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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic, grisly and compelling
I enjoy a good crime thriller. I'm not keen on gratuitous description of violent acts. That said, The Killer Next Door is not for those of faint heart; there are some stomach churning moments. Alex Marwood creates a real sense of revulsion and fear as events unfold at a London bedsit. Each room has a story. None are particularly happy and the great strength of the...
Published 15 months ago by Bookie

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A grubby little tale
This is well written and the characters are nicely defined but ultimately I'm afraid I didn't care. As others have pointed out, the plot is ridiculous and so gruesome as to be laughable. `Scary as hell' claims Stephen King...I think not. The only mildly scary bit was the discovery of what was going on upstairs.

Collette's stalking by a previous employer came...
Published 4 months ago by johnaerial


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic, grisly and compelling, 2 May 2014
By 
Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I enjoy a good crime thriller. I'm not keen on gratuitous description of violent acts. That said, The Killer Next Door is not for those of faint heart; there are some stomach churning moments. Alex Marwood creates a real sense of revulsion and fear as events unfold at a London bedsit. Each room has a story. None are particularly happy and the great strength of the book lies with each of the characters whose lives converge and transgress.

Totally nailed are the misfits and dispossessed, regardless of age and gender. There's a whole slice of Social Service and bedsit land life here. Who really knows what goes on behind closed doors? I was, I turn, reviled and compelled by both events and descriptions. It's a thin line for an author wanting to explore the darker psyches. How to depict stark reality, maintain character and plot credibility and keep the reader engaged? I have a strong stomach for detail and this took me to the edge. A multi layered plot, with a serial killer in the midst, a pervy landlord, others both hunted and haunted by the past.

This book explores some truly dark themes, the underbelly of life in the back streets by those with something to hide. Alluding to real life crime and sensationalist stories that feature daily in the tabloid press, Alex Marwood's skill with words takes the tale into a different dimension. There are elements of farce in some scenes which lighten the mood without taking it into the absurd. Clever and skilful, this story had an almost tangible grip. I raced to the end with a dual sense of relief and disappointment. Superb storytelling that sets the pulse racing.

Thanks to Little, Brown Group UK for a review copy via Netgalley.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Crime Thriller, 5 Dec. 2013
I was lucky enough to obtain a proof copy of The Killer Next Door. Having relished Marwood's debut thriller The Wicked Girls, I had high hopes for The Killer Next Door. I was not disappointed. The strength in Marwood's writing lies in her understanding of human nature and her wonderful ability to bring a character springing to life off the page with all their wonders, failings and sometimes revolting glory.

Set in present day London in a grimy, crumbling large Victorian bedsit. This book goes behind the grubby facade and unravels what is really going on at number 23. The house holds many secrets, some horrifying some surprisingly heartwarming. I particularly loved young Cher the scouse teenager and Vesta the lady in her late sixties who has been resident at number 23 far longer than she should have been but becomes the one person they can all turn to.

Roy Preece the repulsive landlord is a creation of sheer genius, I reveled in every last revolting detail, you will both laugh and squirm as Marwood graphically describes this dreadful man.

As with the Wicked Girls the story never tires, the pace never lets up and you are never sure of the reveal until the very last page and there is a fine meshing of story lines concluding in an ending that is both satisfying and surprising.

If you are a fan of Ruth Rendell's alter ego Barbara Vine, you will love this book. I guarantee once you have read The Killer Next Door you will never look at bedsit suburbia in the same light. What lurks behind the door of number 23.....well you have to buy this book to find out. A cracker of a thriller five stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Killer Next Door, 14 Mar. 2014
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This novel begins with one of the residents of a boarding house being interviewed about a crime which has taken place there; so the fact that there is, literally, a killer next door, is not a plot spoiler. However, this is much more than a thriller or a crime novel - it is a slice of London life and a story of the anonymity of the city. Having revealed that one of the bedsits of the Victorian house in Beulah Grove have contained a murderer, the story slips back in time to reveal the inhabitants and what happened to bring us to this point.

