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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Perfectly Nice Neighbors

Narrator: Tania Rodrigues

Penguin Audio

ISBN: 9780593713815

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Publication Date: 09/12/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars

You choose your house. . .

not who lives next door.

A twisty and consuming thriller, Perfectly Nice Neighbors asks: When your dream home comes with nightmare neighbors, how far will you go to keep your family safe?

Salma Khatun is hopeful about Blenheim, the suburban development into which she, her husband, and their son have just moved. The Bangladeshi family needs a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like just the place.

Soon after they move in, Salma spots her White neighbor, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in the front garden. Avoiding confrontation, Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window. But the next morning, she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.

When she does speak to Tom, battle lines are drawn between the two families. As racial and social tensions escalate and the stakes rise, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming . . .

And someone is going to get hurt.

My Review

Talented Kia Abdullah returns following Next of Kin (5 stars) with her latest engrossing twisty and thought-provoking family drama, domestic, psychological suspense, PERFECTLY NICE NEIGHBORS —two neighbors on opposite sides, a war in suburbia, things escalate; how far will you go to keep your family safe.

Asian family Salma (teacher), her husband Bilal (Bil-restauranteur), and their teen son Zain (18) Khatun have moved to a safe suburban development of Blenheim. They have high hopes the move will be better than their last home for their son. He has been kicked out of college, and this move is their new beginning. They hope this will be a better environment.

They attend a neighborhood BBQ and meet their neighbors, Tom and Willa Hutton, with their son Jamie (16). They were off-putting to Salma & Bil, thinking they were in social housing when they purchased the home privately.

Salma was more cynical than Bil, and this was the safest place they could afford and they needed to make the most of it.

However, their neighbor Tom soon takes an anti-racist banner out of Salma’s garden. She puts the flag/banner in their window and decides not to get into it with Tom.

She is shocked the next day when she discovers someone has painted her window white over the window—next, one nightmare after another.

The tension mounts between the two families, and they wonder where they have moved. Despite the friendship of their two sons, Zain and Jamie, the battle between the two neighboring families continues to escalate until they wind up in court. Things become dangerous.

With tempers flaring living that close, someone is bound to get hurt. Which neighbor will be forced out? With devastating consequences for both families—each will pay for their actions.

Revenge, Defiance, Insanity? Things are not as they appear.

PERFECTLY NICE NEIGHBORS is a timely, powerful drama, and the author, as always, is a pro with her skillful writing, this time delving into human connections, allowing the reader to see both sides of the coin. The author skillfully captures the moral complexities of her characters.

A huge fan of the author, this one is an emotional rollercoaster read, with themes of class, prejudices, hypocrisy, race, and violence with the author's signature courtroom scenes and final unexpected TWIST.

Insightful and thought-provoking, challenging readers to check their attitudes and behaviors. For fans of Lisa Scottoline.

Thanks to Penguin G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley for sharing a gifted ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Sept 12, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars


“One of my ten best reads of the year. Easy five stars.”

— Lisa Jewell, New York Times bestselling author of None of This is True

  • Featured on the New York Times Book Review’s Paperback Row

  • A September LibraryReads Pick

  • One of Country Living's 28 Best Fall Books to Put at the Top of Your Reading List

  • One of Bookish's Page-Turning Mysteries and Thrillers That Will Keep You Up All Night

  • Featured on Book Riot's Read or Dead Podcast

“This twisty page-turner promises a jaw-dropping ending.”

—Country Living

“Intelligent, clever, poignant, sharp, and thought-provoking, right through to the perfect final line.”

—Andrea Mara, author of All Her Fault

“A rollercoaster ride of a toxic tale of neighbors from hell. Brilliantly pacey and wonderfully written with a lovely big twist. Highly recommended.”

—Neil Lancaster, author of Dead Man’s Grave

“[A] commentary on keeping up appearances, rampant—and subtly disguised—racism, and one woman’s determination to keep her family safe at any cost. The writer proves exceptionally skilled at creating tension in every scene with an ominous feeling just around the next page turn.”

—Scary Mommy

“A stunning, thought-provoking, and morally challenging read. It had me guessing until the ingenious reveal—a world-class story.”

—Graham Bartlett, author of Bad For Good

“Gritty…One cannot remain passive in the face of this novel, and the ending lets no one off the hook.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Kia Abdullah is a bestselling author and travel writer. Her novels include Take It Back, which was a Guardian and Telegraph thriller of the year; Truth Be Told, which was shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards; and Next of Kin, which was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and won the Adult Fiction Diverse Book Award in 2022. Abdullah has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, and the BBC, and is the founder of Asian Booklist, a non-profit that advocates for diversity in publishing and helps readers discover new books by British Asian authors. WEBSITE



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