'Mick woke up with a start,body trembling. He was staring at the floor, head hanging over the cot. He twisted over and sat up, rubbing his face,blinking to bring the room back into focus. Tears in his eyes, a fading scream sinking back into his throat.'
The Nash's are an ordinary family, leading ordinary lives. Next door to their house, a huge eyesore of a house has been erected, and the occupants are a mystery to everyone.
It isn't long before the Render family move into the house. The Renders appear to be perfect, but deep down they're hiding a dark secret, and by the time Mick realises, it's too late.
Mick must uncover the terrifying truth about the people next door in order to save his family, but truly shocking secrets are about to be uncovered.
I bought this book a few months ago in a 3 for £5 deal in The Works, and thought that October would be a great time to read this, as I'm taking part in a Halloween Horror book challenge. My first impression of this book was that it's fairly long, at 488 pages. I'd seen a few bad reviews for this after I bought it, but I'm not often put off by negative reviews, as I like to form my own opinion.
The way the book was written was very interesting, with many different points of view. The majority of the story is told through Mick Nash, but there are also several chapters told from the point of view of Amy Nash, Mick's wife, and even the children, Kyle and Briela. I really enjoyed this aspect, it was great to see how each character perceived the developments in the story, especially the children, as their thoughts can often be overlooked.
There's another point of view that is at first a mystery, but as the story develops we discover who the mysterious narrator is. This was very interesting, as it appears to be telling a different story, but as you read on, the different points of view come together and the mystery is cleared up.
This was my first Horror book, and while it wasn't terrifying it was definitely creepy and as I have a vivid imagination I got chills a few times while reading this. The book is long, but once I got into the story the number of pages soon became irrelevant as I was hooked and waiting for the mystery to unfold. I also think that the length of the book was necessary, as it really gave me time to get to know the characters and it made the twist even more shocking for me. So overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy book with an unexpected twist.
Christopher Ransom is the bestselling Author of 'The Birthing House', as well as other Horror novels. Christopher studied literature at Colorado State University and managed an international business importing exotic reptiles, before working for Entertainment Weekly magazine in New York. Other books by Christopher are; 'The Fading', and 'Killing Ghost.'
Paperback ISBN - 978-0-7515-4380-3
Paperback price from Amazon - New and Used from £0.01
Kindle Edition ASIN - B0053YOZM2
Kindle Edition price from Amazon - £5.49
After reading the cover of this book I was hugely intrigued and pretty excited about it, I love a good scare and I love a good twist and this offered both. Unfortunately it was a massive let down!
The story revolves around Mike Nash, his wife and two kids and the fact that some pretty weird neighbours have moved in next door. Mike is struggling to keep his restaurant business afloat, things are not good between him and his wife, his daughter is having some sort of temper tantrums and his son is busy getting drunk with his pals and hankering after a beautiful girl (who turns out to be one of the neighbours). The man from next door keeps promising him he can help him solve all his problems and whilst Mike is intrigued he senses something odd and refuses to accept his help.
All manner of strange things start happening and for some time this kept me absolutely gripped as it was very puzzling and I was sure that eventually all would be explained and I would find out the huge secret about the neighbours and would be like 'wow', however what actually happened was that many of the weird events were not fully explained, things just didn't add up and a few minor details dotted about through the book were left completely unexplained.
The ending was pretty crappy, it was clear that it was meant to be an explosive ending which made a big impact, but honestly I was just bored by it and skimmed over the last couple of pages without thoroughly reading them!
The WORST thing about this book however is that I did guess their secret and the twist wasn't even that twisty! Half way through the book I though to myself 'oh I hope it isn't just that they are.......' (don't want to spoil it for you if you do want to read it!) and lo and behold that is exactly what the big secret / twist was. Nothing new, nothing exciting.
I would have given this 3 stars, as it was an averagely entertaining book, but it fails to live up to it's own hype, promising something it doesn't deliver, so I have gone with only 2 stars.
Mike and Amy Nash are an ordinary couple getting along with their lives with their two children, Kyle and Briela, when into the house next door move the Renders - charming and perfect in every way it would appear, however, the Renders are not at all what they pretend to be.
Mick, a man well into the third year of what he has came to think of as a total life hangover, soon learns that something is very wrong with their new neighbours, something dark and sinister leaving him wondering exactly who the Renders are and where they have came from. But more importantly, what are they hiding in the basement?
As death and darkness descend on the neighbourhood, only Mick can save his family and expose the horrifying truth about the people next door.
After reading the blurb on the cover of this book telling me I will never forget their secret and I will never forget the twist, whilst also informing me this book will be the most terrifying, unforgettable novel I'll read all year, it is no wonder I was suitably intrigued and thought this would be a good read. The dark and creepy cover adding to the effect, promising that this book will live up to all you might expect and maybe more.
Sadly if ever there was proof needed that you should never judge a book by its cover, then here it is! For I found that 'The People Next Door' certainly did not live up to the hype. I was taken in by the cover and all the blurb, but it didn't take me long to realise that this book was certainly not what it seemed. Indeed it wasn't just the Render family in the story who weren't all they appeared to be...
To be fair, the book started off quite well. Keelie Kennerly is a young girl running away from home, to meet up with friends to begin what she believes will be a better life. Keelie is trying to hitch a ride from a service area, but isn't prepared to just accept a lift from anyone. She is wary and holds out for someone she feels she will be safe with. So when married couple Dave and Sheila Galloway agree to give her a ride, Keelie feels quite safe. However, it turns out to be far from what Keelie expected as Dave and Sheila appear to change right before her eyes.
After leaving this opening chapter on a cliffhanger, the story switches to Mike Nash and his family and right away I had difficulty finding them interesting. The children, especially Kyle, held slightly more interest for me than his parents however.
After a few mudane pages about the Nash family we follow them as they embark upon a boating trip on a lake where strange things happen and this was also the point where I began to get lost.
On more than one occasion, I had to backtrack a little to see if there was something I had missed. Things didn't add up or make sense to me at times and the characters of Mike and Amy in particular did little to keep me interested. Also there was far too much mundane reading in my opinion and then when something did happen it didn't quite make sense.
I really struggled to get through this book and it was the fact that I wanted to know what the big twist would be, along with a small hope that it would all suddenly start making sense, which kept me reading it, although it took a great deal of effort on my part to do so. At no point was I gripped and the flashbacks to 'Island Living' only added to my confusion and made the story even harder to follow.
I couldn't help but think that the concept of the story wasn't a bad idea, but an author such as Stephen King for example could have done something far better with it.
The opening chapter was the most interesting part of the book for me. It drew me in but then lost significance until nearly the end. Little cryptic 'hints' for want of a better word, are dropped in throughout the book, but this didn't help to make sense of it all and I found it very disjointed. I got the feeling it was meant to add to the intrigue and make the reader eager to turn the pages, but it had the opposite effect for me and I lost count how many times I found I was asking myself what was going on?
Around halfway through, I found I couldn't care less what happened to the characters who were not developed enough nor interesting enough to care about.
Although quite gory in places, The People Next Door wasn't a scary read, the twist was very forgettable and yes I did guess their secret. As for it promising to be the most unforgettable novel I'd read all year, well I found I could forget about it very easily.