Max Pharaoh and Sara Crimson have not known each other long but an unplanned pregnancy makes them think that maybe they should to make a relationship work for the child's sake. Max does a standup thing by asking for Sara's hand in marraige. An opportunity at a real future for their unborn child prompts Sara to grudgingly accept his hand. These young 20-something year olds ignore some cleverly place moments of suspense even before signing a lease on the North Hollywood townhouse, only to become entangled in a nightmare no one could see coming.
Initially, I was thinking Townhouse is the anti-Knocked Up. You know the movie with Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl? This is what happens after they get their apartment... when it becomes a horror movie instead of a romantic comedy. A couple who gets preggers and try to make it work, although the two have nothing in common. Well, that's how Sara and Max are. Max is not sure he's ready to give up his bachelor-dom while Sara's wallowing in her own self-loathing because she isn't a published author.
Max, busy trying to move up the talent agent ladder, leaves Sara home alone often. As a writer it is ideal to be in a quiet home but as a woman in very new surroundings, this is the perfect atmosphere for fear to fester. Sara is unsure of her oddly dressed neighbor who she is certain wants to kill her also she can't shake this feeling that something's amiss in this Executive Townhouse community. Not to mention there seems to be people disappearing in this complex.
Rowe cleverly litters the pages of Townhouse with different possibilities of where the plot may be heading. None, thankfully, led me to where I thought I'd be. Only one part was obvious in the ending because I expected it. It proved courage earned and growth in a character who up until that point hadn't been very enticing. Rowe gave them the much needed strength to morph into a hero.
I do have one gripe that's huge and glaring, yet hard to avoid, is the tendency for novels of terror to read like horror B-movies. I personally like B-movies, especially since Netflix is littered with them and I can't help but find their covers to be so gripping. Usually said movies push the envelope with their over-the-topness and being so far removed from reality. This novel avoided the trap... until the bizarre crazy ending. Ultimately my gripe isn't much of a gripe(per se) just something that I couldn't ignore.
Once again, I have to thank Brian Rowe for getting me out of my reading slump and writing something I could not put down. Townhouse will appeal to those who love terror, horror, and blood. Lots and lots of blood. After reading Townhouse I will never look at my neighbors again without wondering what deadly secrets they could be hiding. ****