Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: Quiet Neighbors

Kerry Hammond is here to review the latest standalone novel by Catriona McPherson. Don't forget to come back next Wednesday when we'll have a Q&A with Catriona and a special giveaway. 

Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson comes out in hardcover on April 8, 2016, published by Midnight Ink. It’s McPherson’s fifth standalone novel (although she’s written two under the name Catriona McCloud). I read each McPherson novel as soon as, if not before, it is published. Her books are so intriguing that I am always excited to see what comes next.

In Quiet Neighbors, Jude is a youngish woman with a secret based on a tragic event she’s running from. She hops a train destined for a small town that is full of bookstores, one she visited on a long-ago vacation. She thinks it’s as good a place as any to hide, but doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives. What she finds is Lowell, a bookstore owner who remembers her visit, and who welcomes her with no questions asked. He gives her a job and a place to stay, and Jude thinks she may just be able to stay there forever.

As Jude catalogs Lowell’s books, she starts to see the notes left by a previous, now dead owner. These notes intrigue her and she begins to wonder about the names she sees on the gravestones in the churchyard. At the same time, she is learning about Lowell’s past and the events that happened long ago that shaped his life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, McPherson is a master storyteller. To say her characters are quirky does not do them justice. Quirky is a character who collects Hello Kitty in her fifties. McPherson’s characters are like real people, without a hint of cardboard. If you delve into any real person’s life you will find skeletons, neuroses, loves, hates, strange habits, etc. These are all part of the descriptions of the characters in these novels. And it’s what makes them all so interesting.

The plots are so intricately woven that the reader begins to wonder just how the author could have thought up such a scheme. I think this is high praise to her creativity and why readers keep coming back for more. Quiet Neighbors is no different and the events that led the characters to where they are in the 360 pages of the book are fascinating. Watching things unfold as a voyeur into their lives is what I love about reading books.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.

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  1. Great review! Can't wait to read it.

  2. I got this sounds like a great read!!! I need a new book really bad. Might just have to check this one out!

  3. This sounds like a book I'd love to read. What's in those notes... What an interesting concept. I think it's already out, so I'm going to put it on my list.

  4. I'm stocking up on my summer beach reading right now. This sounds so intriguing!

  5. Sounds like this could be a book I would like. For a second I was reminded of Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale--probably with the book store and the mysteriousness that comes into play.