, thirty-something and never really fitting in to her conventional upper-class gendered life. When we meet her, Cass is now acting as caretaker for the Sycamores in exchange for free rent, after being rendered homeless by her cheating, financially successful ex.

By a twist of plot, Anna Hartley, a recent young widow, lost and broken-hearted, also finds herself at the Sycamores, living her attempt to recreate the last weeks of her husband’s life, in a desperate bid to understand what drove his eventual suicide.

As Cass and Anna’s worlds collide, the author weaves a complex and mostly compelling tale, although this reader did find the pacing uneven and the two main characters often hard to distinguish from each other. There are twists and turns and perhaps too many of them, for an overall ride that was hard to put down in spots, and less satisfying in others.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts created are my own.


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