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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

REVIEW: The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic @BerkleyPub #PRHPartner @Simon_Lelic

The New Neighbors
by Simon Lelic

Thanks so much to Berkley Pub and NetGalley for this copy.


Publisher:  Berkley Pub
Publishing: April 10, 2018
Kindle Edition
Genres:  Mystery, Thriller

Goodreads Synopsis:

The perfect couple. The perfect house. The perfect crime.

Londoners Jack and Syd found their dream home: lots of space, a great location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. 

Everything is exactly what they hoped for when they move in--except Jack makes a disturbing discovery in the attic, and Syd begins to wonder about the girl next door. And they each keep the other in the dark.

A mistake.

Because someone has just been killed outside their back door, and now the police are watching them. 

This is their chance to prove they're innocent--or to get away with murder. 

Whose story do you believe?

My Review:

I have a bad habit of not reading the synopsis of a book again before starting it.  I'll read it once, request or buy the book, then it'll sit on my shelf for a bit.   I don't read it again because I figure if I have it, it's something that I wanted.  Quite frankly, it's fun to go in blind at times - like reading roulette!  When I first started reading this, I was instantly hooked and was thinking, "ooOooOo, this seems like a really cool and eerie ghost story!"  Then the further I read, "Wait, what? Is this not paranormal?!"  And so, in the first time in a long time, I went back and read the synopsis and looked at the genre category. PHEW!  Ok - NOW that makes more sense... and I'll come back to this point in just a bit.

I absolutely love the way that this is written.  I can see where this *might* throw some readers off, but the back and forth banter between Syd and Jack was a pleasure to read.  Also, I immediately fell in love with Syd - a snarky girl who seems to like to swear as much as I do.  That short fuse, tempered by her love for a man who surprised her.  We see the ebb and flow of their relationship as the story continues.  What was an interesting turn of events for me was that the story seems to take a skew a bit at one point and I kept trying to rectify what I read at the beginning to what I was reading towards the end.  

The subject matter went dark (all the better for my love of the darkness), the story went sideways (in a fantastic way) and I was still scratching my head and going back to the synopsis.  (Seriously, ya'll - I cant' even explain how many times I did this!)  Now, taking all of that, the implausibility of some of the story was actually fun for me to read.  Honestly, if you're going to go sideways, DO IT ALL THE WAY.  And I always say to remember that this is a work of FICTION.  While some novels go a little too far and you're like ok, fiction is fiction but um.. WHAT, it actually worked for me in this one.  I'm not sure what it as about it that shook me, but it did.  Mostly I think it's because it surprised me and most of the time, I can appreciate that.  😉

Revisiting the first paragraph of this review... I think some readers are going to wonder why it starts off seemingly as a ghost story and then twists into something off center.  And my question to you is... did you read the Note from the Author at the end?  I IMPLORE EVERYONE TO DO THIS (for every book).  Once I read this:  "...what are ghosts anyway but the things that haunt us?  Our shame, guilt, remorse, fear.  Our secrets.  Our pasts.  All the things we've endured in our lives that we spend so much of our time trying to escape." - it all made a lot more sense and made my love for this grow a bit. 


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