There is sitting tenant, elderly Vesta Collins, music teacher Gerard Bright, part-time worker Thomas Dunbar, Cher, a teenage runaway from the care system, asylum seeker Hossein Zanjani and the new addition to the house, Collette. Collette is on the run from some very unfriendly people, clutching a bag of stolen money and looking over her shoulder as she attempts to remain anonymous. However, the revolting landlord, Roy Preece, knows enough not to ask questions and is only interested in receiving his deposit in cash. All his residents are hiding secrets or have slipped far enough in life that his threadbare rooms, devoid of creature comforts, are acceptable to them.

This is an unusual, gripping and, strangely moving read about a group of people attempting to come to terms with lives that have led them to this lonely and, somewhat depressing, place. Full of dark comedy as the crimes unfold and the residents attempt to cope with their own personal problems (there is one image concerning the landlord that will take a long while to fade!) , this book encompasses themes of loneliness, alienation, a good old fashioned murder, gangsters and what makes a family. Absolutely brilliant and highly recommended. I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A creepy murder story with undertones of black comedy - loved it., 26 May 2015
This review is from: The Killer Next Door (Paperback)
5 Stars from me!

This is the second book by Alex Marwood that I’ve read and much like The Wicked Girls – I absolutely loved it!

I can well see this being made into a TV series (it put me in mind of What Remains) or film as it was so easy to visualise while reading it. More of a black comedy than a truly scary book – think along the lines of Shallow Grave and you won’t go far wrong. The Killer Next Door focuses on the mundanity of life, day-to-day chores and inconveniences with lovely little snippets of human behaviour playing out among the warped world around us – all wrapped up in a subplot of macabre humour.

I felt all the characters were cleverly devised and interacted well with each other. The additional story-line given to Collette was a nice touch even though the story could have carried itself quite nicely without it.

Very, very different the The Wicked Girls but just as good – highly recommended.

I’m loving Alex Marwood right now and hope she is busy writing more :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, in the nicest possible way!, 31 July 2014
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This review is from: The Killer Next Door (Paperback)
I mean this in the best way - this book creeps me out. Alex Marwood has triumphed again, a masterful suspense novel. If you loved, The Wicked Girls, you will certainly love this one. The Killer Next Door also somehow manages to mix in a wicked (pun intended) sense of humor, without sinking into a trite, lightweight approach. The books starts with the end, you start off knowing some basic facts about what plays out. Or do you? You're kept guessing until the very end. Along the way, you meet truly engaging characters and spin through intersecting plot lines that create the type of story that you simply cannot put down until you get to the end. And at the end, you just say, "Wow!" In reaction to a few other reviews, I do feel compelled to add, this is a work of fiction. The beauty of a novel is the creativity that a talented author brings to situations that are based in real life. And perhaps people shouldn't take things so literally - cripes, just sit back and enjoy the ride, it's a terrific, suspenseful book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling page turner., 5 Dec. 2013
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Thank you to the author and publisher for the much anticipated review copy.

No. 23 has a secret. In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide.

Impressive. Yes ok, this is crime fiction. There is a mystery and things to discover here, but for me this was mostly a character driven novel - and a rather addictive one at that.

Within the walls of number 23, an eclectic cast of characters hang their hats - all hiding out from the world for one reason or another and all incredibly well drawn, I was immediately fascinated by every one of them.

From the very beginning Alex Marwood hooks you. Cher, teenage runaway, is interviewed at the police station, giving her statement about a recent gruesome discovery - then we are thrown back in time to start meeting the people involved...the residents of No 23. Knowing that doom is approaching for at least one, this is a book you may shout at. "No". "Don't do that". "RUN RUN!"...and yet you are never entirely sure whether you are directing your advice at the right people..clever. Love it.

Putting that side of it away for a moment - the more frightening part if you like - you can also look at this story as a soundbite from life. Cher, teenager, thief, but also someone you would want on your side. Collette, hiding from danger not realising that she faces far worse in her chosen sanctuary, Vesta, pensioner, is mother and confidante to all. Then you have a handome asylum seeker Hossein, the lonely Thomas and the musically minded Gerard, all watched over by the repugnant landlord Preece. Different views, different lives, all tied together by their mutual living space, you could easily read this as a cautionary tale of the ups and downs of life...and somewhere in that marvellous mix a killer lurks...hiding in plain sight.

