Shelly and her daughter Lauren move to a new home with their dog Teddy. Most of their neighbours are friendly but one is suffering from dementia and her behaviour is a little scary. Added to this, Shelly discovers that the previous tenant and her dog disappeared…
The Neighbour is a psychological thriller set in the south of England.
Shelly’s first experience in her new home is a slightly scary one. Then she is welcomed by the other residents but feels uncomfortable, as if she’ll never fit in. Things seem more sinister when she finds out that a young woman and her dog lived in the house previously but both vanished. Shelly starts to question her neighbours about Dannielle but is she just stirring up danger for herself?
The book is written from Shelly’s first person perspective so we experience her niggling doubts and suspicions. We also get clues about her own past and the trauma she suffered during her childhood and in the recent past with her mother’s violent outbursts, caused by dementia. As readers, we want Shelly to find happiness and share her fear as current events hint at a threat to her and her daughter.
There is plenty of tension and drama, especially towards the ending. Shelly’s friendship with Josh offers some light relief and lets us see her at her best. When reflecting, Shelly describes her experiences in the street as far-fetched and I would agree that they are extreme but gripping. The mystery is sustained until the end and I enjoyed watching events unfold.
The Neighbour has emotion, drama, and an intriguing mystery of Dannielle’s disappearance.
Love thy neighbour or fear thy neighbour?
For myself and Lauren, my 10-year-old daughter No3 Beech Close was to be our refuge after two years of hell nursing my sick mother.
In need of a fresh start and wanting to distance ourselves from the bad memories of my mother’s house we moved to Beech Close, a small cul-de-sac of six houses situated around a picture-perfect green.
It seemed perfect but I had underestimated the secrets that this tightknit community shared.
Within hours of moving in my next-door neighbour Valerie made it abundantly clear we were not welcome.
I soon discovered that Valerie hadn’t welcomed the previous occupant either and she’d since disappeared without a trace.
Had I put myself and my daughter in danger moving to Beech Close?
Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Her debut novel Stalker was published in September 2019 and marked the beginning of a new writing career. Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband and two daughters.