Friday, June 26, 2009
The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
I'll admit I'm a wimp. I don't usually read suspense novels, particularly women and children in jeopardy books. Give me a good mystery with a detective or cop investigating a case. It usually puts the mystery at a distance, where I want it. But, Jim insisted I read Lisa Gardner's The Neighbor. And, he was right. I couldn't put it down.
None of the neighbors really knew Jason and Sandy Jones. She worked days as a teacher; he worked nights as a reporter. And, they doted on their four-year-old precocious daughter. So, why were their doors made of steel, and the windows blocked in the relatively safe Southie neighborhood of Boston? That only came to light, when Sandy disappeared from their house, leaving behind their daughter. And, Jason insisted she never would have left Ree.
But, there's something suspicious about Jason Jones' reaction to his wife's disappearance, and Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren is determined to discover if he killed her. He has almost no reaction to her disappearance, only caring about Ree, who might be the only witness. And, isn't it always the husband?
But, there's also no blood, and no proof Sandy was killed. And, Aiden Brewster, the neighbor down the road is a registered sex offender. What about the brilliant thirteen-year-old boy who is totally in love with his teacher? Everyone knows teachers get caught with their students nowadays. And, why did Sandy run off with Jason in the first place, a few years after her mother's death?
Who are the Joneses, those secretive people who lived behind steel doors? Jason Jones knows he'll be the primary suspect. The husband always is. Aiden Brewster knows he'll be suspected, and his life is over. The sex offender down the road is always the suspect. D.D. Warren isn't at all happy with her choices.
So where is Sandy Jones? The Neighbor will keep readers in suspense right until the final chapter. I'll admit, I was hooked. That doesn't mean I'll read more suspense now. It means Lisa Gardner's latest book is intriguing, with constant red herrings. Good luck in guessing the ending.
Lisa Gardner's website is www.lisagardner.com
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The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner. Bantam Books, ©2009. ISBN 9780553807233 (hardcover), 373p.