Judith D Collins
The New Neighbor
By: Carter Wilson
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 04/12/2022
My Rating: 5 Stars ++ (ARC)
APRIL AUTHOR QA
USA Today bestselling author Carter Wilson returns with another chilling psychological thriller, for readers of Megan Miranda and Alex Michaelides
Aidan holds the winning Powerball numbers.
Is today the best day of his life... or the worst?
Aidan Marlowe is the superstitious type―he's been playing the same lottery numbers for fifteen years, never hitting the jackpot. Until now. On the day of his wife's funeral.
Aidan struggles to cope with these two sudden extremes: instant wealth beyond his imagination, and the loss of the only woman he's ever loved, the mother of his twin children. But the money gives him and his kids options they didn't have before. They can leave everything behind. They can start a new life in a new town. So they do.
But a huge new house and all the money in the world can't replace what they've lost, and it's not long before Aidan realizes he's merely trading old demons for new ones. Because someone is watching him and his family very closely. Someone who knows exactly who they are, where they've come from, and what they're trying to hide. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want...
Buy the Book
About the Author
Photo Credit: Eldeen Annette Headshots
Carter Wilson is the USA Today and #1 Denver Post bestselling author of seven critically acclaimed, standalone psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories. He is an ITW Thriller Award finalist, a four-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and his novels have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Carter lives in Erie, Colorado in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted…yet.
Born in New Mexico in 1970, Carter grew up primarily in Los Angeles before attending Cornell University in New York. He lived in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Miami before moving to Boulder, Colorado in 1996. Throughout his life, Carter has journeyed the globe for both work and pleasure, and his travels have been a constant source of inspiration in his fiction.
Carter’s writing career began on a spring day in 2003, when an exercise to ward off boredom during a continuing-education class evolved into a 400-page manuscript. Since that day, Carter has been constantly writing. In addition to his published novels, Carter has also contributed short fiction to various publications, and most notably was featured in the R.L. Stine young-adult anthology Scream and Scream Again.
Connect with Carter
Website | Newsletter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Podcast
Carter Wilson Novels
Q&A Elevator Ride with
bestselling author & podcast host Carter Wilson
"Behind the Book" #AuthorElevatorSeries
Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.
INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW
We are super excited to have you join us today for a fun elevator ride. We cannot wait to catch up with you, your podcast, and your latest psychological thriller hit, THE NEW NEIGHBOR. I loved it! The novel would make for a killer TV series or movie! Fingers crossed. We cannot get enough of Rum Road: Bury, NH. Let’s dive in!
Q. Describe THE NEW NEIGHBOR in three words or less?
CW: Trust no one. (okay, I stole that from The X-Files, but it still applies).
Q. INSPIRATION: The spark that ignited the novel? Where were you when the idea came to you?
CW: As with most of my thrillers, the only idea I have is for an opening scene. And the scene that popped into my mind for this book was a 30-something man (Aidan Marlowe) at the funeral for his wife (the love of his life and mother of their 7-year-old twins) who died unexpectedly. I saw the whole scene completely in my mind, and then it occurred to me that, as Marlowe's standing alone next to the casket, a notification on his phone informs him he just won a $30 million lottery jackpot.
I wrote the scene and loved it, realizing Marlowe would struggle to handle the mental extremes of these massive life events. I spent the rest of the book seeing just how the hell he was going to stay sane.
Q. SETTING: Tell us more about the book setting (s) and why you selected it?
CW: My previous book (THE DEAD HUSBAND) took place in the fictional town of Bury, NH, and specifically within the walls of a mansion on Rum Hill Road. When I finished that book, I realized I wasn't ready to move on from either Bury or that wicked house. So, knowing I had a grieving widower (Marlowe) who'd just won the lottery, I decided he was going to pack up his family, move to new Hampshire, and buy that house on Rum Hill Road.
I wanted Marlowe to feel the energy of the house and know something bad had once happened there. I wanted the house to be a major part of the story without the reader having to rely on my previous book to understand all that was happening. And that was my ultimate challenge: having both THE NEW NEIGHBOR and THE DEAD HUSBAND be intricately connected while still having each book be a standalone story.
Q. RUM HILL ROAD. Of course, the million-dollar question: Do you have plans for another book set in Bury, NH? Too good to end! (a new resident, perhaps, or bringing back characters from The Dead Husband)?
