Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: "The Killer Next Door" By Alex Marwood

I was privileged to be able to review "The Killer Next Door" by Alex Marwood. This is her second book, the first, Edgar Award winner "Wicked Girls" was given a glowing review from Stephen King. After reading the synopsis of "The Killer Next Door" I was seriously intrigued to get into it.

An old mansion has been broken up into six suites and the six renters all have secrets they want to keep. 23 Beulah Grove is the kind of rooming house where there are no credit checks, no background searches and no rental agreements. The landlord has power over whether you stay but you get to keep your secrets. The story opens with the revelation that one of the residents is a killer. The author then takes us back in time to let us meet the residents of Beulah Grove.

The premise of this thriller is really exciting and the author develops the characters so well you find yourself hoping they get out of this alive. The women were especially well developed and I would have loved to learn a little more about the men in this book. Ms. Marwood is an excellent writer, she's easy to read and her prose flow like water off a slick surface. My one complaint is that there is just too much unimportant detail which can be easily skipped by the reader but does lesson the enjoyability of the book. The mystery is slowed and the thrilling rush to an ending is kept hostage by just too many words that could easily be cut by a good editor. This book has great characters, well fleshed out (no pun intended, lol) and the author's excellent narrative skills made me want to finish the book.

I can understand why many reviewers have loved Alex Marwood's writing and I'm betting that "Wicked Girls" was even better than "The Killer Next Door". It makes me wish I had read her debut novel first, maybe I would have enjoyed this one even more. Although I'm only giving this mystery/thriller a three star rating, I have great hope that her next book has fewer long flowing descriptions and even more amazing characters. I know that would make for a near perfect read.

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