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The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger

Wow! Lisa Unger sucked me into this story and held my attention till the end. As the first book I finished in 2024, it will be a hard act to follow. 

I didn’t read the acknowledgements until I finished the book, and I wasn’t surprised that the author’s vision aligned with my reading experience. The Windermere is a quintessential old, ritzy New York hotel for the rich and artsy and harbors those attune to its mystic quality. A living, breathing character itself, The Windermere has been host to several tragedies over the years and seems to absorb the grief of the people who live within.

When Rosie and Chad inherit an apartment from a late uncle, their dreams for the future take a sudden upturn. Rosie’s book about The Windermere takes shape, Chad’s acting career looks promising, and hopes for a baby point to a happy future. But when Rosie is confronted with warnings from the past, she wonders if she’s in a safe place.

Rosie’s spiritual upbringing and her ‘visions’, coupled with astrology nights with the neighbors, including a medium, add an element of the paranormal to the story. The hotel residents and the doorman who has served The Windermere for decades add to the ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ vibe. Downright creepy! And the author brings it all to life, putting the reader in the midst of it.

I loved the intermingling of current events and the history of previous residents in 5B through flashbacks, and the dual point of view of the two women who resided in the apartment decades apart. The way their lives paralleled and intersected intrigued me, and kept me wondering how the past would impact the present. 

With constant twists, I couldn’t put the book down. At some point everyone was suspect and I didn’t know what or who to believe. Darkness and light battle inside the walls of the hotel as well as within the residents, leading to shocking revelations. 

This is the third book I’ve read by Lisa Unger. It won’t be the last. Adding her to my list of favorite authors! Highly recommended!

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