CW: And the million-dollar answer is....maybe? I do love to explore new worlds and my next two book ideas have nothing to do with Bury, but I would like to know what become of some of my Bury characters. Perhaps a very dark and dysfunctional family reunion will occur at some future point.
Q. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: Your favorite character to write in THE NEW NEIGHBOR?
CW: Marlowe was both my favorite and most challenging character to write. Not too many thrillers are centered around single fathers, and it was important for me to get his character just right. He needed to be a strong, caring dad while also being fractured from his wife's death. Marlowe is an unreliable narrator through no fault of his own, and I needed to make him empathic all the while he's spiraling into a very dark descent. That's a tough balance to achieve, and I hope it did it.
Q. PLOT: What a twisty plot—heart pounding suspense! How in the world do you keep all the parts organized when writing?
CW: It's complete chaos, really. I don't outline, so I'm never really certain what's going to happen next. My writing style is to simply keeping asking myself what if? as I write, and that leads to some interesting plot choices that I never expected. Sometimes those choices are perfect, and sometimes they're terrible and I need to go back and choose a different path. I don't worry too much about keeping it organized until I finish the first draft (the hardest part of writing). Then it's time for editing, and that's when I have to keep a detailed list of everything that happens to ensure a smooth plot line.
Now, for a fun up close and personal elevator ride with
Carter Wilson— "Behind the Author"
Give Us Your Best Elevator Pitch for
The New Neighbor
CW: On the day of his wife’s funeral, Aidan Marlowe wins the lottery and decides to move his family out of Baltimore and begin anew. His clean slate quickly turns ominous when notes start appearing at his door—notes that make it clear that he’s not welcome and that his home may have a past as dark as the one he left behind
FAVORITE THING ABOUT WHERE YOU RESIDE?
Looking west and seeing the mountains every day
YOUR FAVORITE LIFE LESSON QUOTE?
FAVORITE SONG OR ARTIST?
The band James - their lyrics have appeared in several of my books.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY OR SEASON?
Halloween, of course!
FAVORITE READING FORMAT?
Needs to be a physical book--either hardcover or paperback.
FAVORITE TV SERIES? (Or Movie/Video) binge-watch, series, etc.?
I think I'd have to go with Mad Men.
MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?
I once went to Transylvania for a wedding.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE A SPARK OF INSPIRATION FOR A BOOK:
I don't write it down. If it's good to pursue, I'll remember.
YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?
I have a cozy writer's room off my bedroom.
A FAVORITE GUEST (MOST MEMORABLE) YOU HAVE HAD ON YOUR “MAKING IT UP” PODCAST SHOW?
Mark Sullivan, when he recounted how meeting Tony Robbins changed his life.
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?
YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A DAD?
When my kids make me laugh.
THANK YOU, Carter, for spending time with us today!
Readers: Check out my glowing 5-star review (top books of 2022) and advance praise. Be sure and pick up a copy of THE NEW NEIGHBOR and post your review on your favorite social media platform. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Also tune into Carter’s MAKING IT UP Podcast show, and any previous episodes you may have missed.
“A disquieting psychological thriller from Wilson skillfully piles on the creepiness, ratcheting up the tension as Aidan’s world starts spinning out of control. Megan Miranda fans will be satisfied.” ―Publishers Weekly
“There’s no denying Wilson’s power to weave a dark web. Stuck at home because of the pandemic? This is cheaper than moving, and it’ll make you feel better about staying put.”
“Eerie, disturbing, and violent, Wilson’s psychological thriller packs a real punch, with a shocker of an ending.”
“The New Neighbor is a dizzying descent into a Byzantine maze of psychological suspense. Carter Wilson proves once again why he is one of the best most inventive thriller writers working today.”
―S. A. Cosby, New York Times bestselling author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland
“Damn you. Wilson, I was up all night with this book. The mysteries of Bury are perfectly placed, the tension is thick enough to drown in, and the pages fly by. Brilliant escapism. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
―Stuart Turton, internationally bestselling author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Devil and the Dark Water
“A truly suspenseful and gripping read. I was filled with anxiety and on the edge of my seat throughout. Bravo!”
