Title: The Family Across the Street
Author: Nicole Trope
Publication: August 4, 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
In a normal family, in a normal house, on a normal street, everything is about to go horribly wrong…
Today was meant to be an ordinary day.
A perfect summer morning, the weatherman predicting record highs. The children getting ready for school, five-year-old George packing his marbles and his twin sister Sophie, younger by three minutes, cradling her Polly Pocket doll. But it didn’t turn out that way.
In the suburbs, every day is an ordinary one. We never lock our doors, and the police only get called for missing cats. But not today… The doors are locked, the curtains closed, and there is no escape. In the darkness, it’s impossible to believe that it’s a beautiful sunny morning. Why is someone I love, someone we trust, punishing me like this? How could I have got it so very wrong?
It was meant to be an ordinary day. But now my children hold my hands, trembling with terror – and it’s up to me to protect them. When sirens screech through the air, disturbing the peace of our quiet street, I realise that things will never be ordinary again…
If you loved Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica, you will love The Family Across the Street by Nicole Trope. This is not to say that both authors have identical writing styles, but the general vibe of these stories is similar. Both are in a domestic settings, both have a few people in the neighborhood involved so multiple characters to consider suspicious, and both have crazy twists at the end. Most definitely recommended.
The story follows a few people including Logan, the delivery guy, the nosey neighbor, and a frightened family. I really enjoyed the jumping around of view points, which normally I don’t. I think it gave a lot of different perspectives to the same situation and that brought it to a different level than most suspense thrillers because you were getting all these different angles, but still couldn’t fully piece together what was happening. I really enjoyed all the different personalities a lot too. Neighbor Gladys is your average nosey neighbor, but with such a caring vibe you cannot help but love her. Her bickering with her husband has me smiling throughout as well. Then there is delivery driver Logan who I just love. He’s this rough around the edges, trying to get his life back together guy who wants to do the right things, but is convinced everyone will look at him like he’s the bad guy. He’s not wrong. And the family just breaks your heart. I love the children in this book. They are so fiercely protective of each other and family that you just want to squeeze them.
Trope had an interesting way of going back in time with flashes. Instead of the story constantly jumping back and forth in timelines, every once in a while you got a chapter in italics which was clearly that of the “bad guy” and their thoughts. Those thoughts often went back to previous times giving you a little insight into why they were the way they were. I found this added a little something to the story to understand the why.
I knew we were building to something and I knew what I thought was happening, but wow! Trope shocked me in the end. The outcome was mind boggling. Trope definitely got me and I hadn’t seen it coming at all. I love a good mystery, suspense novel, but I really love one that can keep me guessing until the very last moment. Round of applause to Trope for doing just that. I can’t wait to read more of her books!