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The Neighbor: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel (D.D. Warren Book 3) Kindle Edition
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From the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses’ snug little bungalow, instinct tells her that something is seriously off with the wholesome image the couple has worked so hard to create.
With the clock ticking on the life of a missing woman and a media firestorm building, D.D. must decide whether Jason Jones is hiding his guilt—or just trying to hide. But first she must stand between a potential killer and his next victim—an innocent child who may have seen too much.
“Gardner's compelling narrative keeps her readers guessing.”—Library Journal
From a master of suspense comes a chilling new novel that explores the dangers lurking closer than you think. Because even in the perfect family, you never know what is going on behind closed doors...
This is what happened...
It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy--a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.
In the last six hours...
But from the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses’ snug little bungalow, she senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create. On the surface, Jason and Sandra Jones are like any other hardworking young couple raising a four-year-old child. But it is just under the surface that things grew murky.
Of the world as I knew it...
With the clock ticking on the life of a missing woman and the media firestorm building, Jason Jones seems more intent on destroying evidence and isolating his daughter than on searching for his “beloved” wife. Is the perfect husband trying to hide his guilt--or just trying to hide? And will the only witness to the crime be the killer’s next victim?Amazon Exclusive: Lisa Gardner on the Making of The Neighbor
A dozen suspense novels later, it still amazes me how little control I have over the writing process. I’m a plotter. That means each time I start a novel, I feel compelled to map out the road ahead. I’m going to write a very scary book where lots of people die, and this is how I’m gonna do it. Sounds good. And yet, each and every time, by page five or so, that plan is blown out of the water. The plot veers off in a different direction. A character throws me for a loop. I don’t know. You go to write a book and apparently, things happen.
My latest release, The Neighbor is no exception. I started the book with a simple premise: I wanted a love interest for one of my favorite characters, hard-nosed Boston detective, D.D. Warren. How much fun would it be, I wondered, if D.D. fell for a guy suspected of murdering his own wife? Better yet, I’ll make the guy a father of a four-year-old girl, because surely workaholic Sergeant Warren deserves a sexy, dark-haired man who also knows how to fashion pigtails and make Mickey Mouse pancakes. Perfect!
Of course, I wanted a twisted storyline with lots of shocking turns. Not a problem. Most of my novels have been inspired by true crimes, and let’s face it, there are no shortages of husbands currently resolving their marital woes by killing off their wives. Research cases were numerous and easy to find. If I now sleep with one eye open, well that’s what happens when you spend six months immersed in the study of spousal homicide.
Next, I needed some other suspects to stir the pot. What about a registered sex offender living on the same block as the missing woman? And what if the missing woman happens to also be a beautiful blonde schoolteacher, perhaps a natural favorite with her male students? See, now we’re having some fun. Add half a dozen deep dark secrets and we’re off to the races.
This also led to more interesting research. I thought I knew what I needed to know about sex offenders. As wife and mother, I’ve been very comfortable with the notion of shooting first and questioning later. I’ve also had zero respect for female schoolteachers who engage in sexual relations with their students. A sex offender is a sex offender, even the ones who are pretty and female. Then again, sometimes during the research phase, I learn things that totally change the course of the novel.
I started The Neighbor with a plan, and quickly ended up with a puzzle. At a certain point, I was writing the book simply so I could find out what was going to happen next. Did Jason Jones actually kill his wife? What was he doing on the computer night after night? And what about poor four-year old Ree, the last known person to have seen her mother alive?
I thought D.D. Warren needed to a love interest. But maybe, what she really needs is to save a scared little girl, caught in the middle of a deadly game.
It’s possible there’s a bit more to the story than I’ve mentioned so far. Some other key characters that appear along the way, some rather unexpected developments. Because when you go to write a book, apparently, things happen. --Lisa Gardner
(Photo © John Earle)--This text refers to the audio_download edition.
- ASIN : B001NLL8JC
- Publisher : Bantam (June 4, 2009)
- Publication date : June 4, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 1948 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 487 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,196 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This was a fascinating whodunit because it is narrated by the various "players" themselves, carrying the action that way, instead of through the detectives.
