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The Lady Upstairs

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  491 ratings  ·  144 reviews
A modern-day noir featuring a twisty cat-and-mouse chase, this dark debut thriller tells the story of a a woman who makes a living taking down terrible men...then finds herself in over her head and with blood on her hands. The only way out? Pull off one final con.

Jo's job is blackmailing the most lecherous men in Los Angeles--handsy Hollywood producers, adulterous actors,
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 17th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Ayre There is a sapphic relationship. The characters are both bi. Friendly warning that none of the relationships in this book are healthy relationships.

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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  491 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is gripping, surprisingly entertaining, action packed reading with kickassing, tough, cool heroines tells provocative story with #metoo vibes and quite delicious feminism references.

We may proudly announce there is fresh talented author out there about the release her captivating debut novel! Well done dear Halley Sutton who brought an original, different plot and hooked me up at with those first pages. Even though at some parts I get lost my interest just a little bit, she wrapped up the
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
A promising debut from Halley Sutton, a gifted new voice of the modern noir.

The Lady Upstairs was a timely novel about blackmail, secrets, revenge, desire, and sex. The rotten underbelly of Los Angeles, and its beautiful, famous inhabitants, was exposed in the dark bars and seedy hotels that line so many of her streets. There is something so deliciously satisfying about a group of women working to take down powerful, but vile, men...especially Jo, our femme fatale protagonist. It all ties s
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The lady upstairs is the operator of a ring of prostitutes who blackmail their rich marks. The lady’s identity is secret, but it is pretty easy to figure out. Jim Thompson or James M. Cain could have given this plot some bite and menace. Unfortunately, this book is just tacky. It isn’t clever enough to overcome the ickiness of it’s premise. Jo, the protagonist, drinks a lot and has sex a lot, with both her male and female colleagues and marks. She is also in charge of recruiting other women to b ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like angsty characters
I had such high hopes for this book. The description sounded like everything I need in my life: women taking down rich men in Hollywood who take advantage of other women. But even though The Lady Upstairs was a fast, fun, easy read, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

First, and this is entirely my bad for not paying closer attention to the blurb (which seems to be a running theme in my reviews… oops), I didn’t realize the protagonist, Jo, wasn’t blackmailing rich men on her own. She works for
Frank Phillips
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This was decent for a debut, and it was so fast-paced that I listened to the audio in less than 2 days, however the subject matter just was not for me. Female con artists in pursuit of rich, cheating husbands (the richer the better), and other 'bad men' in hopes to seduce them and blackmail them with photographic or video evidence is essentially the gist of this novel. Jo is our protagonist in this one, and she's looking to pull off one final con in hopes of finally paying off her debt to her bo ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
4.5 stars

The Lady Upstairs is the twisty noir I needed in 2020!

Jo was recruited by Lou to blackmail the Hollywood elite: the lecherous movie producers, actors, and politicians are brought down with scandalous photos that they’re willing to pay big money to keep hush hush. Their boss, known only as The Lady Upstairs, carefully chooses the targets and pockets a large portion of the pay-out.
Jo and Lou keep an office to appear as a respectable staffing agency; no questions are asked about the women
Natalie M
Dec 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
There was little I could connect to with this book.

The characters elicited no sympathy and I even began to wish for their demise; they seemed very one-dimensional. The plot is convoluted in an unnecessary and illogical way. The twist was predictable within the first few chapters too. The setting, Hollywood, should have made the premise of the story stronger but it fell flat in too many ways.

The blurb made it sound intriguing but the reality was that I was very happy to be finished with this nov
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
The Lady Upstairs is a feminist noir thriller about power and revenge, and how easy it is to lose yourself to both.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions in this review are honest and my own.
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
The Lady Upstairs is a dark, provocative, modern day noir thriller about women doling out vigilante-style justice in the form of blackmail to some powerful men in Hollywood with questionable ethics. The story has a decidedly feminist voice with the boss aka the lady upstairs deciding which men need knocking off their pedestal for violating a code of conduct. Lou, the only woman who knows the identity of the "lady", serves as the liaison between her and the working girls. Our protagonist Jo has a ...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Jun 18, 2020 marked it as tbr-unreleased
yoooo this book is sapphic, let's go gays!!!
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Behind me, the ocean kept its own counsel because nature is far wiser than any of us and who knows what sleeps under its waters. I bet you anything the ocean itself couldn’t even tell you.

