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The Woman Next Door

Author: Cass Green
Published: 22 July 2016
Reviewed: 13 August 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by HarperCollins, UK / Killer Reads in return for an honest review



Description:

Two suburban women. Two dark secrets. The almost perfect murder. 

Everybody needs good neighbours…

Melissa and Hester have lived next door to each other for years. When Melissa’s daughter was younger, Hester was almost like a grandmother to her. But recently they haven’t been so close.

Hester has plans to change all that. It’s obvious to her that despite Melissa’s outwardly glamorous and successful life, she needs Hester’s help.

But taking help from Hester might not be such a good idea for a woman with as many secrets as Melissa… 

My Thoughts & Review:

Another début from a promising author, The Woman Next Door is a slow burning psychological thriller that quietly unsettles the reader.  

The story is narrated from the points of view of Hester, a lonely older woman and Melissa, who outwardly appears the complete opposite of Hester.  
Hester has no children and having lost her job in a nursery she became indispensable to Melissa by looking after her daughter Tilly until she reached teenage years. 
Melissa is married to a handsome and famous man, but his recent affair has pushed her towards a depression, this coupled with the fact that her daughter is growing up causes her great unease.

The characters in this were interesting, all completely normal people that you could encounter in everyday life which helps to make this so unsettling.   
Hester is a well constructed character, so bitter and judgemental, and Green uses her well throughout the novel as an unreliable narrator – her tainted views and negative perceptions adding to the tension and atmosphere.  Cleverly, she evokes sympathy for this character through details of the abuse she suffered at the hand of her late husband, a complete juxtaposition.  Melissa is a hard character to like, she is obsessive about her appearance, and very bitter towards her husband but she’s haunted by something.  However, Green has ensured that the reader is kept on their toes as all is not as it seems.

This novel is packed with deception and secrets, and the pacing of the book allows the intensity to build slowly ensuring the reader remains captive.  Good descriptions allow the reader to envision characters and situation easily. 

Overall a good début from a promising author, I am keen to see what Cass Green writes next.

You can buy a copy of The Woman Next Door here.

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