When Helen moves into an exciting new neighbourhood, she finds herself in a web of evil with no escape.
Behind the shutters lies a devastating secret…
When Helen moves abroad with her loving husband Gary, she can’t wait to meet her fellow expat teachers from the local International School. But her new start is about to become her worst nightmare…
As soon as the charming family across the way welcome Helen into their home, she begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. Then Gary starts to behave strangely, and a child goes missing, vanished without a trace.
When violence and tragedy strike, cracks appear in the community, and Helen realises her perfect neighbours are capable of almost anything…
So there are obvious parallels with ‘The Stepford Wives’ but only regarding the concept.
‘The Perfect Neighbours’ is a character-driven story, which has detailed imagery and a well-researched setting.The plot is multi-layered with a backstory written in real time, which informs the reader and increases the suspense and dramatic irony.
The first chapter sets the scene for what is to come, Helen is in trouble, but we don’t know why. Chronological chapters trace Helen’s time in the German village, interspersed with a tragic story of a mystery character. The story builds to an unprecedented tragedy, which has dangerous consequences for Helen and this dramatic mid story scene makes reading the slower chapters in the first half of the book worthwhile.
The characters, seen through Helen’s eyes are not likeable. Their outward friendliness is a thin veneer, which barely covers, their lies, deceit and abusive behaviour.
There are lots of twists, and the ending is not what you are led to believe. I did work out parts of the story, but there were still events that surprised me. Tragedy, when it strikes, is graphically written, so not for the squeamish but the violence is necessary for the story to progress. The pacing is slow at times, but again this gives the tragic events maximum impact when they occur.
An exciting thriller, with a strange, chilling quality, which exposes the fragility of the human psyche and its capability for deceit.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse/ Killer Reads via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Author, blogger and book reviewer.
I am the author of 'The Dragon Legacy' series and 'The Dangerous Gift'.
Animal welfare supporter. Loves reading, writing, countryside walks, cookery and gardening,
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