NetGalley: The Neighbor by Joseph Souza
Title: The Neighbor
Author: Joseph Souza
Published: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Kensington Books
Review: ebook from NetGalley
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 . . .
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.
I have read books before by this author and, I really liked how he could pull you into the story. With this one I started to enjoy it then I felt uncomfortable reading it. The whole calling females names that were derogatory from the other characters to how race played a part in the story it just didn't sit well with me.
Leah and her husband move across the US so her husband can open up his own business. Leah is a stay at home mom who doesn't have much to do but obsess over her neighbor. When a college student goes missing Leah wants to find out what happened to her yet what she uncovers is that everyone has secrets, even those that are close to her.
We go between Ben and Leah's point of view which is pretty easy to do, there is no confusion there.
We see what Ben has been up to and what his secret is, to what Leah does in her spare time.
This is a web that is woven so crazy.
There was an issue that I had to do some research on Bill Clinton because the author was discussing cheating and says "Bill Clinton, the first black president." That really threw me for a huge loop.
Overall the story was okay was not my favorite from the author and it is because of what I stated before. Between the derogatory use of names to how race was portrayed just did not sit well.
I did like all the secrets everyone had, and how they all came out eventually. Just goes to show that no matter what you can not bury secrets no matter who you are.
Character-wise I didn't really like any of the characters they were developed to an extent but Leah bothered me so much. She was too involved with herself and her neighbor that she didn't seem to have concern for her children. Especially her son who is showing signs of being a racist kid.
Sorry but this book got 2 wine glasses.
Joseph Souza's award-winning short stories have been published in various literary journals throughout the country. Winner of the Andre Dubus Award for short fiction, he also won Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award and the 2013 Maine Literary Award. His mystery, UNPAVED SURFACES, was published by Kindle Press in 2015 and was an Amazon bestseller. NEED TO FIND YOU, his crime thriller set in Portland, was the first novel to go direct-to-publish by Kindle Press. His new domestic thriller, THE NEIGHBOR (Kensington) will be published April 24, 2018. Visit josephsouza.net for more information about his work.
He lives near Portland, Maine with his wife and two children and enjoys running, cooking and playing golf when not writing.
Joseph can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephsouza3. You can also visit his website to read more about Joseph. www.josephsouza.net.
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