From start to finish this is a terrific page turner, a look at the dark heart that lurks in us all and a compelling, often emotional, always refreshing tale of humanity.

Happy Reading Folks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy but addictive reading, 12 Jan. 2014
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I loved Alex Marwood's debut book Wicked Girls when I read it a couple of years ago so it's seemed like forever waiting for the publication of this second book from her. So when I was offered the chance to receive a proof copy of the book from her publisher I jumped at the chance.

From the outside of 23 Beulah Grove it looks like the same as any other house on this South London street but on the inside it's a house full of secrets. Each of the tenants have their own dark secrets or reason for living a solitary life, one more so than the others, but they soon find that they'll have to rely on each other when something terrible happens.

The three women of the house were definitely the most interesting of the characters for me. Vesta, the sitting tenant who secretly dreams of retiring to the seaside, is very much the house-mother who worries about young runaway Cher, and newest tenant Collette who is on the run but has returned home to London as her mother is ill. Then there are the men, handsome Hossein who is laying low whilst seeking asylum, reclusive Gerald, loner Thomas and creepy landlord Roy Preece whose every presence literally made my skin crawl.

From the outset you know there is a killer in their midst as the story begins with the police interviewing young Cher about the discovery but then the story goes back in time to get to know the characters and make discoveries about their lives. This was a real page turner and I was hooked from the start and with every new development I found myself willing them to be safe both from the killer who lives amongst them but also from those they are running from.

Overall this was a creepy but addictive read that I would highly recommend even if the killer's identity was revealed a bit too soon for my liking, I would have liked the guessing to have gone on a little longer...

I'm already looking forward to the next book from Alex Marwood but just hope that we don't have to wait as long for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and tensely plotted, both warm-hearted and gruesome, 9 Jan. 2014
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Having loved The Wicked Girls, I was looking forward to reading this and wasn't disappointed. This brilliant book is a challenge for faint hearts - the richness of detail about the squishier aspects of murder and death, to say nothing of drains and sewage, is unsparing and relentlessly vivid, showing solid research behind skilful and exciting, and at times funny, narrative. The plot (or perhaps more accurately suite of interwoven plots) is tense and intense, claustrophobically trapped inside a London house divided up into flats/rooms in a heat wave, each tenant haunted by dark, life-threatening secrets and fears, and so much seems to be revealed right from the start, that you can't believe there can be any twists to come, but there are, and they keep coming! Despite the gruesome descriptions this is a warm-hearted book, with characters you can believe in and warm to, in particular the 'three ages of women' trio of Colette, Cher and the effective 'house mother' Vesta and also asylum seeker Hossein. The sadness of murder victims' ends is not skimmed over or neglected either, balancing out the horror of killing and the physical challenge of dealing with human bodies. I read with real dread, worried about what was going to happen to these people I'd got to know, desperate to find out if those already dead would be avenged or at least acknowledged by the world, unable to stop reading until the satisfying end. Another must-read from Alex Marwood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You really never know who your neighbours are........, 4 Nov. 2014
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I love crime & thriller novels, but this made a real change from the normal run of the mill thrillers. It was well written with great characters and a real page turner from the first to the last page. I can definitely recommend this novel, and will be reading more from this Author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trail of dark humour through a gruesome plot, 2 Feb. 2014
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Having read and appreciated the skilful writing in The Wicked Girls, I looked forward to reading The Killer Next Door and was not disappointed. It is a different novel to its predecessor, less deeply involved in the entire story of the lives of the characters, but still creating a sense of the claustrophobic and isolating experience of living in 23 Beulah Grove, a house divided into flats, filled with individuals who have their own secrets and are sweltering in a London heatwave. London itself, with its ability to absorb and lose people is almost another character. The characters mainly sympathetic, with the exception of that landlord, Although the potential killer may be one of several men who could fit the description of serial killer, it is not at all clear who it is. (He has obviously done a lot of research though, into how to most effectively deal with human bodies when they start to go off a bit.) The other tenants are engaging, and one does start to worry about what will happen to them at the same time as wondering whether they are the killer. But I was surprised to find myself noticing a sort of thread of dark humour throughout, which brought me deeper into the story and it was with great relief that I found the ending was satisfyingly right.
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