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Reviewed by Petra Ayling for Readers' Favorite
Following his divorce and recent redundancy, Ian moves into Bedsit Three in order to be closer to his young son, hoping he will be able to resurrect his failed relationship with his ex-wife. Across the hall from Ian lives Sandra, an unconventional single mother, who wants to build a better life for her daughter and herself after falling pregnant as a teenager. Although coming from completely different backgrounds, Ian and Sandra start to bond, but something sinister is linked to Bedsit Three. Ian and Sandra become involved in a gruesome mystery that involves them with the police and the unstable previous tenant of Bedsit Three, which ultimately jeopardizes not just their relationship but their lives.
Told from the perspectives of Ian and Sandra, as well as the disturbed ex-tenant, Bedsit Three was a quick and enjoyable read. Its strength lies in the well drawn characters who felt authentic and the vividly described settings that drew you into the story. There were a couple of nice twists to the mystery and crime angle of the story. There was a lot of focus on the relationship between Ian and Sandra and between Ian and his ex-wife. A lot of emphasis was placed on social class. While I found it interesting, it was almost like reading two different stories. One, a suspenseful mystery about a deranged killer and increasingly unstable guy with mother issues, and the other, a story about relationships, second and third chances and improving your life. Bedsit Three is Sally Jenkins' first novel that isn't a short story and, as a debut, it is well plotted and well written.