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The Housemaid Is Watching


The Housemaid Is Watching

Seemingly overnight, Freida McFadden has become one of the most widely read, prolific authors working today. She actually has been writing for years but recently has exploded onto the scene. Her latest novel, THE HOUSEMAID IS WATCHING, is the highly anticipated third installment in her globally bestselling Housemaid series.

In the prologue, a body is found in the middle of a carpeted floor, and a mass of blood has pooled around it. Someone begins to work on cleaning up this grisly scene, and readers can only wonder who will be involved once this tragedy is finally revealed.

Millie Calloway no longer cleans houses and is now a social worker. She is married to Enzo, who has a successful landscaping/home construction business, and they have two children: 11-year-old Ada and nine-year-old Nico. They have moved from a tiny apartment in the Bronx to a three-house cul-de-sac on Long Island.

"Freida McFadden has written another top-notch psychological thriller, and it’s nice to see her take the Housemaid series in a completely different direction."

The large center house is owned by Suzette and Jonathan Lowell. Suzette is completely full of herself and works as a realtor, while Jonathan has a job in corporate finance. Right away, Suzette flirts with Enzo and offers to introduce him around to grow his business in the area once he has done some work in her backyard. Their only other neighbors are Janice, a very odd busybody, and her son, Spencer, who is in Nico’s class and has ADHD, among other childhood maladies. Janice is quite opinionated and pushy, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t care for Suzette.

Millie and her family are invited to the Lowells for dinner, where they meet their part-time housekeeper, Martha. Enzo ends up hiring Martha to come by their house a couple of days a week since he and Millie work full-time and they could use the help. Millie resents how overtly Suzette flirts with her husband and starts having anxiety over it. Janice does not help by reporting that she has seen Enzo through the window in Suzette’s bedroom.

Millie and Enzo discover a small hidden room, not much larger than a crawlspace, concealed under their staircase. Nico had scratched his way in there and planned to use it as a clubhouse. Enzo seals it back up, but the existence of that spot will become quite telling later on in the story. It isn't long before the novel turns into a full-blown murder mystery, and the prime suspect will be none other than Enzo.

THE HOUSEMAID IS WATCHING is so deftly plotted that readers will have no idea where the story is heading next. It’s like watching a particularly deadly episode of “Desperate Housewives,” but with an ex-con former housemaid and a Long Island setting. I relocated to Long Island from New York City many years ago, so I loved experiencing the culture shock that Millie and her family went through after they made the big move --- especially the fear of driving on the Long Island Expressway where, if you aren’t going at least 20 mph over the speed limit, you aren’t really driving.

Freida McFadden has written another top-notch psychological thriller, and it’s nice to see her take the Housemaid series in a completely different direction.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on June 29, 2024

The Housemaid Is Watching
by Freida McFadden