#BookReview: THE NEIGHBOUR by Fiona Cummins @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan

The NeighbourPublication: 4th April 2019 – Pan Macmillan

FOR SALEA lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. 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.

Fiona Cummins is back with her third novel, a dark, gripping, and twisty story that kept me on the edge of my seat from the first to the last page.

In THE NEIGHBOUR, Fiona Cummins takes us to The Avenue, a residential street on “the outskirts of a nondescript Essex town”. The Avenue is the home of an elderly couple, a doll maker, a young couple in love, and a family of four who is looking for a fresh start. People jogging in the nearby woods, children on the street with their bikes, friendly neighbours. This seems like a fantastic idyllic place where to live, except that there is a killer on the loose. The media has renamed him The Doll Maker and he has already killed five people. The murders are gruesome and since there is no connection between the victims, everyone is wondering: who is next?

The police are far from identifying the killer and pressure from the media and office politics make things even more complicated. However, for DC Wildeve Stanton the case has suddenly become very personal and she is ready to do anything to find and stop the killer.

The author uses short chapters and multiple perspectives to keep the tension high and to make it very difficult for me to put the book down. Thanks to the different points of view we know that the residents of The Avenue are all hiding something, but what? Each of them seems a suspect, but, thanks to the author well-crafted plot, I didn’t figure out who the killer is until it is revealed at the end.

The characters are multi-layered, some likable, some sinister, some irritating, all realistic and intriguing. They all seem guilty and they are all watching each other. Add a creepy and dark atmosphere and a slow-building tension and you have the addictive and thrilling new novel by Fiona Cummins!


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