Blog Tours book reviews

BLOG TOUR: The Guest Room by Rona Halsall

Published: January 31st 2022
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Format: Kindle

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this outstanding thriller. Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part and the eBook ARC.



You think you’re safe in your home. You’re wrong.

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.

Until the strange things start happening once more.

And Steph realises that someone is out to scare her…

Someone who will stop at nothing to make her never, ever feel safe again.

The most twisty and unputdownable thriller of the year – perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Mark Edwards and Gone Girl.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Rona Halsall is the queen of the twisty, morally complex thriller. And she’s delivered another knock-out with her latest offering, The Guest Room, a gripping tale that will pull you in, mess with your mind and then spit you out when it’s done.  I thought I knew what was happening and where it was heading, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  My jaw hit the floor when Halsall pulled the rug from under me and turned everything I thought I knew on its head in a spectacular finale that I’m still reeling from. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go back to the beginning…

Steph is trying to put her broken life back together and embrace a new beginning after being left by her husband of thirty years.  But her new beginnings don’t mean acquiescing to her ex and agreeing to sell her home, which is her comfort and safety as well as the place where all her precious memories are held.  Although lately it hasn’t felt so safe with all the strange happenings and break-ins that have occurred.  She decides to take in a lodger, offering shelter to a young homeless man named Noah, much to the anger of her ex and their daughter.  But Noah makes her feel safer.  Or at least he does at first.  Soon strange things begin to happen again and Steph is certain that this is personal.  Someone is out to get her.  But who is it and what do they want? 

As with all of Ms. Halsall’s books, this is well written and evocative, Steph’s fear, loneliness and isolation leaping from the page and giving me chills as she is terrorised in her own home.  I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next and trying to figure out who she could trust.  Was her ex-husband really trying to force her out of their home?  Or is someone else behind it all?  I had my suspicions.  And they were completely wrong.  I don’t think I would have guessed where this was going if I’d had an infinite number of guesses. 

I really liked Steph and felt an immediate kinship with her, having also found myself adrift after the end of a marriage at one time.  I really felt for her as she grappled with all of her new decisions and responsibilities while trying to come to terms with a new life that she never wanted.  I could understand why she was holding onto her home at all costs; it’s her anchor, her familiarity, and a way to stand up to the man who walked out and took away the life she loved.  My heart went out to her as she wondered if she is paranoid, imagining things or over sensitive when things begin to happen and then doesn’t know who to trust as she becomes sure someone is out to get her.  Where do you turn when you don’t know who is after you?  

Compelling, tense and utterly riveting, The Guest Room is an outstanding thriller.  And Rona Halsall is an author all thriller fans should be reading.  Don’t miss this book.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰



Rona is the author of bestselling psychological thrillers published by Bookouture. Her challenge in writing 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 while working as a business mentor. She now lives on the Isle of Man with her husband, two dogs and two guinea pigs.

She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful glens and beaches on the Island while she’s plotting her next book. She has three children and two step-children who are all grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories.



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Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the blog tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles ☺️ Emma xxx

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