On my blog.

Rep: bi mc, bi side character

CWs: death, murder, alcohol and drug abuse

Galley provided by publisher

The Lady Upstairs is, in all honesty, a difficult one for me to review. I liked it, definitely, but I wasn’t so engrossed by it that I couldn’t put it down. It was a good thriller, but I saw too
eBook Giveaway Win!
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Our main character is Jo who works for The Lady while paying her debt off to The Lady. They find the perfect girl to seduce a powerful man (they tend to be horrible men) and then proceed to blackmail them for money.

One job that Jo is involved ends up in murder which leads to secrets being revealed.

I would say this book learns towards the Noir genre.

This is a gritty, fast paced thriller/noir with a few surprises and a intriguing main character who blurs the line between good and bad.

A excelle
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I contributed this review to Really Into This

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Happy Reading, friends!

Special thanks to Putman for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

This is a really interesting book & it took me several days to gather my thoughts about it.

I couldn't put this book down. The plot simmers. We know we will eventually meet The Lady Upstairs face to face, but I wanted to get there ASAP. I don't really know if the pay-off is there, but i
Thank you Putnam Books for the gifted copy!

This one just totally missed the mark for me.
I started reading it after putting Addie LaRue down for a break and ended up finishing it in one night.

I sat on reviewing it because I wanted to make sure that Addie didn’t effect my overall opinion on how I felt about it, but I now know that it just wasn’t what I was expecting with the title “The Lady Upstairs”

I always go in blind when it comes to a book and really thought this book was going to be differ
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Devoured this one! Sutton is a gorgeous writer & this was a twisty & delightful, gritty, luscious read. Can’t wait to read more by her!
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
A group of women "living to take down terrible men". Sold! As expected, we get a read about sex, blackmail and revenge. Jo is our flawed protagonist who loves her job but is desperate for the money as she has pressing debts to pay off. Plus, it keeps her close to Lou, who she clearly is in love with and is hoping to run off into the sunset with her at some point. But first, she needs to get herself sorted and this is no easy task.

While I love the premise of this and felt it started strong, the m
Rosie Danan
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to secure an ARC after screaming on social media about how much I NEEDED one and pals, I am obsessed with this book. Within pages, it became one of my favorite reads—not only of hell year 2020—but EVER.

A booze-soaked, twisty, captivating noir that doesn’t center cis-het men, THE LADY UPSTAIRS both reclaims a classic narrative and fully infuses it with fresh voice and a new story trajectory.

The prose is visceral, poignant, and sharp as a knife. I loved the quiet moments as mu
Jeremy Stewart
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
☕🕶️"𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬"🕶️☕
𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘜𝘱𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘴
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: 𝐻𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑒 𝑆𝑢𝑡𝑡𝑜𝑛
𝐍𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐎𝐟 𝐏𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬: 293(𝑎𝑟𝑐)
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: 𝑃𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑇ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑟
𝐏𝐮𝐛 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 11/17/2020
𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 📕📕📕📕📕

This is the author's debut novel. This book has a stunning cover.

𝐌𝐲 𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬: This was one hell of a thriller. We follow Jo who's job is blackmailing the most lecherous men in Los Angeles. This book took me on a wild ride. I've never read a book like this before. This book gave me Mafia/mob vibes. I've never read a thriller that included murder,
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, lgbtqiap
I’m bummed. I thought I was going to LOVE this book… but it ended up just being kinda okay. Like, a modern day noir story about women who blackmail and take down awful men? Sign me up!! However, the story never ended up being as compelling as I hoped it would be based on that synopsis.

