Friday, October 31, 2014

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

23 Beulah Grove may not be the most charming or quaint home, but it's a home nonetheless. Each of the tenants has their own reason for being there - cheap rent, history, no references required... but all of them share one thing in common: they detest their landlord. Unfortunately it's the price they all have to pay for a rental that suits their needs. And it's the one thing that ties this strange group together. 

What they don't know - what they never suspect - is that one of their housemates is a killer. 

The Killer Next Door is such a multi-layered thriller! Each of the housemates has their own tale: Cher is a teenage runaway; Collette witnessed something that's left her on the run; Hossein is a political refugee... six of them in all, and each with their own unique story to tell. But none of them is in any position to mess with the landlord. And he's a real gem! Randomly raising rents, neglecting upkeep, and worse, the man knows that none of them really has any other option. He's just biding his time, collecting cash under the table, until his elderly, rent-controlled, basement tenant is forced to leave and he can sell the place.

Unfortunately the landlord isn't the worst of the lot. Collette moves in when Nikki disappears. Everyone assumes because she'd struggled with the rent that she up and left. Her quick departure leaves a vacancy that Collette is quick to fill. The reader soon learns, however, that Nikki never left. She's still at Beulah Grove, the latest of a handful of women who have fallen victim to a truly twisted killer. This killer lives alongside Collette and the others, performing his demented rituals behind closed doors while presenting a facade of normalcy to those around him.

The events at Beulah Grove are really a disastrous set of circumstances and the reader does begin with the knowledge that everything is going to come crashing down around the tenants. Playing witness as it all happens is a bit ghoulish, but it's also wickedly suspenseful.

Marwood's latest is a deliciously paced thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat - and will probably make you look at all of your neighbors just a little differently!

Rating: 4.5/5

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