The People Next Door by Christopher Ransom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of The People Next Door by Christopher Ransom
I ought to give this one 12 or 18 stars; it scared the literal blazes out of me, kept me awake racing through the pages just so I could finish it because I could not bear to fall asleep and have to wait till the next day to “find out,” and delivered exactly the quality of denouement promised by the back cover: a secret that the reader can’t guess, won’t guess, and is incredible. Yes-all that and more.
Take a marriage on the rocks; husband and wife both perceive themselves and each other as failures in their own way. Young daughter has visions, seems occasionally violent, even feral. Adolescent son trails after a trio of buds who will surely lead him up a bad path. Violence lingers in the air like a dark cloud hanging over their home and business and Amy’s teaching job; no one can be trusted, not even friends or business acquaintances known for years.
Enter the new neighbors: an incredibly wealthy, determined, fixated, focused couple-with an elusive and neurotic-seeming, beautiful, adolescent daughter, and an almost feral younger son (a good foil to our protagonist’s daughter). I will not even attempt to hint at the truths behind “The people next door,” but as difficult as it is to find originality in horror, Christopher Ransom has accomplished it. I would never have expected any of the multitude of surprises in this book. Mr. Ransom, you amaze.
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