—Alice Hunter, author of The Serial Killer’s Wife
“Fast-paced, beautifully written and with the requisite heart-pounding moments, Carter Wilson’s The New Neighbor hits all the right thriller notes. Add this to your to-read pile immediately!”
—Catherine McKenzie, USA Today bestselling author of You Can’t Catch Me and Six Weeks to Live
“I can never resist a book with a well-written, unreliable narrator, and Carter Wilson nails just that in his tautly written thriller, The New Neighbor. I couldn’t bear to put this page-turner down until I figured out every single detail in Wilson’s suspenseful and twist-ridden story of loss, mourning, and new starts that asks if money can ever buy happiness and even if it does―at what cost?”
―Emily Bleeker, Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author
"Some truly frightening scenes lead to a gripping and satisfying conclusion, but not before a twist that will leave readers' heads spinning. Marlowe is memorable ―single dads in thrillers aren't that common―but mainly he will stay with readers because of his offbeat vulnerability and the determination that shines through his grief. Wilson's (The Dead Girl in 2A) unusual psychological thriller is one for fans of Stephen King who are open to reading mysteries." ― First Clue
Carter Wilson's Making It Up Podcast
You can also listen on Audible
In this conversation series, USA Today bestselling novelist Carter Wilson talks to writers of all backgrounds in order to find out why they do what they do. He and his guests discuss childhood influences, roots of creativity, luck and loss, tools of the craft, and the highs and lows of publishing. At the end of their conversation, they pick a random sentence from a random book and use it to create an impromptu short story. Visit Carter at www.carterwilson.com.
Check out his Latest Episodes!
A powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret and a new resident with haunting secrets of the past. TENSE AND COMPULSIVE. A whodunnit domestic thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page. I LOVED this book! Wilson nailed it.
Would make for a killer movie or TV series. Would love to see this play out on the big screen.
Carter Wilson returns to the crime scene (from The Dead Husband to Bury, New Hampshire, with THE NEW NEIGHBOR. An addictive, twisted, witty, and darkly wicked psychological/crime thriller that will have you longing for the next resident of 1734 Rum Hill Road.
INTENSE. RIVETING. ADDICTIVE!
Thriller lovers, if you have not read this author, you are missing out.
2018 Baltimore, Maryland: we meet Aidan Marlowe. He is now a thirty-five-year-old widower with seven-year-old twins, Bo and Maggie.
His lovely wife, Holly, has passed an aneurysm at age 34, and he is at the funeral at the graveside. He never told her about his past, and right before they lower the casket into the ground, he tells everyone he needs a minute alone.
Something dark happened back in Ireland that was in the past. However, he never gets the chance to tell her. There is a text from an old childhood friend, which he will reply to later, and THEN he sees an older text that says he is a POWERBALL WINNER! He knows the numbers, the ones he has played for years. Every Wed and Sat.
Winning #s 01-05-08-10-14 PB 22. One Winner. He does not tell her after all his confession. This may be a sign of a new beginning. $30 Million, which will give him a new life. He wants to move somewhere different and start over with his children. He buys a mansion in a nice quiet, upscale neighborhood on impulse. Something he would otherwise not be able to afford on a bartender's salary.
BURY, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Two months later, Aiden and the twins are moving into the mansion at 1734 Rum Hill Road Bury, New Hampshire.
Now you know, if you have read THE DEAD HUSBAND, this is a HOUSE OF HORRORS.
He hears his wise wife's voice speaking to him all the time.
Don't screw up our kids.
Don't let the money change you for the worse.
Make a difference.
Own who you are.
Figure your shit out, Marlow.
A bartender turns a millionaire overnight. He does not want anyone to know this in his prestigious new neighborhood. He just wants a fresh, clean start and a safe community and school for his children.
The minute he steps through the massive castle-like front door, he knows this house has a strange vibe. (You aren't kidding. Man does it ever. ) The mansion is eight thousand square feet, built in the 1980s. Multiple levels. Aidan suddenly desires to know more about the past, which the realtor did not tell him much.
In his seventies, the home formerly belonged to a wealthy investment banker, Logan Yates. Some other family members also went missing (you can read all about it in THE DEAD HUSBAND). He just left the house one day and never came back. The house was already in his son-in-law's name (Peter Ainsworth) since the deed was changed five years earlier.
Not long after moving in, he receives strange and creepy messages. He is distraught and must find out who is sending the threatening letters. A welcome letter and warning signed "WE WHO WATCH."
