EXCERPT: I forced my eyes open.
And I saw him.
‘Tom.’ My own voice this time, barely a whisper. ‘Tom.’ A little stronger, louder.
My brother lay a few meters away in what had been my blue Ford Capri, but which was now an upturned carcass of broken glass and mangled steel. The flashing of the hazard lights illuminated Tom’s bloody face every few seconds, a perverse freak show. He hung upside down. Unlike me, he was still in the car, somewhere between the front and back seats, his arms and legs bent at impossible angles. Eyes wide and glazed. Staring at me. Desperate. Begging.
ABOUT ‘THE NEIGHBOURS’: Abby looks forward to meeting the family who just moved in across the street—until she realizes they’re the one couple who could expose her deepest secrets
After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It’s a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.
Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames—the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.
In a strange twist of fate, Liam moves into the neighborhood with his own family, releasing a flood of memories that Abby has been trying to keep buried all these years. Abby and Liam, in a complicit agreement, pretend never to have met, yet cannot resist the pull of the past—nor the repercussions of the terrible secrets they’ve both been carrying…
MY THOUGHTS: Told from the points of view of Abby and Nate, Nancy and Liam, and extracts from Sarah’s diary, The Neighbours is an excellent and intriguing piece of domestic noir that spans two timelines.
‘Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust.
Lies stay secret.
And so they must.’
Abby has had a lot to contend with: her father’s abandonment; estrangement from her mother; the belief that she’s never deserved Nate’s ‘no strings attached’ love and that she is unable to reciprocate it; her failure to bond with her daughter and her need to spy on her; causing the death of her brother; and walking away from the one man she truly loved.
Abby believes that she has left her tragic past behind. She has a husband who adores her and, as he says, he loves enough for both of them. But what happens when your past moves in next door? Is Abby strong enough to resist, or will she give in to temptation?
The characters are well depicted. Abby is a ‘closed off’ type of person who doesn’t like to let anyone get close, not even Nate, her husband, who adores her and cherishes her. Sarah, their daughter, is very close to her dad, and barely tolerates her mother. Sarah is also extremely resourceful. Nancy is insecure and lives in the shadow of her successful and charming husband, Liam. Abby and Liam have met before, but they’re keeping that a secret…
The Neighbours is an exciting read that will keep you turning the pages as secret after secret is revealed, taking the reader full circle, back to the car crash that begins this story.
The ending is clever and cataclysmic. This is a story filled with betrayal, lies, secrets and love. There are twists that, in the spirit of Christmas, just keep on giving.
This is my second book by this author, and I am hooked. So why not 5 stars? Nate has only ever kept one secret from Abby and he has always sworn that he wouldn’t add to the list. He does, and we know what the second secret is, but we never find out what the first was. And I want to know!
‘Whatever happens, spring and summer will always come. Things will always get better.’
THE AUTHOR: I was born in the UK and grew up in Switzerland. Unsurprisingly I love chocolate, mountains and cheese, and books, of course.
When I moved to Canada with my husband and three sons in 2010 I went through an (early) mid-life crisis. Maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company, but one morning I decided to follow my oldest passion; writing – and never looked back.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin, MIRA, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Neighbours by Hannah Mary McKinnon for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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