Author: Sean Doolittle
First Published: 2009
Page Count: 334
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 5/5 Stars
A neighborhood’s dark past is unearthed when a man and his wife move to town and anger the wrong person, setting off a deadly chain of events that threatens their lives.
*Suspenseful mystery *Fast paced
“My wife, Sara, and I are hosting a faculty party at our home when the Clark Falls Police Department arrives to take me into custody.” Paul Callaway and his wife, Sara, move to a small midwestern town to start building a new life together. Despite Paul’s efforts, he can’t quite fit in to the community, nor can he shake the feeling that something is off with his new neighbor, retired police officer Roger Mallory. When Paul gets too suspicious about his new neighbor, he finds himself framed for a disgusting crime. In an attempt to prove his innocence, Paul’s digging into his neighbor’s past reveals the neighborhood’s dark past concerning a boy who went missing ten years ago. Could that cycle of violence be repeating itself with Paul as the next victim?
This book reminded me a lot of Gone Girl and what an enjoyable reading experience that book was. Like Gone Girl, this book reads like a movie and it is fast paced and to the point. You are constantly trying to figure out what crimes were actually committed in the neighborhood and who did it. You feel just like the main character, confused and untrusting of anyone in this mysterious neighborhood. There’s nearly every kind of crime you can think of going on in this small community that claims to promote safety above all else. There are enough twists and turns in the story to make this an entertaining read from page one to page three hundred and thirty-four.
The author likes to jump around a lot in the story, and while that usually isn’t a problem when it comes to storytelling, in this book it felt confusing. Sometimes it would take me a few paragraphs to figure out where I was in the timeline of the story. The book would jump from the past to the future and back again, when it might just have been easier for the author to lay out the main character’s initial story in one shot to make it more clear how the events of the story unfolded. I wanted to hear about what caused Paul to become framed for such a heinous crime, but it also stopped the momentum of the story every time the plot moved backward into the past.
This is definitely a must read book. Besides my minor issue with the way the plot unfolds, this book is gripping from the very start. The idea of a seemingly perfect neighborhood that turns out to be anything but perfect has been done many times before, but Doolittle’s book manages to keep the theme interesting. I might have to check out more from this author if his books prove to be just as intriguing as Safer was.