The main character Jo was just really bland and the overall plot felt a little bit slow and convoluted. I felt like I didn’t know enough about Jo or the other characters to be invested in their stories. Something
Geonn Cannon
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I ended up really disliking this book. Too predictable, and the main character couldn't decide if she was brutal and cold or desperate and pushed into a corner. I spent the first half thinking I just didn't enjoy the narrator (she was definitely, without a doubt, the wrong choice for this book... just way too upbeat and chipper for the tone) but by the end it was just too predictable. Rounded up from 2.5 because I think my opinion was tainted by the miscast narration. ...more
I'm sorry but this is not for me. I just cannot get into the story or the characters. ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
The lighting is dim, a soft glow reflecting off the deep mahogany of the wooden bar. You twirl the drink in your hand, the ice clinking against the glass. As you take a slow sip, the whiskey burning the back of your throat, you keep your eye on the couple across the room. She seems to be working her charm, he’s hanging on her every word. You set the glass down and a twenty for the bartender and make your way outside to wait.

The Lady Upstairs really fell flat for me. Essentially it’s about a grou
Brittany (bookthingswithbrittany)
Thank you so much for the gifted book @putnambooks 😍

First off, this cover is stunning. I am obsessed.

Second, The premise of this book was intriguing and I was hooked from the start. I have never read a book featuring a female character whose job was to find and take down terrible men..... but I love the idea 😅

I will say that there were times when this book did get a little repetitive. I had a love hate relationship with many of the characters, and although I didn’t really connect to any of the
Nik's Nook
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Jo makes a living by setting up and taking down men who abuse their power. She works for the enigmatic Lady Upstairs. She quite enjoys what she does and the life she lives, but, when one of the marks ends up dead and Jo begins to realize the police are looking closely at her, she realizes that she needs to begin to look closely at someone else: the Lady Upstairs.

This debut started out really strong. The storyline is timely and interesting. I did feel that, at times, it was a bit repetitive, but
Ashley Winstead
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW. What a sharp, sexy, delicious book. Halley Sutton's writing cuts like a knife--there were moments throughout where I had to pause and re-read a sentence because it was just that good, that smart, and twisted that deep into my heart. Sutton's storytelling is masterful, and the plot sails forward, propelled by dark, smart, marshmellow-center Jo (yes, I am quoting VMars--fellow fans, jump on this book), and the people she loves and hates, who she pushes away and pulls in in equal measure.

Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
Disclosure: I received a netgalley of this book on my Kindle in exchange for an honest review. I was excited to get to preview this book. This is the first time a publisher has asked this of me and allowed me to do this except for when I was working as an editor for a publishing company, which was completely different. Since I have to give the book just two stars, it may be the last time a publisher asks this of me. I truly wanted to give the book a higher rating, but GoodReads' three star ratin ...more
The Goodreads Darling
I Did Not Like This Book
I Thought It Was Boring And Just Slow To Get Into
I Will Never Read This Again Or Another Book This Author
Because This Book Was Just Not My Favorite
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-2020
After going through a dry spell, I picked up Halley Sutton’s The Lady Upstairs and dove right in, relieved my dry spell was over with good writing. Unfortunately, while The Lady Upstairs shows a lot of promise, it doesn’t always deliver.

One of the main reasons for me as to why The Lady Upstairs doesn’t deliver is its main character, Jo. Now Jo is hard-drinking and cynical with a soft side, and she’s a blackmailer. While you would think that anyone who sets out to blackmail wealthy, important tho
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
DNF @ Chapter 5

I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I tried. I really did. This is the second book I've DNF'd in a row and now I feel like crap lol. I deserve an award for trying two debut authors in a row. I'm gonna go straight to Jeaniene Frost after this because I want to read and finish one good book, damn it!

The Lady Upstairs has an incredible concept. Jo, the main character, works for a mysterious boss who goes by the name "The Lady
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