The Good Neighbour by R. J. Parke | Publisher: Harper Collins U.K.; One More Chapter | Genre: Thriller | Find it on: Goodreads | Publishing: 18 March 2021
Leah knows her husband is cheating on her. Why else would he be out late on Valentine’s night and not answering his phone? Why else would he be sleeping in a separate bedroom? But Leah won’t be the one to get home first. She’ll stay out, driving around, as late as she can.
But then Leah’s car is hit by a deer and she’s forced to ask for help at the nearest house. And when a chivalrous, handsome man opens the door and invites her in, Leah can help but feel…something. But when she goes back the next day and finds police officers who tell her the woman who owns the house was murdered Leah realizes the man she met wasn’t who he said he was.
The problem is that he was just as captivated by her…
This book had an amazing premise, and the first half of the book lived up to it. The tension between Leah and “Tate” is well-developed and the stomach dropping turn Leah experiences when she finds out her handsome stranger wasn’t who he said he was kept me turning pages.
About half way through, I started to lose interest. The chemistry between Leah and Tate starts to fade as Parker works to make Tate unforgivably evil and Leah unforgivably stupid. The plotline with Leah and her husband (and his mistress) was interesting, but the story between Leah and her dad didn’t hold up as the book moved forward; at least not the way it seems Parker intended it to.
Had this just been a book about Tate and Leah, I would’ve been all for it from the beginning to the end. But Parker tries to do too much with the untold backstory that has (apparently) left Leah feeling worthless and susceptible to being treated poorly. I think this book was calling out for a past/present narrative to offer more backstory from Tate and Leah’s relationships with the men in her life (her dad and her husband) to get me to care about her or the choice Tate forces her to make.
But I just couldn’t buy in enough to keep the end stakes high by the end.
I’d still say this book is as entertaining as a good Lifetime movie (in a good way!) and it’s the perfect paperback to pick up when fool’s spring ends and winter comes back for a final freeze this March.
Read it? Adding it to your TBR? Disagree? Let’s talk in the comments!
*Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins U.K. for the review copy!*