NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Neighbor by Joseph Souza

"We all have secrets...Having secrets is a trait that all humans share."

But nobody has secrets like these neighbors -- a collection of seriously flawed, conniving psychopaths involved in a series of events that spiral out of control and escalate into murder.

Leah and Clay live with their 11-year-old twins next door to Clarissa and Russell and their two kids in an all but deserted cul-de-sac in Dearborn, Maine. The developer was a crook and skipped town before completing the rest of the subdivision and just those two families have homes. The Daniels are white and the Gaines family is black -- race is a huge issue in this psychological domestic drama/thriller. Clarissa and Russell have money and both are employed at nearby Chadwick College. Clay has started his own struggling brewery in town, works long hours, and Leah is a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately for all, Leah is lonely and bored and curious. Leah is obsessive and gets sucked up into local drama especially with regard to the case of a missing female coed. She starts sneaking into the neighbor's house when they're at work -- and that's when she finds Clarissa's diary. Meanwhile, all sorts of other activities are going on behind the scenes. When the dust finally settles on all the lies and manipulative behavior, who will be left standing?

The reader is immediately engaged with this story despite finding it hard to believe that this much craziness can exist side by side in one little neighborhood. The relationships between all of the characters are so messed up that it almost defies belief. Add in extra-marital affairs, racial tension, secrets and lies and you get an explosive reaction. It is the kind of book that you just can't put down because you just can't imagine people acting like this and doing the things they do. I don't want to spoil the twists and turns for anyone, so I'll leave it here -- make sure you have some uninterupted time to get through this in one sitting. I really enjoyed it! Thank heavens I was able to catch my breath after its conclusion. The book is narrated by Leah and by Clay, but I daresay you won't be able to guess how it's all going to end! Who will you believe?

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for this e-book ARC to read and review. I definitely will read more by this author. The book was not what I expected, but that was all to the good.

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