Source: Review copy
Publication: 25 July 2019 from Bantam Press
It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood.
In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses.
‘I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.’
Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts.
And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets?
Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did . . .
The town of Aylsford is charming with a historical centre and excellent access to both Manhattan and the Catskill mountains, so it is no surprise that people of some affluence gravitate there to live and to bring up their children in safe, quiet surroundings.
There are, of course, problems. One teenager drinks too much, another may take drugs, but parents are, on the whole, vigilant. It comes as a shock then, when Olivia Sharpe discovers that her son Raleigh has been breaking into people’s houses for fun; hacking into their computers, sending prank messages and stealing away again like a thief in the night. These are her neighbours and her friends and her son has violated their privacy.
Meanwhile, their neighbour, Amanda Pierce has gone missing. Her husband Robert is an unlikeable piece of work, but seems distressed by her absence and after all, no-one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Shari Lapena’s excellent, fast-paced thriller gives us four sets of neighbours and their children; offers up an errant house-breaker and begins it all with a gruesome narration of a woman being bludgeoned to death. This sizzling tale of middle class mores, book clubs, and cabins in the mountains is a finely crafted book with tension in all the right places and a host of suspects with nasty little secrets to choose from.
Secrets and lies abound as neighbour turns on neighbour in an attempt to distance themselves from what the police are uncovering. Husbands and wives look at each other and wonder. It is safe to say, nothing will ever be the same again.
Someone We Know is fast and twisty; full of intrigue, secrets, lies and murderous intent. I raced through it.
Verdict: A sharply written, very fast paced and suspenseful domestic noir that belongs on everyone’s summer reading list.
Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller, the bestselling fiction title in the UK in 2017 and has been optioned for television. Her second thriller, A Stranger in the House and third, An Unwanted Guest, were both Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers.