Today I am reviewing on its publication day The Housemaid by Sarah A. Denzil.
Skills required: Discretion, and the willingness to go the extra mile.
It seems like the perfect job. Great wages, accommodation provided, and all located within the walls of Highwood Hall, a stunning stately home owned by the Howard family. Not many little girls dream of becoming a maid, but this is an opportunity for me to get back on my feet. And for me to revisit my past…
But I soon realise I’ve made a mistake. The strict housekeeper, Mrs Huxley, watches my every move, emerging from the shadows when least expected. Lord Howard’s son, Alex, takes an interest in me, and as a former addict, I find myself drawn to him because I know he’s bad for me.
There’s a general atmosphere of unease at Highwood Hall, from the narrow tunnels laced throughout the sprawling house, to the abandoned north wing, rumoured to be haunted. It’s easy to imagine the secrets hidden within these walls, like the secrets I hold close.
On my first day, I receive a mysterious package. I open up the pretty gift box to find a miniature doll version of me trapped inside a dollhouse. In this scene I’m dead, lying in a pool of red paint at the bottom of the perfectly recreated staircase. Someone sent this threatening diorama to me, but who even knows I work at the hall? And what do they want?
I know only one truth: my perfect job is turning into my perfect nightmare.
With undertones of Daphne du Maurier‘s Rebecca, The Housemaid is a cleverly woven tale set in Yorkshire at the estate of Highwood Hall, home to the revered Howard family. Our unnamed lead takes up the position of housemaid, where immediately things take a dark and sinister turn on her first day and the events that follow, become more than she bargained for.
Denzil does a great job of creating a haunting atmosphere at Highwood Hall and brings about a feeling of evil lurking inside its hidden passages. It really is a character in itself and has been brought to life so vividly. It is also the holder of the Howard family’s shocking secrets, but it quickly becomes apparent that the housemaid also has something to hide and there is a reason why she set Highwood Hall in her sights.
The Housemaid is a slow burn, but with each chapter the intensity is ramped up and the suspense reaches fever pitch. Denzil really knows how to keep her reader engaged and compelled to keep turning the pages. When all is finally revealed, it is unexpected but, it’s the last twist that really packs a punch. Overall The Housemaid is a very enjoyable, thrilling read and in my opinion, Denzil’s best work to date.
Thank you to Sarah A. Denzil and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Housemaid, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.
Let’s Get to Know Sarah A. Denzil
Sarah A. Denzil is a million copy bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. Her books include number one bestseller Silent Child, which was a Goodreads Choice semi-finalist in 2017. Her books have been published in several different languages and have appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her husband and cat, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather. She loves to write moody, psychological fiction with plenty of twists and turns.
For cat pictures and book news follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.