Tess has a bad habit. She can’t stop snooping through her guests' belongings . . .
When Tess is forced to rent out her late sister’s old room to pay the bills, the urge to rummage through her guests’ belongings overtakes her every thought. Teasing herself with forbidden glimpses into the lives of strangers is a momentary thrill, but it’s the closest she’s felt to anyone since the mysterious death of her sister, Rosie.
After her newest lodger, Arran, takes the room, Tess finds his salaciously detailed diary, which chronicles his infatuation with a beautiful stranger. The diary, which appears harmless at first, slowly takes a darker, more menacing tone with each new entry. Is this a crush or an obsession?
Her compulsion to know the truth leads to Tess shadowing Arran through the streets of London, hoping to catch a glimpse of this unnamed woman. And as she continues to peruse his diary, she can’t help but notice the similarities between the woman on the pages and herself.
Tasha Sylva's thrilling debut, perfect for readers of A.J. Finn and Lucy Foley, will keep you asking, Who has truly been watching whom?
About the Author
Tasha Sylva is an aspiring small-scale farmer, with a focus on regenerative agriculture, community and localization. She is currently based in the southwest of England, after time in London, Scotland and southern Spain. For her, the power of story is fundamental, as is the power of language. She regularly asks: how can we foster curiosity and imagination? And, importantly, human connection – to each other, soil, plants and all threads of our environment. When not writing, she can be found swimming in the sea or watching birds. The Guest Room is her debut novel.
"Sylva does a fine job drawing us into Tess’s desperate and paranoid state, making us feel the 'familiar creep of cold disappointment' at each dead end in her sister’s murder investigation. The thrilling ending jumps out of left field. It’s not what you expected."
―The New York Times
"Sylva skillfully illustrates an unmoored character completely consumed by a spiraling, unrelenting grief in a setting where others continue their lives as usual. Moody and proceeding at a measured pace, Tess’ narrative slowly unfolds toward a cinematic resolution."
"A quietly eerie novel that from the first page is so deliciously unsettling that you can't help but read more. I loved it."
—Flora Collins, author of Nanny Dearest
"Lush with description, suspicious characters, and sharp twists, The Guest Room is an atmospheric thriller with a chilling soul. In Tess, Sylva has created a wounded yet tenacious narrator who will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Fans of The Girl on the Train will devour this one!
—L. Alison Heller, author of The Neighbor's Secret
"Tasha Sylva has crafted an absorbing thriller, in which a woman wrestling with her own grief can't tell which of the people in her orbit presents the most menace. It is a dizzying tale of obsession, where nothing—and no one—is exactly as it seems."
—Clémence Michallon, author of The Quiet Tenant
"A gripping mystery surrounding a dead sister that feels at once so unreachable, and yet so unbearably close. Beautifully written, taut, and smart, The Guest Room will have you asking how well you really know those closest to you..."
—L.V. Matthews, author of The Twins
"The Guest Room is a carefully constructed and compelling mystery, and a fine study of the way grief and uncertainty can disturb the mind. The final revelation is unexpected, and the ending is realistic and satisfying."
—Midwest Book Review