Review: The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller

Featured photo taken by J King | Retrieved from Unsplash

WARNING: this post contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk!

The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller was my pick for my September Book of the Month book. I started it at the beginning of fall and it has honestly put me in the mood for more juicy contemporary fiction novels or even some thrillers after a summer full of romances!

Disclaimer: at the end of this post, you’ll find my BOTM referral link. This post is not sponsored by BOTM. I only receive a free book from BOTM if you use my link!

“Readers are the best people,” Annie said. “Think about it: our hobby is putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes.”

The Synopsis:

“With its sprawling yards and excellent schools, Cottonwood Estates is the perfect place to raise children. The Cottonwood Book Club serves as the subdivision’s eyes and ears, meeting once a month for discussion, gossip, and cocktails. If their selections trend toward twisty thrillers and salacious murder mysteries, it’s only because the members feel secure that such evil has no place in their own cul-de-sacs.

Or does it?

What happened to Lena’s family fifteen years ago was a tragic accident, and she will never admit otherwise. Devoted wife and mother Annie refuses to acknowledge—even to herself—the weight of a past shame. And new resident Jen wants friends, but as always, worry about her troubled son gets in the way.

When late-night acts of vandalism target the women of the book club in increasingly violent and personal ways, they will be forced to decide how far to go to keep their secrets. At least they all agree on what’s most important: protecting their children at any cost—even if it means someone has to die.”

Read This If You Love…

  • Dark and twisty pasts
  • Mystery
  • Books about book clubs
  • Mama dramas with slight Pretty Little Liars vibes

If you’re a safe harbor, your kids will volunteer things. But if you insist on being supercop, they’ll run in the other direction.”

My Review

The Neighbor’s Secret is one of those books in which you think you know what’s going on, who is doing what, and the like… but you actually have no idea.

L. Alison Heller does a great job of developing characters that are vastly different from one another, from the cringey book club president (that we all probably know someone like that in real life LOL) to the helicopter mom who interrogates her child and her child’s friends to the mysterious neighbor.

There is a lot of history in Cottonwood Estates that makes for an intriguing plot. I feel like this book isn’t just contemporary fiction. It really should fall under a mild thriller, too. There is a lot of mystery and you think you know who the neighborhood vandal is only to find out that it is someone totally different – and then you feel bad that you accused a different character to begin with.

I felt that The Neighbor’s Secret got off to a slow start for me and it was a bit rough in some parts. There were some instances where what was being shared wasn’t really applicable to the plot nor did it really provide much substance to the character either. In addition to that, I think the structure of the chapters could’ve been better. For example, there was a mysterious event from fifteen years ago that was often referenced at the end of a chapter. I personally would’ve preferred for these parts to be written as their own chapters.

Still, I found The Neighbor’s Secret to be a book I couldn’t put down as the plot thickened and got more twisty. I was totally hooked- I NEEDED to know how it would end and the ending really surprised me!

Make sure you keep this book on your radar and get it on October 5th!

“But it’s the height of sanity,” Jen said. “What better reason to kill than for your child?”

Like I mentioned above, I got The Neighbor’s Secret in my September BOTM box. If you’re interested in subscribing, click this link and we can read together!

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