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8 of 8 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 7 months ago by Bookie

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome
I'm afraid I stopped reading it because it was so gruesome. Also I thought the plot was pretty unbelievable too, quite frankly. Sorry and all that because I loved her previous novel but this was a step too far for me.
Published 3 months ago by loversghost


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8 of 8 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 500 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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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Crime Thriller, 5 Dec 2013
By 
Angela Collings "Angie C UK" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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6 of 6 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 10 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 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 interviews, 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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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 Unputdownable!, 18 April 2014
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A grisly secret hides behind the doors of 23 Beulah Grove, a run down house of present day London bedsits in which a number of tenants have their own secrets to hide from the world unaware that their place of safety is far less safe than they could possibly imagine.
Alex Marwood creates diverse, flawed characters managing to bring their humanity to the fore, no mean feat as you discover their histories and surprisingly they become a family of outsiders, maybe the only way they can survive. A strong sense of social justice permeates the intelligence of the writing, plot and sub plots are tied in seamlessly exposing more of the tenants lives that brings compassion to their situations, the twists and turns leave you breathless.
Memorable scenes of fabulously researched grisliness are suffused with dark gallows humour that made me giggle uproariously as well as turn my delicate stomach as the killer is slowly revealed. As well as the killer there is an utterly vile landlord who gets a marvellous come uppance.
This book keeps you guessing to the last, you think you know but you don't, I was unable to put it down. A fantastic read which is much more than a thriller and a rather excellent thriller at that!
Can't wait for the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous follow up to the Wicked Girls, 29 Jun 2014
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I loved, loved, loved this book. The story begins with a young girl being interviewed by the police, after the gruesome discovery of various body parts in a large shared house that she was living in. So from the off we know vaguely where the story is going, but this doesn’t detract from it at all.
Number 23, the house in question, is home to a bunch of misfits and people living on the periphery of society. Each one is fascinating, and has their own story to tell. But we know that one of them is a serial killer. The question is who? Besides the eclectic group of tenants, we also have the utterly vile landlord who insists on rent paid in cash, and leaves the tenants with no rights whatsoever, choosing to raise the rent when he sees fit and being generally sleazy with the female tenants.
This book is a ‘whodunnit’ but the characters themselves are the heart of the story. I feel like I know them personally, and feel sympathy for the lives that they have been forced to lead with the cards they have been dealt.
Alex Marwood’s first book, The Wicked Girls, was excellent but this one for me is even better. Can’t wait for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back story & emotional baggage - tick!, 30 Nov 2014
By 
Valerie John (Hastings, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Killer Next Door (Paperback)
One of the many strengths of 'The Killer Next Door' was the characterization - an element that can often be sketchy in thrillers. Quite apart from the story being enjoyably gruesome, I liked the people in the house coming together, them all having back stories and emotional baggage. The tea party in the garden juxtaposed next to the horrors unfolding - such good assured touches that made me feel that I wasn't just reading another crime novel. A meaty, thrilling read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilllingly Creepy, 14 May 2014
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This is Alex Marwood’s second thriller and is, without question, one of the most chillingly creepy books I’ve ever read. Terrifying and disturbing doesn’t even begin to describe it. The setting alone, one of those three storey, Victorian town houses, divided into rented rooms, is enough to give you nightmares. The characters are mostly very likeable, a bit distant at times, perhaps, but exactly the sort of people many readers will have shared with on numerous occasions. That’s exactly what’s so chilling. There’s a brilliant twist half way through and a cat, whose appearance resembles that of a Greek Chorus. He’s a wonderful beast, observing from his elevated and unique position, being the only one in the house that, somehow, knows everyone. This is a brilliant second novel, very different from The Wicked Girls, her award-winning first novel, and sets up great promise for the third, to which I now look forward, with baited breath…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic characters and plot, 26 July 2014
By 
S. Brown "Addicted To Lost" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I only realised after finishing the book that it is written by the same author who wrote "The Wicked Girls" - a book that I didn't especially enjoy. I'm glad I didn't realise that as it would have prejudiced my view of this book - which I loved from start to finish.

The characters are so well written. You are either drawn into or repulsed by their lives (there isn't really any middle ground on that one). The book is a real page turner and the further it got the more I felt myself willing on certain characters. Right until the very end I was wondering how on earth this could all end in a way that felt satisfying.

But be warned - this isn't a book for the faint hearted. Some of the descriptions are graphic - but that adds to the realism and horrific nature of what the characters are experiencing.

A truly excellent book and one that has restored my faith in the writing of Alex Marwood.
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