The House Next Door – Book Review

Author – James Patterson featuring Susan DiLallo, Max DiLallo & Brendon Dubois

Publisher – Penguin Random House

Pages – 464

Three chilling stories from the worlds best-selling thriller writer. 

The House Next Door – (with Susan DiLallo) Married mother of four Laura Sherman was thrilled when her new neighbour invited her on some errands. But a few quick tasks became a long lunch – and now things could go to far with a man who isn’t what he seems. 

The Killers Wife – (with Max DiLallo) Six girls have gone missing. Detective Mcgrath knows the only way to find them is to get close to the suspects wife… maybe too close. 

The Witnesses – (with Brendan Dubois) The Sanderson family has been forced into hiding after one of them stumbled upon a criminal plot. Or so they think. No one will answer their questions. And the terrifying truth may come to late…

This is the first James Patterson book I have read, I thought with the mixed reviews I have seen about him it would be a good start to try a book that has been divided into three stories. Overall I found the book good, the first two stories were gripping and kept me on my toes, unfortunately it kind of went down hill on the third story which I found to be quite boring in parts and the only gripping part of the story was in the last chapter. 

I enjoyed the plot of all three stories and really enjoyed the way they was written, I loved that each of the chapters were short and snappy and there was a good few very witty puns to keep a smile on your face, but disliked how half the first sentence on each of the chapters was in bold and capitalised

The house next door – the prologue in this story is a fantastic introduction to the story, it gives away minimal information but leaves you gripped enough to want to read on. My favourite character in this story is Laura the mother, she was a very well written and likeable character, and tells it like it is for most mothers/wives in this day and age which I absolutely loved. As I got deeper into this story I found that I just couldn’t put it down, the chemistry between Laura and the neighbour Vince was brilliant, I secretly wanted them to hook up as her marriage seemed like a huge downer and just wanted her to be happy. I always thought their was something creepy about Vince but as the story evolved and Laura and Vince started to fall in love I thought it was pretty magical, soon enough I started to regret that feeling when it became more and more creepy who Vince actually could be, he seemed like he was stalking her whole family but we did not know why until the end and I must say I did not see it coming, it wasn’t a fantastic plot ending to say how creepy Vince was made out to be but I think it worked well. 

The Killers Wife – Again the prologue was brilliant, it was clearly the end of the story and hooked you straight away into reading the rest to find out what actually happened. Again another budding love story hidden behind the thriller and yet again I was hoping the two main characters, Andy the detective and Ellen the killers wife would hook up, I knew something was awry in this story, some hidden secret with one of the characters but I honestly thought it was going to be with Andy the detective. There was something about him that made me feel like he was a bad guy in disguise, because lets face it not all coppers are legit, their are probably more bent coppers than ones who stick the letter of the law but I was wrong. The budding romance between both characters were very well written, with Andy knowing it was wrong because of his position in the force, it didn’t seem like he was using her to keep her on board to gain as much evidence from and I think this part of the storyline was unclear. It seemed like he was falling in love with her, but then when it came to the crunch she knew the relationship would go no further hence seeming like he was using her but then he makes the statement that he was falling in love with her at the end so this part of it wasn’t great. As I was near the end of the story, chapter 34, I felt something was not right, I honestly thought a hidden secret from Andy would come out but I was very wrong and it turned out the one hiding the secret all along was Ellen, I was very shocked as I actually thought she was a really likeable character and I actually felt sorry for her. My gut instincts in both these two stories was completely wrong but I really would have liked them both to be a full book. 

The witnesses – The story starts off with an old couple, one guy and his wife… seems very much like a nosey paranoid neighbour and who doesn’t love them? The thing I loved the most about this book was the realness in which James Patterson portrayed things, he didn’t sugar coat it like maybe a few others might have, he says it like it is and he isn’t afraid of that which is awesome and makes the book more real for people, my example of this is when the old guy Ronald and his wife are having a chat and she tells him to call the police to which he refuses and says they would not do anything because they are too PC and well he may end up being arrested for hate crime. I think this was really bold and brave of the author to do this because in this day and age this is literally what we face on a daily basis. My favourite character in this story was Sandy Sanderson, she was an avid reader and as cheeky as little girls come, how can anyone not like her right, the other characters in the book just didn’t cut it for me, and as whole I found the book fairly boring compared to the other two stories especially the chapters involving Gray. The only good part of this story was the last two chapters, that is when I found myself hooked and couldn’t put it down, I am not normally one for liking a happy ending at the end of a thriller but I was very happy with the way the book ended. It was a nice change from the other two and it did work well with the story. 

The House next door – 4 Stars

The killers wife – 3 Stars

The witnesses – 2 stars

Overall Rating – ***/**