The Guest House – Robin Morgan-Bentley


Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first baby.

With a few weeks to go, they head off for a final weekend break in a remote part of the North Pennines. The small and peaceful guesthouse is the ideal location to unwind together before becoming parents. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Barry and Fiona, the older couple who run the guesthouse. They cook them dinner and show them to their room before retreating to bed themselves.

The next morning, Jamie and Victoria wake to find the house deserted. Barry and Fiona are nowhere to be seen. All the doors are locked. Both their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared. Even though it’s a few weeks early, Victoria knows the contractions are starting.

The baby is coming, and there’s no way out.

Robin Morgan-Bentley

Robin Morgan-Bentley was born and grew up in London. After studying Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University, he went on to work for Google before moving to Audible, where he has been working since 2014.

His debut thriller, The Wreckage, was nominated for the CWA Dagger John Creasey New Blood Award, the CrimeFest Specsavers Debut Crime Award and Capital Crime’s Debut Book of the Year Award.

Robin lives in Buckinghamshire with his husband and son.

I am delighted to introduce Ellen Devonport to Compulsive Readers as my new regular guest reviewer. Ellen will be reading and reviewing all the brilliant books that I don’t have time to read for the blogtours.

Ellen’s Reviews

Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first child and the road to conception wasn’t easy with fertility issues and numerous failed IVF attempts. A few weeks before the due date they book a final weekend break for just the two of them in the North Pennines. The Guest House is owned by an older couple, Fiona and Barry who give them a meal before they all turn in for the night. In the early hours Victoria goes into labour but Fiona and Barry can’t be found, they are locked in, their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared…the baby is coming and they are trapped!!

The Guest House is a book that delivers twist after twist. I was grabbed from the start and couldn’t put the book down. Apologies to my family who got no sense (or meals) from me until I’d finished. This was a total one sitting read – I HAD to know what was going on!

The thought of going into labour in such a remote setting is terrifying enough never mind being held captive in a house where the owners are adamant that the baby you are about to have is going to be handed over to them to keep and raise as their own. Barry and Fiona are SO scary, the fact that Barry is ex police force backs up the thought that there would be no alternative way out of the situation. What would you do?

The book skips forward a month and the couple are in London apparently mourning the loss of their much longed for child. They are receiving postcards threatening them with police action if they speak out and an implication of murder…we are left wondering what did happen in that Guest House.

I loved how the story was told from the different characters points of view and my sympathy was constantly shifting between Jamie and Victoria. I think I’d plump for Jamie; I’ve never read a book featuring a character that has cerebral palsy and seeing Jamie’s frustration at his own limits was hard to read. Also the way in which people approached his disability was an eye opener, I know how rude people can be and I’m sure the author has based some of these comments and reactions on his own experiences. 

There’s not much more I can say without spoiling any of the amazing twists – go read it!

Five stars!!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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