The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic
Author: Simon Lelic
Release Date: April 10, 2018
It seems a little unreal. Jack and Syd have been trying to find a house in London. Those that they do find don't meet their must-haves or are way out of their price range. When they find a detached home that's filled with the previous owner's belongings, they know they will never land it. Syd is in love with it, however, so they make the offer. Surprisingly, they're selected out of all the offers.
After moving in, they start sorting through the items. They're starting to turn the house into a home, but Jack's a little unsettled after two items he finds up in the attic. He opts not to tell Syd. Soon, she befriend's a girl from next door. She bonds with the girl in a surprising way, but she doesn't want to tell Jack why.
It isn't long before both of their lies are bound to catch up. When a body is found behind their home, it puts them under police suspicion. Proving they're innocent may be harder than they could imagine.
The New Neighbors has a twist that you may or may not see coming. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't catch on until later. Had I paid attention to the book's genre classification or read the blurb very closely, I may not have been as surprised. I'm glad I wasn't. I like that "oooh" moment.
What I really loved about Simon Lelic's novel is the way it's written. It's a journal. Jack and Syd share their stories in alternating chapters. Their personalities shine through, plus they're able to play off what their partner wrote previously. It was a unique way to tell their story.
I admit that I was hooked from Jack's opening chapter. There were times I wondered if there was a ghostly element to the story. Other times, I cringed at some of the things I read. One thing was clear. I was emotionally invested in seeing how the two accounts would play out.