Review: The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

I am a total true crime junkie. Whenever I am home sick or just wanting to waste a day watching mindless TV, my go to station is ID Discovery. I absolutely love watching true crime. My favorites though are always the ones about seemingly normal families and people.

I think I watched Nightmare Next Door like every day that I was pregnant and home on bed rest… the end of three months I was certain that my neighbors were all serial killers. So it’s safe to say that I love the whole suburban killer next door idea so when this book made it’s way into my mailbox, I was totally intrigued!

The Girl Before meets The Couple Next Door in a Hitchcockian thriller about a couple who moves into their dream neighborhood only to discover nothing is as it seems…

The perfect couple. The perfect house. The perfect crime.

Londoners Jack and Syd found their dream home: lots of space, a great location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

Everything is exactly what they hoped for when they move in–except Jack makes a disturbing discovery in the attic, and Syd begins to wonder about the girl next door. And they each keep the other in the dark.

A mistake.

Because someone has just been killed outside their back door, and now the police are watching them.

This is their chance to prove they’re innocent–or to get away with murder.

Whose story do you believe? (summary from Goodreads). 

This book is a mystery told from two alternating perspectives…..Syd and Jack and frankly their perspectives were very very very different which made reading each chapter all the more interesting and intriguing. Plus their banter was believable and thus made their relationship believable for readers. I don’t know that I always loved switching between the two but I will say that it really did keep everything interesting and moving quickly.

The misperception between the narrators was what kept things interesting and moving for me. I have noticed that this is quite the trend, particularity among domestic thrillers but if I’m being honest….its never gets old. There’s always two versions of what happened and then somewhere in the middle there’s the truth….except when the two stories are so different….then it makes things a little more difficult to discern. That’s what kept me reading.

The first few chapters were a little blah for me, but then once things picked up—they PICKED UP in a big way. The next thing I knew, I was reading larger and larger chunks at a time. This was a slower burn that turned into a scorching read rather quickly which I loved.

The only thing that kind of threw me was this book almost wanted to become a paranormal story–especially in the beginning. I don’t want to give too much away but I found it kind of confusing and wondered what was happening. I am not sure that I liked that direction or the undertones, especially since it was clearly meant to be a domestic thriller but it did make me pause and scratch my head on more than one occasion.

I think this book pinged all the thriller points for me—unreliable narrators, building suspense, and a twisty resolution—add in that the narrators are using letters to tell their story and this book should practically be a 5 star review for me, however I settled on 4 stars because I just didn’t like the paranormal line at all and just didn’t think it worked in the story as well as I think the author had hoped. Overall though, if you like domestic thrillers–you won’t be disappointed with this one!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic 

  • Hardback, ARC, 328 pages
    Published April 10th 2018 by Penguin Random House
    ISBN 1501162799 (ISBN13: 9781501162794)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review.

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense

Memorable lines/quotes:


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