Date of publication: February 15th, 2022
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Purchase Links: Amazon
Lord Rupert Lacy gives Caz the creeps. But her hippie mother and dreamy younger sister have fallen for his act and accept his invitation to move in. While it’s a step up from living in a van, the dilapidated mansion scares Caz. As she explores its lonely corridors, she begins to suspect that the reclusive aristocrat is hiding a dark secret. Haunted by strange noises and bizarre dreams, Caz tries to warn her family. Only nobody is listening.
In thrall to Lord Lacy, her mum begins to believe that Caz is unhinged and needs medicating. Increasingly desperate and isolated, the teenager feels compelled to take drastic action. Will it be enough to save them before it’s too late?
The Insect Room is a coming-of-age suspense that will keep you guessing right up until its shocking ending.
The van doors clanged open and Caz bolted out into the field.the insect room by felicity hughes
I was instantly intrigued when I read The Insect Room’s blurb on the author’s website. I got a vibe (from the cover and the blurb) that this wasn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill suspense novel. I wasn’t disappointed. This book took me for a ride.
The Insect Room takes place in the summer of 1994 in the English countryside. Caz, her mother, and her younger sister travel around the countryside in a van. Caz meets Lord Lacy when her mother’s boyfriend is arrested, leaving them without housing. Lord Lacy generously offers them his guesthouse. But Caz is suspicious of Lord Lacy. Her suspicion deepens when she discovers that Lord Lacy’s daughter went missing five years previous. What happened to Lord Lacy’s daughter? How are Caz’s strange dreams connected to her disappearance? And what happens when everything comes crashing down?
The Insect Room has a very fast plotline. The entire story takes place within a month, and if the plotline moved any slower, it would have ruined the book. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book, but nothing that I didn’t expect. The book’s pacing was almost frantic in places, and it matched Caz’s state of mind during various points.
I felt terrible for Caz. She did not want to be traveling with her mother and sister. She wanted to be home with her grandparents. So, I didn’t blame her for acting out or being a brat. My feelings of pity didn’t fade after the middle of the book. Instead, they amplified. Not going to get into it, but she had gone through a lot in her life. She got zero support from her mother. Her mother favored her younger sister, and it was pretty sad to read.
I did not like Lord Lacy. The way he acted with Caz’s younger sister disgusted me. Every instinct in my body screamed “pedo” during those scenes. Also, I was not too fond of how he acted when he was around Tink (Caz’s mother) and her group of friends. He was too willing to let them party, do drugs, and drink on his property. He came across as too needy if that makes sense. It was creepy.
There were a couple of twists in the plotline, one happening on the very last page. I will not talk about that one except to say that I didn’t see it coming. It also took me 3-4 times to understand what happened, which shook me. The other twist happens a little more than halfway through the book. When it was revealed, it threw everything happening and what Caz was experiencing in a whole different light.
The suspense angle was well written. I couldn’t read The Insect Room fast enough because I wanted to see if my suspicions were right about certain people/events.
The end of The Insect Room was insane. As I mentioned above, there was a doozy of a twist that I didn’t see coming. And also, as I mentioned above, I did have to reread the ending of The Insect Room 3-to 4 times before my brain comprehended what I was reading.
I would recommend The Insect Room to anyone over 21. There is mild language, mild violence, and drug and alcohol use.