The Family Across the Street by Nicole Trope

Published August 6th 2021 by Bookouture

About the Book: Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…?

Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new family, The Wests, are a perfect fit. Katherine and Josh seem so in love and their gorgeous five-year-old twins race screeching around their beautiful emerald-green lawn.

But soon people start to notice: why don’t they join backyard barbecues? Why do they brush away offers to babysit? Why, when you knock at the door, do they shut you out, rather than inviting you in?

Every family has secrets, and on the hottest day of the year, the truth is about to come out. As a tragedy unfolds behind closed doors, the dawn chorus is split by the wail of sirens. And one by one the families who tried so hard to welcome the Wests begin to realise: Hogarth Street will never be the same again.

A completely gripping, twist-packed psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Sally Hepworth and Lisa Jewell.

4.5 Stars:

The Family Across the Street is a mother’s nightmare. When shots ring out on Hogarth Street, Gladys, a nosy neighbour warns everyone to stay away, because “he has a gun”. The story then goes back seven hours to take us through the day that Kathleen and her children are terrorized inside their home. When, Logan, a deliver driver tries to deliver a parcel that requires a signature, the homeowner tells him she can’t open the door and that she hopes he understands, he gets a strange feeling that something is wrong. You see, Logan was raised in an abusive home and spent some time in prison, so he has learned to read people. Before he can do anything about it, he gets a phone call that his sister has been beaten and is in intensive care in Melbourne. Not knowing if he wants to get involved in this strangers life, he continues his deliveries while trying to find out more about his sister’s condition. What is happening inside that house? Who beat his sister and will she survive?

I have to say that I read this book in one sitting. I did stop for dinner, but that was about it. The story is told from several points of view, so it was interesting to see what each character was thinking. The switches in POVs and short chapters make this a quick and engaging read, and I wanted to hear from each of the characters. The person with the gun was never identified until the end of the book, but I was pretty sure I knew who it was. Each character is well developed and I was heartsick for Katherine and her children. I can’t imagine the terror those five year old twins felt during this ordeal. Logan and Gladys struggled with how involved they should get and I was able to empathize with them. Worrying about being a busybody, or putting yourself in a difficult decision because of your past are problems that caused some inaction. This was a taut, tension filled story that had me on the edge of my seat. I knew there would be a huge twist at the end, but it still took me by surprise, and tied up all the loose ends. This was a heartbreaking story that shows how upbringing can destroy a person, yet there is always hope to rise above it and become a better person. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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Nicole Trope

About the Author: Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realized the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because-as her professor pointed out- ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’ She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree. In between raising three children, working for her husband and renovating houses, she has published six novels. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

The idea for her first published novel, The Boy under the Table, was so scary that it took a year for her to find the courage to write the emotional story. She is now published by Bookouture and is an Amazon top 100 bestseller in the USA, UK, AUS and CAN.

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