Title: The Neighbor
Author: Joseph Souza
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others—or ourselves.
It all seems so promising at the start . . .
When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families—playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.
Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects . . . reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at—and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared.
The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever . . .
The Neighbor by Joseph Souza is a psychological thriller that to be brutally honest was full of unlikable characters doing unlikable things. The very strange part is I found myself actually liking it’s twisted mess.
The story is told by Leah and Clay switching the point of view between them. The two are a married couple that moved from Seattle to Maine and took up residence in a quiet neighborhood that no one else seemed to want to live in other than one other home.
Leah is a stay at home mom with way too much time on her hands to the point she has a few obsessions like what happened to a girl that had disappeared from the local college and getting to know her only neighbors better. Clay on the other hand is trying to run his own business and has little time for his wife, he did however have time to have an affair he doesn’t want her to find out about.
Toss in a bunch of other crazy twists and turns along the way with this pair and somehow this one became quite addictive despite thinking everyone in here was a little off their rockers. I did need to suspend my disbelief of how some things worked in the story but I think the crazier it got the faster the pages turned. This one may not be for everyone but it certainly was an entertaining read for me and in the end I can only think gee my neighbors aren’t so bad after all….
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Before launching his writing career, Joseph Souza worked as an intelligence analyst for the Drug Enforcement Agency (Organized Crime Unit) in Washington, D.C. His award‑winning short fiction and essays have been published in literary journals throughout the country. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two children.