Title: The Neighbour
Author: Fiona Cummins
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
FOR SALE: A 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.
This book is everything I want in a crime novel!
Fiona Cummins strikes the perfect balance between suspense, creepiness and realism as we’re taken into the world of residents on The Avenue, where a spate of killings has taken place. Each character seems to have their own secrets, and I felt that they were all surprisingly realistic too – many are people I can imagine running into in any town, and their intertwining stories kept me completely gripped.
Every so often we get a chapter told from the perspective of who we assume to be the killer, and throughout the novel there are hints and details which make us think that must be the person behind each crime, but everyone down that street seems to have something to hide so, let’s face it, there’s lots of people it could be! For me, this really keeps the mystery alive as the shadow of suspension continues to fall on different people.
The book had such a strong sense of foreboding… I felt like there was constantly something bad about to happen and the atmosphere in the book reflected this. There’s some truly dark occurences and some creepy people lurking around the town in Essex where the book is set. I also loved DS Wildeve and her her boss Mac, and would love to read further books featuring their detective skills.
Fiona Cummis does such a great job of keeping the reader on their toes, with twists and surprises that left me finishing the book with a satisfied smile on my face – I loved it! Now, to read everything else she’s ever published and lose even more sleep as I stay up late, not wanting to put them down!
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.