Book Title: The New Neighbors
Author: Simon Lelic
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 04/10/18
What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake. Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.
And now the police are watching them…
The New Neighbors is a deeply-rooted dark and devious thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. Jack and Sydney (Syd) are a modern couple in London looking to buy a house after saving everything they could in order to fulfill their dreams together. The duo attend an open house with their realtor, Evan, and immediately fall in love with this particular property. The house has more than enough space, is in a great area in London, and is around the price range that they are looking at. Luckily for the couple, the previous owner accepts their bid and the exchange is settled. Jack and Syd have never lived together and this will be the first time that they’ll be residing together as a couple. Once the couple moves in, they agree to sell off all the furnishings that were left by the previous owner. The previous owner mysteriously bolted to Perth, Australia to follow his heart and left all his belongings with the house. As the couple starts rearranging the house and making it theirs, Jack finds something unsettling in the attic. Jack decides to keep this discovery a secret from his overly emotional significant other in hopes to not terrify her into second guessing this move together. As their progress with the house develops, the couple starts experiencing further disturbances around the property. Soon enough, the police have been called over to their residence—to solve the murder in their backyard.
I was really excited to pick up The New Neighbors as soon as I read the plot. My first opinion was that this story would having The Couple Next Door vibes and I really wanted to compare the two. As I begin reading, my initial impression of the story was, “wow, this book is going to be creepy! I’m getting The Grip of It vibes instead!”, which if you know me—that is a very good compliment! Without giving anymore of the plot away, I was really intrigued by this possible haunted house/horror story. As the story progressed, Lelic changed course and the story became a domestic thriller/crime story. I was skeptical at first while reading during this recourse and was kind of disappointed by this transition. The writing in the first half of the story is so juicy, so robust, and so masterfully persuasive that I started to get discouraged by where the story was heading in the second half. As I kept reading about Jack and Syd, I felt that it was going to become very predictable for the avid thriller book seeker. What saves this story is Lelic’s usage of red herrings along the way! I usually am not a big fan of red herrings because they can be cheap ways to promote suspense in a lackluster story, however the red herrings in The New Neighbors really added to the plot while giving us a detour in the main plot. I wholeheartedly welcomed each plot twist along the way! As I got towards the end of the story, I grew a connection to the characters. I related to Syd’s challenges growing up and Jack’s strength to hold on. There’s a few other characters that I grew to have strong feelings for as well, but I’m going to leave that up to you to figure you. With a satisfying ending, The New Neighbors gets a solid 3 stars from me.
Thank you Berkley Publishing for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.