EXCERPT: it started with her phone buzzing at 3:04 am that morning. Only nine months ago and as fresh in her mind as an unhealed wound. Foggy from sleep, she’d mistaken its sound for her alarm.
‘Amy?’ There was fear in Zane’s voice, something she’d never heard before. ‘Somethings happened. Can you come to my place?’
He was breathing hard. Even half-asleep, she heard the panic in his voice and it acted on her like a cold shock, pulling her into a hyper-alert state.
Her heart stuttered. ‘What is it? Are you okay?’
She remembered jumping out of bed, the phone clamped to her ear. They’d only been together for three months but already everything else, family, friends and work were falling away until Zane was her life.
‘I need help,’ he said.
ABOUT ‘DEAR NEIGHBOUR’: When Amy and her boyfriend Zane move into a house together, she hopes they can put their rocky past behind them.
She gets a job and befriends the older couple who live in the house next door. Amy is impressed by their sophistication, wealth, and love for one another and in turn they somewhat adopt her when Amy’s relationship with her boyfriend deteriorates rapidly.
Jobless, often absent and clearly up to no good, Zane is jealous and increasingly abusive. His hold over the shy Amy has been strong, yet cracks are beginning to show.
When a policeman knocks on her door one innocuous day, it is the start of series of events that will make the two households clash together in a fatal entanglement.
Zane will see an opportunity and greed will get the better of him, but are their new neighbours quite the easy targets they appear to be?
Amy is in the middle of it all and someone is going to get killed.
MY THOUGHTS: ‘Seedy’ is the word I would use to sum up the atmosphere of Dear Neighbour.
Zane has dragged Amy, not exactly unwillingly, into his world of drugs and violence and now she feels trapped in a sick and destructive relationship.
I didn’t like Amy at all, not even at the end. I kept wanting
to yell at her to wake up and get out. She is weak and needy and willing to do anything to keep Zane by her side. Zane is also weak, but exceedingly manipulative, and he has Amy right where he wants her, supporting him both financially and emotionally. Actually, the only characters I liked were Frank and Greta, a devoted elderly couple who are hiding a surprising secret.
It is no secret that I don’t like books with a central theme of drugs and violence. I don’t like weak and stupid female characters. I don’t like weak and stupid characters full stop. I like clever mysteries and psychological thrillers with plenty of surprises and twists. Dear Neighbour didn’t give me that, and yet I kept reading. Right to the end. And while I can’t say that I enjoyed the read, I can see its appeal to others.
Dear Neighbour is a quick, fast-paced read at 184 pages, and certainly packed with action. It reminds me of the pulp fiction published in the 1950s, but lacking the lurid cover and ‘racy’ scenes.
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THE AUTHOR: Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna enjoys writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband and two children.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Henry Roi PR for providing a digital ARC of Dear Neighbour by Anna Willett 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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