The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

The New Neighbors

Simon Lelic

This fast-paced, atmospheric, and thoroughly satisfying thriller is the sort of book to take for a weekend getaway and pass on to the person in the lounge chair next to you, even as you're still thinking about that ending.

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The Girl Before meets The Couple Next Door in a Hitchcockian thriller about a couple who moves into their dream neighborhood only to discover nothing is as it seems...

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?

Advance Galley Reviews

Jack and Syd narrate alternating chapters. It starts at fever pitch: they are struggling to explain to us whats happened, how everything has gone downhill so quickly and how they became involved. We gather the important information in snippets: they were surprised to win the bid on a house after several rejections around London and start clearing the junk left behind by the owner. An odd smell soon leads Jack to the attic for the first surprise in store for them. Soon after, Syd meets their young neighbor Elsie who she sort of takes under her wing because she sees a lot of her younger self in Elsie. Strange events soon spiral and Jack finds himself accused of the murder of Elsie's father. Though I guessed the "twist" half way through, this was a solid fast paced thriller.

I really enjoyed this book. I agree that the chapters alternately written by Syd and Jack were a bit clunky, especially when you find out who they're intended for. But if you stick with it, the story becomes very involving and masterfully executed by Simon Lelic. Syd and Jack buy their dream home at a great price and it seems like the perfect start to their life together. But strange things start to happen and their personal baggage adds to the stress on their relationship. Are there supernatural forces at play or something even more sinister and closer to home? Who can they trust, if anyone? In the afterword, Lelic mentions The Shining as one of his inspirations, and you can definitely see elements of that at work here. I don't want to give any spoilers, but if you like thrillers, this is the book for you. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'll definitely read more by Simon Lelic. Thank you to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of THE NEIGHBORS in exchange for my honest review.

I barely got past the first twenty pages. Syd and Jack arguing through a mutual diary was not what I was expecting, and got old very quickly. Important details were brought to the edge of the cliff, dangled...and forgotten. I don't like stories to toy with me, and jump around from plot line to plot line. And I really don't care knowing intimate details about characters' relationships without first being able to warm up to their personalities. Overall, I hate giving up on a book this early, but it was very disappointing.

Very clever story. I found myself at times scared, sad and then mad, all of which kept me turning pages needing to find out how it ends. Well done!

***Thank you to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of THE NEIGHBORS in exchange for my honest review.*** Jack and Syd are THE NEIGHBORS when they purchase a house neither wanted. The house holds secrets to both their past, but not really. Jack and Syd are the ones holding secrets. Simon Lelic’s new novel starts off with a bang and limps to the end with a whisper. At first, the format of Jack and Syd alternating chapters, telling their story of a bloody knife hooked me. I was impressed with Lelic’s different voices for each character; unfortunately after several chapters the voices became indistinguishable. I did enjoy Lelic’s writing style. Neither Syd nor Jack was completely sympathetic, although each had moments where I cared. I did not care about who stabbed the victim. The resolution felt both unrealistic and uninspired. In the end, I didn’t enjoy THE NEIGHBORS.


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