He decides to host a dinner party and invite the close neighbors so he can do a little sleuthing. Reminiscent of B.A. Paris's The Therapist. If you loved her book (a fav), you must read this one
Aidan spins out of control. He becomes obsessed with their safety and the source of the mysterious letters. He suspects everyone. He even calls in his old attorney friend from Baltimore (Maya) and his dad from Ireland (which owns a bar) to try and help him with his detective work. They all come up with different scenarios, leading to a new search.
He has gone to Police Chief Walter Sike (creepy) without a lot of assistance except to give him the name of a friend, Owen, who owns a security company.
There was an old housekeeper and a gardener. They seem a little strange when he questions them. He knows no one except the realtor who sold him the house and his attorney back in Baltimore.
Soon after a housewarming party, the news comes out that he has won the lottery making it more difficult. The eerie, chilling notes continue arriving mysteriously from WE WHO WATCH, making it clear they want him to stay, and they know about the money.
Each letter is more sinister.
Aidan has a troubled past revolving around the death of his younger brother, Christopher, which haunts him to this date. He met this wife in Dublin at the bar where he worked, and she changed his life, and they later moved to the states.
Bestselling Author and popular podcast host Wilson takes us from Day 1 through Day 97. The notes get more dangerous and sinister each time, sending Aiden into hysterics. He then discovers a secret panel downstairs (or does his daughter). This is the last straw. No one will harm his children. (The daughter reminds me of Kimberly Belle's My Darling Husband.)
Does the person writing the notes know about his past?
Aiden (unreliable narrator) starts hallucinating, drinking more, losing chunks of time, and seeing former people who lived in this house from looking at photos. Is he losing it?
When he heard the tree snapping at the gravesite, was that him snapping? How can he take care of his children in this house of horrors but the note warns him not to leave. He is losing his mind. He is not a good father, and Holly would be so disappointed.
His dad and his attorney, Maya (former psychologist) are trying to help him since they are worried about the children and his sanity. This house. The millions. Why did he choose Bury? Is this his punishment for the sins of his past? Is he sabotaging himself?
The complex maze will have your head spinning with non-stop action and adrenaline-fueled suspense leading to the explosive showdown at 1734 Rum Hill Road. Someone was out to get him and his money.
"Confession is the path to absolution."
Deliciously evil and funny.
I have discovered a new FAVORITE author and quickly found myself going back to read The Dead Husband and will be purchasing the remainder of his backlist between new books. Here is hoping for more Rum Hill Road!
I was trying to solve this puzzle and a total wreck on pins and needles. The author cleverly keeps the twists coming into a dark world of madness.
Carter can flat out write. Every time I see his name (which was my name - Judy Collins Carter Wilson) when married and after both divorces went back to my maiden name "Collins." Also English/Irish ancestry. I absolutely DEVOURED this book!
I highly recommend you read The Dead Husband first, but this one can be read as a standalone, but why miss out on all the juicy details and background? Both books are excellent, but I loved THE NEW NEIGHBOR more. This author is on my radar now and cannot wait to read more. I love dark humor and he does it so well!
Check out Carter's popular fun podcast MAKING IT UP and sign up for my newsletter to receive in your inbox my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview with Carter coming pub date, April 12th as we go behind the scenes of the book and this talented author!
Please, Carter, continue the Rum Hill Road by either bringing back the old owners (ones that are not dead) or a new family. Too good to end!
A very special thank you to Poisoned Pen & NetGalley for a paperback copy and e-galley ARC.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
April Must-Read Books
Pub Date: April 12, 2022
I am getting into all the new thrillers revolving around a house (a haven) like the ones mentioned above and Kaira Rouda's Somebody's Home. Also, you will want to read (moving to a new house to escape past) Samantha Bailey's Watch Out for Her coming April 26th and my other April #AuthorElevatorSeries guest.
Poisoned Pen (Sourcebooks) is cranking out some top 2022 thrillers and top-tier talent. In addition to Carter Wilson, I have the following #AuthorElevatorSeries Interviews upcoming up from them and looking forward to reading the ARCs.
And There He Kept Her Joshua Moehling (new to me) June
The Deepest Black Randall Silvis (all-time favorite author) August
The Guest House Robin Morgan-Bentley (new to me) Sept.