The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant

Blog tour: 24 October to 7 November 2019


Do you really know the people you live with?

University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets …

When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with …


My review

The Roommates tells the story of students Imogen (Imo), Amber, Phoenix and Teagan, who are all starting at the University of Abbeythorpe (or the Abbey as it’s known). It’s freshers week and the girls are moving into their rooms. There are five of them in the flat, including one male student, Riku, who is a man of few words, rather secretive and keeps himself to himself. Not surprising really, being surrounded by all these girls!

The girls don’t have much in common: they’re from different social backgrounds, have different family circumstances, and are doing different courses. Imo is doing German and business, Amber is a theatre studies student, Phoenix is studying mechanical engineering and Tegan’s degree is in business.

Though it was over 20 years ago, I remember well arriving at university and moving into my small room, with the help of my parents, and meeting new people, chatting and trying to suss them out, just as the girls are doing in this story. It’s a time when you can reinvent yourself, forget about past events and try and leave bad memories behind. No one knows who you are or were and they know nothing about your past or your family.

Each of the girls seems to be hiding something and wanting to leave their pasts behind, looking to start afresh. As Imo says: ‘University is supposed to be a new start, without the nightmares.’ Is it going to be that easy though? Surely not! The story is told from multiple perspectives so we learn more about the girls as the story progresses. Imo is struggling to move on after an unresolved traumatic event, which is slowly revealed in the book, Phoenix and Tegan both have unusual backgrounds, Amber has a difficult past and all the girls seem to have problems with their families.

When Amber disappears after the Freshers’ Fair, just days after they all arrive, it’s assumed she’s quit university and her mum seems to confirm this when she comes to collect Amber’s belongings and says she’s gone travelling. Imogen, especially, isn’t so sure and becomes rather obsessed. Eventually, the girls are drawn together to investigate what has happened to her.

Suspicions fall on their flatmate, Riku, who regularly receives strange parcels and doesn’t talk to anyone, as well as a tall, mysterious, brooding man wearing a black hoodie who seems to be following all the girls around and spying on them at various times, often while just standing there smoking. What is going on?

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I really liked the descriptions of university life, rather reminiscent of my time at uni, and was intrigued by how the story developed – it went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and I hadn’t really guessed how it would all be resolved!

There were several twists and turns and some interesting revelations about all the characters. The girls were all quite different and it was fun to see them clash as they learnt more about each other.

I’ve got Rachel’s other two books, The Perfect Neighbours and The Good Teacher, on my Kindle so I’ll definitely be bumping these up my pile now!

Buy the book

The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle now and in paperback on 28 November, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks.

About the author

Rachel Sargeant grew up in Lincolnshire. She is the author of Kindle Top Ten bestseller The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Her second novel with HarperCollins, The Good Teacher, is a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa ‘Agatha’ Adams. Her new psychological thriller, The Roommates, takes place during a university freshers’ week. She also wrote Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty, a novel featuring Great War nurses on a hospital ship. This is loosely based on the 1915 diary of her husband’s grandmother, a nurse at Gallipoli.

Rachel has a degree in German and Librarianship from Aberystwyth University, and Creative Writing MA from Lancaster University. She spent several years living in Germany, where she taught English, and she now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and children. Her hobbies are swimming, visiting country houses and coffee shops, and going to the theatre to watch quality amateur productions.

Find out more about her writing and reading on her website or follow her on Twitter, BookBub or Facebook.

Blog tour

Thanks to Jen Harlow at HarperCollins for my digital copy of The Roommates and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.

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