Kate Murray-Browne: Buyer Beware

Kate Murray-Browne’s brilliantly suspenseful first novel The Upstairs Room has been described as a ‘property horror story’. Eleanor and Richard, an editor and lawyer respectively, move into a large four-bedroom house in East London with their two small daughters. The house is at the upper limit of what they can afford and Eleanor feels uneasy about it from the start. They take in a lodger, in the form of 27-year-old Zoe, the temp receptionist from Richard’s office, to help pay for the house, but Eleanor soon begins to feel the house is making her ill. She feels it is “rejecting her, like an unwelcome transplant.”