The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan

Oh. My. God. I LOVED this! Fast paced, with twists and turns, this novel really keeps you on your feet. It’s got the best bits of traditional thriller/detective novels, and it combines the genres absolutely wonderfully.

When young Clare goes missing and is later found dead, her small home town is left shocked and devastated.

The characters in this were so intriguing, particularly Jane, the epitome of an unreliable and untrustworthy narrator. Her husband, Jack, was seriously unreadable until about two-thirds through, making it harder to know what was behind Jane’s perfect appearance. DS Madeline Shaw is another great character, and I felt like she had just the right amount of focus on her in the novel. This isn’t a detective novel, but there are elements of that within it, and I loved the way DS Shaw was written throughout the investigation, in interviews and as a member of the town itself – Shaw was not only the investigating officer, but she was also neighbour to many of the other characters in the novel, so the relationship between them and the way they viewed Shaw was super interesting.

I’m a sucker for books that give flashbacks, but oh boy does this book do it well! The brief glimpses into the thoughts and actions of Clare were just enough to make the reader question what she’s doing. Throughout the flashbacks there were often hints of suspicion surrounding other characters she interacts with, and I was gripped by this sense of uncertainty.

I definitely got a sense that not all was as it seemed with Jane and Jack, but Morgan keeps just enough of the story under wraps until nearer the end to leave the reader in suspense.

This was brilliantly written, with wonderfully layered and complicated characters, and a story interwoven with gripping flashbacks. I loved this, and it’s definitely a 5 star book for me!

The Girl Next Door
Phoebe Morgan
HQ, 21st Feb 2019

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