“The Killer Next Door” by Alex Marwood – A Book Review

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How well do you really know your neighbors? Alex Marwood’s second novel takes place in a gentrifying suburbs of London and focuses on the residents of a house that has been converted into some sketchy apartments or “flats.” Each character has his or her own secrets, but one is hiding something much worse — yep, there’s a serial killer in the building. Forced to band together to protect each other’s secrets after an unfortunate accident, they soon discover that someone is not who they seem.

While I had not enjoyed Marwood’s debut novel, “The Wicked Girls” (my review can be found here), I would recommend “The Killer Next Door.” Where the previous novel suffered from a lack of momentum, her second book chugs along at a decent pace, and more importantly – the characters were much more three dimensional and well-fleshed out. Where Marwood really succeeds this time around is with the creation of situation/scenes that seem very believable/vivid. You can clearly picture the dilapidated house and the cast of characters that populate the dank apartments… I shudder just thinking about the accommodations.

Told from various perspectives, the chapters rotate focusing on each of the different characters which gives the reader a well-rounded view of events from multiple vantages (yes, including the killer’s). Though a bit long-winded in some places, I did appreciate that Marwood tried to give each character a solid backstory and perspective versus sticking with the stereotypes of an ensemble cast.

Available for pre-order from Amazon.com and on shelves October 28th, 2014.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via their “First to Read” program

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