Book Review: The Neighbor

I was tired of Stephen King, historical novels and histories of the Civil War. I needed something exciting that I could not put down, and happily I found what I was looking for. The Neighbor, by Lisa Gardner was my entree to an exciting readers’ list of suspense & thriller books. Lisa Gardner has been writing for many years and has numerous titles. However, The Neighbor introduced me to Seargant Detective Dee Dee Warren of the Homocide Division of the Boston Police Department. 

This is a contemporary murder mystery with an exciting climax and confusing back story. The way the story unfolds, the wife of a fiercely private man is missing. He is the prime – the only – suspect. He is reluctant for police to question his four year old daughter. His story is clean and tight and he always gets it straight. He knows his rights and that only serves to annoy the police. Throw in a local sex offender and an estranged relationship with the missing woman’s father, and it becomes complex without becoming convoluted.

The book is written in two voices, first person of the missing woman, third person for the detective and all other aspects of the story. It is an interesting method that will draw you through the book at break neck speed, but it doesn’t leave any detail out of place, no loose ends untied. Warren finds herself led along several theories as the story unfolds, some more plausible than others, and while you may find yourself wishing you could step into the conference room and correct her during one of the investigatory team meetings, you can’t and it’s tough to have to sit back and wait for Dee Dee to figure it all out in the end.

Which she does. She is the best detective BPD’s got, after all.

Happily, the book is not overloaded with police jargon and for those who enjoy true crime you will be satisfied that the rules of forensics aren’t ignored in favor of a better story line. It is a gripping read with a satisfactory conclusion which I recommend to those who already love the genre and to those who, like me, are looking for something new.


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