The beginning of The Upstairs Room reminded me of The Girl Before (J.P. Delaney) in its insistence on putting you straight into the sense of disquiet, which then lasted pretty much throughout. I was willing Eleanor to go with her gut feeling of "It didn't feel right" - I mean surely we all know that buying a house is ALL about that gut feeling - so perhaps it is no surprise when thing start to go wrong.

The house is creepy though, that much is clear, and I'd bet there aren't many people who would say they'd be happy to spend more than 5 minutes in the upstairs room and the sense of foreboding that prevails. The sense of darkness and unease that it suffers from begins to slowly transfer itself to the lives of Eleanor, Richard and Zoe, and though I grappled at times with what exactly the cause of the problem was, I couldn't escape from the idea that it was solely the house to blame. And, aside from the upstairs room it was perhaps the little things that brought the greatest sense of fear - the pebbles, the salmon skin - it all made me decidedly nervous. There was the feeling that normality was being unravelled and so I too was left wondering what on earth was happening and whether one of the inhabitants of the house was culpable for the events.

I felt nothing but sympathy for Eleanor and really wanted to shake Richard so he would acknowledge what she felt. It was infuriating that he always ignored his own doubts, seemingly at his family's expense. The way that she has Zoe were kept separate felt totally natural and unforced, and whilst I wanted them to just talk to each other, it seemed appropriate that things were left unsaid and not dealt with until the end. I had no idea where the book was going or how things were going to be rectified, but I will say that the introduction of Rebecca led to a confrontation that was really quite disturbing.

It's probably not a good book to read just before you turn off the lights for the night that's for sure! A great read.