The Killer Next Door
By: Alex Marwood
Narrator: Imogen Church
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn't, they wouldn't be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash--no credit check, no lease. It's the kind of place you end up when you you've run out of other options.
The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don't know is that one of them is a killer. He's already chosen his next victim, and he'll do anything to protect his secret.
Alex Marwood’s THE KILLER NEXT DOOR, brings six desperate residents to 23 Beulah Grove, a diverse group of characters, hiding out at an old Victorian boarding house, all with secrets for a creepy, crime psycho-thriller with a mix of Gothic dark comedy and danger.
Set in South London at a run shabby boarding house (a step above a homeless shelter), operated by a disturbing and revolting, landlord, Roy—the kind of place that caters to residents who prefer to pay in cash and stay off the radar.
Lisa (Collette), is on the run after witnessing her not so nice boss, Tony beat a man to death at a club. Her mom is dying in a nursing home and wants to be nearby so the boarding house seems to be a good option. She uses the money she has left to escape and always looking over her shoulder, while trying to maintain her anonymity.
All of the residents have secrets: Hossein, a refuge, seeking political ; Vesta, who's lived in the basement apartment all her life and is now 69; Cher, a 15-year-old thief who is trying to escape social services and is involved in petty thefts and scams; and two single men tenants, a music teacher Gerard and Thomas, who works part-time. Everyone has to protect one another's secrets.
Unknown to the other residents, one of the men has been making a habit of killing young women, including Nikki, the former resident of Collette's apartment, and some gruesome horror as what he does to them afterwards. Now the killer is looking for new blood. Despite their differences, the tenants are united by an accident at the house—and by the growing realization that one of them is a killer.
The residents are being interviewed about a crime as the novel switches back and forth, from past to present. From break-ins, smells (a lot about smells), loud music, hidden video-recording equipment, pipes clogged with mysterious finds, and body parts, not for the faint-hearted. However, a realistic shrewd look at people living on the edge of society and an inside look at the profile of a sicko murderer serial killer.
I listened to the audio book and was not fully engaged with the narrator, Imogen Church, as may have given the book a higher rating otherwise. However, even though the novel is a crime mystery it is more about the flawed characters—the author did a good job, portraying each character with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and secrets.
In summary, be wary of your neighbors- a cautionary and compelling tale of humanity. If you enjoy twisted graphic dark things which "go bump in the night", and human interactions, you will enjoy this chilling and creepy Halloween read.