Home by Kaira Rouda
1/18/22; 300 pages
Thomas & Mercer
Somebody's Home by Kaira Rouda is a recommended novel of domestic suspense.
Julie (Cohen) Jones left her wealthy, controlling husband Roger and their large house to move into a house she has purchased on the other side of the tracks in Oceanside, Orange County, California. She has taken her seventeen-year-old daughter Jess with her, but Jess is not thrilled to leave her wealthy lifestyle behind. Jess is intrigued with the good looking young man living in the carriage house, Tom Dean. His father, Pastor Doug Dean was involved in a scandal and he and his second wife, Sandi, sold the main house to Julie. Now she has moved into the main house and Tom, who has no where to go, is supposed to move out of the carriage house in a couple days. But Tom is angry at his father and he has other plans.
At the opening of Somebody's Home we know that someone is in a woman's home who shouldn't be there. Then we go back in time a couple days and the actions that The narrative is told through the points of view of Julie, Roger, Jess, Tom, and Sandi. None of the characters are particularly likable and all the men are downright loathsome. Sandi is the only character who at least elicits some compassion and sympathy. All of them are depicted as caricatures of a type of person rather than realistic real people. It is a challenge to become invested in any of these characters.
This novel alternates between almost too many points-of-view while setting up the plot and developing the story, which results in a slow build up of tension. The action is very slow through most of the plot, but there is enough foreshadowing that bad things are going to happen soon to hold your attention until it actually is set into place. Once the action actually takes off, it escalates quickly, but the alternating narrators become a hindrance on the build up to the final ending. The ending is action packed, but it seems it could have been presented in a better manner. In the final analysis, Somebody's Home is entertaining, but the slow build up and cardboard caricatures were a drawback.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer.