The Girl Upstairs pleasantly surprised me with its page-turning mystery and emotionally complex main character.
Suzie Arlington lives alone on the first floor of an apartment flat in London. Due to poor insulation, Suzie can hear every movement of her upstairs neighbour Emily. She knows when Emily is cooking, speaking, blaring loud music, and stomping around in high heels.
One day, Suzie goes up to deliver a package for Emily and notices Emily’s door is open. Upon closer inspection, Suzie observes that the apartment is eerily quiet and in disarray.
Soon, the police begin an investigation and declare Emily as a missing person. For personal reasons, Suzie puts all of her energy into uncovering what happened to her noisy neighbour.
Thoughts on The Girl Upstairs
If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, you won’t find that here. This novel is a character study that examines why Suzie is so invested in finding Emily; and what’s caused her to be in a deep depression and isolate herself.
The majority of the story is from Suzie’s perspective. The chapters are fairly short, making this a fast read, and one that I stayed up late to finish.
The general vibe of the book is quite sad, especially as more answers come out about Suzie’s past. In some ways, Suzie reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, except slightly less charming. I still liked Suzie and felt for her, but she has a similar awkwardness about her.
My one complaint is that the big reveal didn’t make much sense. I shan’t say more than that.
I recommend this to those who enjoy psychological character-driven books that are slower-paced.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you to One More Chapter for the arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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