Review: The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

Publication Date: December 5, 2013

Synopsis:
In an apartment building where everyone has secrets and no one is who they seem, Collette fits right in. She’s running from a past that no one knows about, with no idea what her future will hold.

As she gets to know the other people in the building, strange things start to happen and Collette has to wonder if it’s time for her to move on. But everyone has their secrets, and maybe her new friends can help her.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Date Read: December 10, 2018

Thoughts:
After reading a lot of books for class and a lot of lighter reads, I wanted something that was darker, and I knew that I would probably get that in the form of a mystery.

The premise was pretty interesting. A woman running from her past ends up in a building owned by a really awful and sketchy landlord, and she finds out that all the residents in the building are there because of something in their past. No one has a history like hers, but they all have something that they’re trying to get away from.

The characters were fairly well written. I could tell them apart quite easily while listening to the audiobook because most of them had different accents, allowing me to know right off the bat who I was hearing from. It was impressive for one narrator to do all the voices like that, and I think she did a really good job with the accents.

Some part of the book felt repetitive because the characters were repeatedly talking about the same problems without doing much about it. It did make me bored at times, but not so much that it affected how quickly I got through this book. I don’t remember what I was doing while I listened to this, but I remember being able to get through it in about two days, which is faster than I normally get through an audiobook during the semester.

The pacing was even and appropriate for the book. Once we got started, we kept going with enough material from each of the characters that it didn’t feel like the story dragged. I will say that I felt like it took awhile to really start getting good, but I enjoyed the characters enough to spend the time with them and enjoyed guessing who the killer was.

Once things started going, they kept going and escalating at a good pace. I was disappointed in the ending only because I had already figured out who the killer was and felt that it was pretty obvious from the beginning. The revelation was cheesy, but it worked, and the way that things ended was simple, but it got the job done. I admit that I stopped paying attention for a few minutes and missed some stuff, not bothering to go back to see what I missed. But I think I got the gist of how things wrapped up.

I wasn’t surprised by the reveal, but if you’ve followed this blog for awhile or know me in real life, you’ll know that it’s quite hard to surprise me when it comes to mysteries because I’ve read so many of them since I was a kid, and I regularly watch police dramas. That being said, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by this book, so I guess that my expectations were met, in a way.

Character(s):
I liked Collette. I respected a lot of the decisions she made, and I think that she was pretty level-headed considering all that had happened to her and was happening around her. Sometimes I wished that she was more decisive, but overall, I don’t really have any complaints about her.

Cher was annoying at times, but I’ll attribute it to her age. She definitely thought and acted like someone her age, sometimes to a point that was more frustrating than anything else. But considering all that she dealt with when she was younger, I really can’t blame her for being the way that she is and acting how she does.

Vesta was interesting. I don’t think I can really say that I do or don’t like her. She was a decent character in terms of writing, but I don’t feel like she necessarily added a lot to the story. Perhaps her being so much older than the rest of the characters has something to do with that, but I think that she could have been more interesting.

There are three guys as well, but I don’t remember any of their names, so I’m not really going to talk about them that much. We also don’t get to spend as much time with them because most of our time is spent with Collette or the killer.

Overall:
3.5 stars. It was a simple mystery, more character driven than plot driven. Maybe worth picking up if you’re not super into mysteries or familiar with the genre yet. It’s an okay one to start out with.

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