Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review - The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

Captivating Fast-Paced Thriller
Just Released 11-27-2012

5 stars

This book had me captivated from the start. I was intrigued the moment Andrew Morrison found himself driving down the street toward his new home. It is a new beginning for Andrew, away from his alcoholic, agoraphobic mother. I felt the same hope he does for a new life that he will share with an old friend who’d invited him to room with him.

The neighborhood looks as if it holds the answers to all of Andy’s dreams, not ever having had a normal childhood. The manicured lawns, neatly trimmed shrubs, and white picket fences are only things he’s seen on TV as a child.

He is a bit disappointed to find his new home, with Mickey, will be in the only run down home in the neighborhood, but he puts these thoughts aside. Always looking on the bright side of things, Andy’s spirits lift at the prospect of a new life on his own.

Once inside this true bachelor pad, he goes about scrubbing up the scum and buying furniture for his room from the thrift store.

His first view of the neighbors next-door, Mr. and Mrs. Ward, bring back memories of the Cleavers in “Leave it to Beaver” he’d seen on TV. They epitomized the perfect American family with the perfect house and perfect yard. They never dressed casually, not even for yard work. He couldn’t take his eyes off the fairy tale house.

As time goes on, Harlow and Red Ward became his friends, much to the angst of Mickey, who knows the real story and wants to protect his younger friend, as he’s done most of his life. However, Andy will heed none of his warnings about the Wards, who also have a few choice things to say about Mickey, all for leaving doubts about his life-long friend in Andrew’s mind.

Mickey and Andy eat a lot of fast food, so it isn’t hard for Harlow to get Andrew’s attention with her cooking. Later, Harlow makes a play to seduce the young Andrew, who looks upon her as a mother figure, the kind he wishes he had. Her behavior stuns him and he pulls away, but ultimately forgives her, being a very lonely boy.

By the middle of the book, the story is in full swing leaving the reader with lots of questions. What’s behind the locked door in Mickey’s house, why does Mickey disappear at times and sleep well into the afternoon when he’s home, are the Ward’s as nice as Andrew thinks they are? Something dark brews beneath the surface.

Andrew, having the good heart he has, also feels guilty about leaving his mother alone while he has the good life. He finds himself torn between staying and going back home, but it’s hard to turn down the home-cooked meals and the perfect life of the Wards. Besides Harlow is a lovely lady to look at, always done up perfectly and looking much younger than her age.

There is intrigue at every turn as this mystery begins to unfold, leaving Andrew with some suspicions of his own although he pushes them aside, and reasons with himself that his thoughts are not valid. Eventually, Andy begins to realize that sometimes things are not as they appear to be. As enticing as it looks, perhaps life isn’t any greener on the other side of the fence.

There is a lot of mystery in this well written tale about very twisted characters. It is gory and tense in places, so not for the squeamish reader, but if you love suspense, you’ll love this book. The end is satisfying and heartwarming.


darlenecraviotto said...

Sounds really intriguing. Thanks for reviewing this title - I will go over to Amazon and take a peek inside of the book.

Sunni said...


This book will keep you on the edge of your seat if you like a thriller.

Thanks for reading and posting.


Jeanette Andersen said...

Cool. I love thriller books.

Sunni said...


If you like thrillers, this book is for you. You should definitely check it out. It's action packed and kept me reading. It also has a few surprises.

Thanks for reading and posting.