I suppose everyone has regrets, wonders what if? People all have their reasons for living here. Who knows what lies behind the pretty curtains and the well-groomed lawns of Mulberry Avenue?
Lucy has a lovely husband, a job she adores as a teacher, and a house on Mulberry Avenue that she’s decorated just the way she wants – from the floaty curtains and the softest bed linen, right down to the perfectly-chosen velvet cushions on their comfortable sofa. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty close.
She’s also got Amber. Her newest friend and neighbour. They’ve got so much in common. Even if Amber’s life sometimes seems a lot more glamorous and exciting, she shares Lucy’s down-to-earth sense of humour, and Amber seems so interested in Lucy and her life, it’s like they never run out of things to talk about.
But then Amber starts acting strangely, claiming her life isn’t all it seems, talking about how she thinks she might be pregnant, and confiding in Lucy that she’s started getting threatening messages.
She’s scared, and the only person she can turn to is Lucy. She wants to stay at Lucy’s house until things calm down.
Lucy wants to protect her friend. But can she really trust Amber? Because sometimes other people are not all that they seem. Sometimes they have secrets. And they’d do anything to keep them…
The Woman Next Door instantly had a different feel to the usual psychological thrillers I read. I enjoyed the openings of this domestic drama. New glamorous neighbour meets needy, established-in-the-neighbourhood, Lucy the maths teacher. Slowly and surely, the joviality of the tone shifted, leading me, the reader, into the lobster pot – boiling me before I realised I was baked to the bottom of a dry pan, with the fire alarm screeching!
I read this book in two sittings. Why? Because, like a nosy neighbour drawn to curtain twitching, I needed to keep abreast of what was going on in the street. I felt as though I was a member of the Mulberry Avenue book club, awaiting the next instalment of street goss! I’m not really a gossiper – haha, but fictional gossip – yes please.
With a limited cast of characters, I’d say it should’ve been easy to guess who might have been the spanner in the works. The stalker? The voice from the past? One of the book club gossips? The self-obsessed stalkee? My perception of who the culprit was bounced around all over the place.
As with any good domestic noir/psych thriller, the sinister element ramped up. I loved how the tone changed. This book is a real insight into human nature – neediness and manipulation feature in abundance. It is a fantastically fast and fab read!
By Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestseller, The Next Girl. 💕💕💕