The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski #bookreview #thriller #drama #suspense

Title: The Mother Next Door

Author: Tara Laskowski

Publisher:  Graydon House

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

Page Count:  266

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

Never show their feelings.
Never spill their secrets.
Never admit to murder.

The annual Halloween block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plans the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five has been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet… until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They’ll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

From award-winning author Tara Laskowski, The Mother Next Door is an atmospheric novel of domestic suspense in which the strive for perfection ends in murder…

The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski is mostly being tagged as a thriller but for me I felt this one fell more into the drama category with a bit of suspense. The story is told by changing the point of view between the main characters which are in a timeline leading up to the Halloween party and also with passages between their point of view of Halloween.

Theresa has just made the move to the suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. Being in a new neighborhood of course Theresa wants to fit in with the other moms around. Four of those mothers are in a group that call themselves the Ivy Five and they take Theresa into their friend group hoping to make it whole again after losing their former fifth member. As the ladies are planning the upcoming Halloween block party they begin to receive threatening messages.

Now perhaps I may be reading just too many thrillers set up as coming into a new neighborhood and the secrets and lies being hidden there but for me I just found The Mother Next Door to be just an Ok read. I do however seem to be a minority opinion on this one as others are loving it and normally I do enjoy some good old popcorn drama but I just found the story rather slow moving. Also for me the characters didn’t really stand out that much and I didn’t particularly find myself caught up in their drama the way I have with other stories of this nature. Again, not bad but it won’t become a favorite of mine.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon*

About the author:

TARA LASKOWSKI is the author of the suspense novel, One Night Gone, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Lefty Award and the Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine story, “The Case of the Vanishing Professor,” won the 2019 Agatha Award and her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “The Long-Term Tenant,” is a finalist for the 2020 Thriller Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize and was the longtime editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. Follow her on Twitter, @TaraLWrites.

*This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commission on any purchase made through the link of the products I share. That commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.

23 Comments on “The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski #bookreview #thriller #drama #suspense

  1. As always.. great review, Carrie! Unfortunately this one is on my Tbr, well, was. I don’t think I would enjoy this as much as I thought when I added it. 😅
    Shame it wasn’t a more exciting read for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I read the blurb for this one, it sounded a bit too similar to The Street Party which was an okay read for me, but I didn’t love it like I had hoped, so I passed. Nice honest review Carrie, we can’t love them all.

    Liked by 1 person

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