Review: Fiona Cummins – The Neighbour (K)

The Neighbour
Fiona Cummins

Four people have been murdered, their faces painted to look like a doll’s, and their eyes replaced with glass replicas. Everyone has secrets and it seems that nobody on the street is safe, so when a new family moves in, they’re not expected to stay long. Instead, as more murders are committed, the hunt for the killer starts to near its close – but at what price?

This book was structured quite differently to other mystery books that I’ve read. Instead of focusing on the police or a victims POV, the entire case was set in the past, and parts of the book are given from the killer’s perspective in the ‘present day’ as they run from the cops. I really enjoyed this style, as it provided more hints to who the killer was from the way they talked/acted, and opened up new questions by the cryptic way they described events.

Near the end of the book, when all the ‘past’ events had been told, the focus was exclusively on the killer after they have been determined by the cops. The ‘spoiler’ at the beginning that they were found didn’t detract much, as I usually expect in a mystery book that the killer will eventually be caught. For this type of horror/mystery genre, the ending of the book worked wonderfully. It left me feeling a little spooked, and with chills down my spine. I really appreciated this, as one of my least favourite parts of a mystery book is the ending where the detectives all congratulate themselves on solving the case, and the excitement has died down. This book didn’t do that at all, and ended in an amazing, terrifying, manner.

My one issue with this book was with the introductions to characters. While the main characters were distinct and 3-dimensional, it took me a while to be able to tell apart some of the side characters, because there wasn’t enough time early on dedicated to them. That said, I can understand why they were included, as each character provided their own flavour and added to the story in some way. I just wish that they had been fleshed out more thoroughly in the beginning of the book, instead of waiting to the middle/end.

In all, this was quite a good book, that I enjoyed reading immensely. I finished it in under a day, which tells me that it was good enough to prevent me being distracted from it too many times. I would definitely recommend this book, with the caveat that anyone who picks it up understands that it’s equal parts horror and mystery, and is much more scary than a typical mystery novel.


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