This is the third in the series, and I'm on to read the next. It seems like each book is better than the last. So of course, this one-- five stars
This is one of Gardner's best thrillers in a few years, full of twists and turns that make it literally impossible to put down. (I walked around the house all day with it open in front of me...) That is the litmus test of any good thriller, and it passes handily, especially when Gardner gets into her narrative and past the coy asides that all female protagonists seem doomed to utter these days. (Think Lisa Scottoline, but not as good, such as when Warren muses to herself that the ability to retrieve older instant messages from a cellphone provider is "handy information for inquiring minds that wanted to know." That's being clever for the sake of being clever...)
But the twisting plot(s) soon take over and grab hold of the reader. What is the truth of Sandy's past? Can we trust what she tells us, the reader, in the first-person segments in some of the chapters? Or what she has told her husband? Can we trust Jason's version of events as seen through his eyes after Sandy's disappearance? Or is he putting on as much of an act for us, the reader, as he acknowledges he is for the police and Sandy's fellow teachers at the local middle school. Why does Jason feel so panicky about the contents of his computer -- the same contents that Sandy was trying to access with her student's help? The final twist -- the solution to Sandy's disappearance and the identity of the ultimate criminal and (his/her) motivations (no spoilers here!) are humdingers which -- not so coincidentally -- wrap up most of the dangling plot threads.
This is a classic thriller that won't let you stop reading until you get to that stage. Unusually for this writer, however, there are also some elements that make the reader ponder bigger issues, such as the impact of mass media on crime investigation, the idea of what is an 'appropriate' response or 'normal' relationship, and -- most intriguing of all -- the question of whether lumping all kinds of sex offenders, from vicious pedophile preying on children in his care to the 19 year old who has sex with a 14 or 15 year old, together in one mass for law enforcement purposes is helpful or counterproductive. Collectively, those make this a four-star read, along with the idea that living 'happily ever after' may mean very different things to different people.
It's not five stars because the writing is rather prosaic and D.D. Warren, however appealing, isn't really three-dimensional. (We are reminded over and over again that she's celibate and doesn't like it; after the first time, it does add anything to our understanding of her character and it's not relevant to the plot. That kind of stuff detracts from the suspense and turns the book into more of a lite thriller than a real noir read.) The acute reader will also spot a few holes in the plot details (hints: clothing and cars) that remain unanswered.
This is that great summer read: a book that will grab your attention and keep it while you hang out in the garden or under a beach umbrella, and that you don't need to brood over to figure out. Recommended for mystery and thriller readers who like female detectives and 'woman in peril' novels, but definitely a notch above the works of romance-based 'thriller' writers such as Catherine Coulter et. al.
His beautiful wife, Sandy goes missing creating the main plot thread. Sandy is another tortured soul who makes stupid decisions but her backstory is revealed towards the end of the book, allowing you to justify her behavior (sort of). Just about the time I got tired to not knowing what the hell happened with everyone, the author wraps things up rather quickly. Other reviews didn't like the quick wrap-up, but I was OK with it since I was utterly exhausted with the slow moving plot. The saving grace for me was the interesting writing style of the author, which I think Lisa Gardner pull off quite well. Three stars for this book that could be a five star effort. (P.S. The grammar was OK in this book except in the areas written in italics . . . periods were continually omitted. The book needs better editing.)
Top reviews from other countries
Allowing for regular dosing off - I blame the morphine - i have just finished it, Sunday lunchtime.
Excellent story line, well written and made me wonder whodunnit, right to the end.
Fabulous. I'd not read any Detective D D Warren books before but I certainly will now!
Thank you Lisa.
This time she provides her readers with a riveting story, which I found impossible to put down.
I won't give you the story line, as other reviewers have provided that. However, it won't spoil the novel if I tell you that none of the main characters are what they seem, and the twists keep coming thick and fast.
By the end I was reading so quickly I had to re-read the last two chapters more carefully in order to fill in the bits I'd missed!
Incidently, the child in the novel, Ree, is delightful. Made me want a daughter all over again!
I am sure this is a completely original story line, but (and this is not a criticism) I am reminded of Sophie Hannah's Little Face. This is a real compliment, as Sophie is one of my absolute favourite authors.
Buy this novel; you won't be disappointed! Alternatively, if you're lucky enough to be new to Lisa Gardner, buy anything and everything she's written, as almost all of her books are brilliant; well paced, gripping and well written.