13 October 2019

Review: THE NEIGHBOUR, Fiona Cummins

  • This edition published by Pan Macmillan Australia 2019
  • ISBN 978-1509876891
  • 403 pages
  • source: my local library

Synopsis (Publisher)

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Quiet, leafy road, good schools, close to the sea and commutable to London. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune.

The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

The Neighbour is a thrilling standalone novel by the author of Rattle, Fiona Cummins.

My take

We all do it. I opened the book to find a map of a road called The Avenue. I thought "interesting.. but I'll never use that." Well, you guessed it. I referred to it constantly, checking the location of houses etc.

The Lockwood family moved into their new house to find that the police are removing a body from the woods behind their garden. It is the body of a young policeman who has been investigating some serial murders. He is the fifth victim, and nobody has any clue about why he was killed. As with the earlier victims the actual cause of death is difficult to identify.

The narration of the story is mainly from the point of view of the detective's wife who is also part of the investigating team, but a large portion comes from the murderer, whose identity and location is unknown.  The reader knows that this person lives somewhere in The Avenue.

This novel was carefully constructed to ensure that we are almost clue-less until the very end, and even then part of the identification comes as a real shock. There are several very effective red herrings.

My rating: 4.7

About the author
Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family. The Neighbour is her third novel, following Rattle and The Collector.

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