Title: The Girl Next Door
Author: Phoebe Morgan
Publisher: Harper Collins, HQ Stories
Publication Date: 21 February 2019
One little lie just became deadly…
Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.
So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.
Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…
Thank you to The Pigeonhole and HQ for giving me the chance to read a serialised version of The Girl Next Door over the past couple of weeks. This was one of the most gripping books I’ve read in a long time!
The setting of the story, in the small, affluent town of Ashdon, is a fantastically entertaining choice. It puts me in mind of Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives (the US ABC comedy-drama), with a group of yummy-mummy friends who like to show off their outwardly perfect lives, whilst underlying tensions simmer close beneath the surface. The ‘queen bee’ is undoubtedly Jane Goodwin. She needs to be the most perfect, the one the others strive to emulate. Yet, as is often the case, life is not all quite as it seems……
The story is pacy and well-written, flowing seamlessly between the three narrators – Clare (the murder victim), Jane Goodwin (the neighbour) and DS Madeline Shaw (the investigating police officer) – ensuring that the reader sees the tale unfolding (or imploding!!) from all directions, drawing them quickly into the story. The use of narration from the victim herself is the perfect tool to grab the readers’ attention and make this book difficult to put down.
I thought that the development of Jane’s character was very well done. My feelings towards her did several U-turns as the tale progressed, and I found myself quickly becoming invested in the story as I tried to gain some understanding of this complex character.
With some cracking plotting, The Girl Next Door certainly makes for a thrilling and twisty read. Just when you think you know what’s what, it all twist-turns again leaving you questioning everything. The author certainly knows how to keep a reader on their toes!
This book is wonderfully written, unpredictable, exhausting, thrilling and thoroughly entertaining. A absolutely gripping read and one which I would highly recommend this to any lovers of suspense, thriller, domestic noir and crime fiction.
About the Author
Phoebe Morgan is an author and senior commissioning editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan, or find her blog about publishing and writing at phoebemorganauthor.com. The Doll House is her debut novel. It became a #1 iBooks bestseller and spent over 8 weeks in the Kindle top 100. Her second book, The Girl Next Door, will be out on 21st February 2019 in paperback, ebook and audio, and a third will follow in 2020.