Book Reviews

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden – Book Review

The book cover of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden – Book Details

TITLE – The Housemaid

AUTHOR – Freida McFadden

GENREthriller, mystery, suspense

YEAR PUBLISHED – 2022

PAGE COUNT – 332

MY RATING – 4.5 of 5

RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.54 of 5

A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden in exchange for an honest review.

What It Is About

I don’t love going up there. I don’t have any crazy phobias about attics, but the staircase leading up there is kind of creepy. It’s dark, and the stairs creak with every step. As I follow Andy up the staircase, I stay close to him.

Millie is desperate to get a decent job, and fast. When she gets a job offer by Nina Winchester to be a housemaid in the Winchester’s beautiful home, she is more than happy to overlook all the small issues that come with the position.

But once settled in, the piling mess of all the things that don’t add up are getting harder and harder to ignore. The fact that the doors to her room only lock on the outside. Nina’s demands growing more and more ridiculous. The groundskeeper who looks at Millie as if he is pitying her but refuses to say anything concrete.

Still broke and homeless, Millie is not exactly in a position to quit. And with her growing attraction to Nina’s handsome husband Andrew, she’s not even sure she’d wanted to.

But offers that seem too good to be true are usually exactly that, as Millie is about to discover.

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden – My Review

If I leave this house, it will be in handcuffs. I should have run for it while I had the chance. Now my shot is gone. Now that the police officers are in the house and they’ve discovered what’s upstairs, there’s no turning back.

Well. I didn’t see that coming.

And I was so sure I knew where this was going! Don’t you just love when a good twist slaps you right in the face!

Freida McFadden was a name that kept popping up to me, especially since I’ve gotten much more into thrillers lately. I always had a vague plan to maybe probably see what she’s all about sometime, when I had more time.

But then I saw the ARC of her newest book, The Housemaid, and it seemed like just the kind of thriller I usually prefer – chill and intriguing, dramatic and surprising. Just something you can relax and have fun with without overthinking everything.

Plus, who could resist that cover? Who wouldn’t want to take a peep through that keyhole?

So, of course I had to pick it up, and it didn’t disappoint. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden was a quick, easy read. Nothing spectacular, but every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

This book was thrilling enough to keep me intrigued without being too heavy and on-page gory, making me want to look the other way (like, say, Karin Slaughter). It actually reminded me a bit of A.R. Torre’s thrillers. Immersing and juicy but not too intense. Twisted but not way out there.

Working here is my last chance to start fresh. I can pretend to be whoever I like. But I’ll soon learn that the Winchesters’ secrets are far more dangerous than my own.

I also like when my thrillers have some of that rich-people-problems element. Hey – if a murder is about to occur, why not place it in a beautiful villa?

And when Millie first steps into that place, even being a maid in that household seems like a dream came true. But too soon it gets painfully clear everyone in that house are somewhat broken in one way of another.

The secrets. The lies and inconsistencies. Nina’s mood swings.

Her daughter Cece’s strange behavior.

Andrew looking more and more burdened but staying devastatingly loyal to his wife.

The groundskeeper who looks like he’d like to warn Millie of something, but what?

Plus that prologue featuring a police investigation that clearly suggests a dead body has been found.

It all made for an intriguing read that kept me glued to the page.

And – it got me! Not completely, but still – it actually freaking got me, which almost never happens to me with thrillers.

Maybe I’m just getting rusty. But, even though I caught pretty early on a general direction the story was heading and even though the storyline was something you could already see many times in psychological thrillers, there was still enough twists and revelations I didn’t see coming, and I couldn’t be any happier about it!

I really appreciated how everything was wrapped up in the end. It didn’t real-world make sense, but as far as mysteries and thrillers go, I thought it was done really well.

I turn away from the window to look at Mrs. Winchester’s smiling face. I still can’t quite put my finger on what’s bothering me. There’s something about this room that’s making a little ball of dread form in the pit of my stomach.

Out of the whole thing, I only didn’t like a few tiny details that felt over the top and one smaller part of the resolution. But considering how much I enjoyed the rest, I accepted it gladly.

So, if you are looking for your next thriller for lazy afternoons in a warm early summer weather with a glass of cool lemonade nearby, here’s a good option. The simple narration, good pacing and the general vibe – all perfect to kill some time with, especially if you don’t expect from your thrillers to be perfectly plausible, life changing experiences.

I know we all have different tastes, and do keep that in mind. But to me, this is how a good, captivating thriller should look like.

After The Housemaid, I will definitely be checking out more of Freida McFadden’s books. In fact, I’ve already bought a couple and all I’m waiting for is a little bit of free time.

I will also try to get the audio copies of them. I listened to The Housemaid on audio (narrated by Lauryn Allman), and in my humble opinion – that’s the way to go about it. I’m sure my enjoyment just wouldn’t be the same if I’ve read it physically.

My Signature

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