She was the perfect neighbour. Until she made a terrible accusation. . .
When Matt and Imogen move out of the city, they’re hoping for a much-needed fresh start. Matt throws himself into his new job, but Imogen struggles to adjust to life in the suburbs. She’s grateful for the kind welcome from new neighbour Nancy, and they soon become close friends.
So when Nancy makes a shocking accusation, Imogen doesn’t know who to trust. This isn’t the first time Matt has found himself on the wrong end of a false accusation. . . but is Nancy hiding secrets of her own?
As simmering tensions threaten to boil over, Imogen is in more danger than she realises. Can she uncover the truth before she loses everything?
An utterly gripping thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, perfect for anyone who loved The Family Upstairs, Here to Stay or An Unwanted Guest.
There’s an old saying “there’s no smoke without a fire” this book starts with a literally blazing fire and works its way backwards and you the reader have to follow the plumes of smoke to work out what is going on.
Matt and Imogen have moved from London to Surrey with their daughter Ashley and dog Jake. You quickly establish that the move was because of something but you are not sure what. This is the first little wisp of smoke.
In Surrey they meet and befriend neighbour Nancy, slightly older than Imogen and cookie cutter perfect with her picket fence acting like she’s just stepped out of a Hallmark movie. That perfect dream soon becomes a nightmare and after an accusation is thrown by Nancy she’s less Hallmark and more Shudder Horror channel.
I love characters like Nancy and if this was a movie she would outshine the leads and steal every scene. I simply adore characters you can love to hate and she’s one of the best. She’s clever, manipulative, devious and rotten to her evil little core. How could you not love a character like that!
I thought the plot was fairly evenly paced and it kept me reading dying to know what lead up to that first chapter. The plot was easy to follow and I thought fairly predictable until I read the end and I can only blame the smoke in my eyes as an excuse. This is a very clever thriller and the first I have read by Adam Southward, it won’t be my last that’s for sure!
About the author
Adam Southward is a philosophy graduate with a professional background in technology, working in both publishing and the public sector. He lives on the south coast of England with his young family.
Adam’s debut novel, Trance, was an Amazon bestseller in 2019, hitting #1 in the UK Kindle charts and #2 in the US. He also contributes to the hugely popular Afraid of the Light anthology series – short crime stories with all profits going to charity. His short story ‘Especially at Christmas’ was longlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2021.
Find him on Twitter @adamsouthward or on his website adamsouthward.com
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