Cover Image: The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

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The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan

To everyone who knows her, Jane Morgan lives the perfect life. She is the wife of an admired, handsome doctor, she has three lovely children, including beautiful twins, and they live in one of the larger houses in the quiet village of Ashdon. Jane is a member – a leader, even – of most of the village’s organisations. She even runs a book club. But then one February the girl next door, 16-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered in the nearby Sorrow’s Meadow. As the villagers stumble around in their efforts to support the grieving mother and stepfather, they’re well aware that there’s a killer on the loose. Jane will do anything to protect her family while keeping hidden her darkest secret. No marriage is perfect. Jane’s certainly isn’t.

The Girl Next Door is such a fast and entertaining psychological thriller. We’re used to families with hidden secrets but what I really enjoyed about this novel is the author’s depiction of what seems to hold the community of Ashdon together – the circle of female friends, with their impeccable makeup, their inability to keep their noses out of their neighbours’ business, their fridges full of wine, their snobbishness and their prejudices. In Ashdon, the best way to win approval is to bake a lasagne for a bereaved friend. It’s not what you think that counts, it’s how you act. And Jane, who is looked up to and envied by everyone, except perhaps by the mother of the murdered girl, is queen of Ashdon.

Jane is our narrator and she has a fascinating voice. There are plenty of little digs at her friends and her worry that she’s not keeping up appearances is paramount. But Jane hints that her marriage is far from fine but to divorce would bring shame. Their friend Linda is getting divorced and there’s a queue of people promising to bake for her – although you rather sense that nobody actually has. Jane must stay married. Instead, she focuses on keeping her children safe.

Every so often we hear another voice and that one belongs to Clare as she goes over what happened to her during her last day. I thought this worked really well. Amongst the selfishness and the superficiality, through Clare we see the real actual tragedy of what has happened. A teenage girl has died just as her life was beginning. Clare’s grief at her life ending is mirrored by that of her mother Rachel. Jane notices that Rachel is no longer wearing makeup, that she clings to people. This is a woman stripped bare by grief. It’s very well done.

As for the mystery itself, I did guess relatively early on, which meant that the second half of the novel didn’t quite match the first. Nevertheless, The Girl Next Door is an entertaining, well-written and pageturning portrayal of a family and a community dealing with a terrible act that has no place in a village as perfect as Ashdon.
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A tantalizing book made even more interesting by the great characters and amazing plotline - this alone deserves acclaim! 

A sleepy, quaint town, where nothing interesting ever happens, until Clare Edwards is found, dead - by the locally gossiped about weirdo - you know the one, every town has one. Nathan, he once worked for the school but got sacked after he allegedly followed a girl home.  

Who killed her ? So many suspects ..... is it one of the local boys, all wanting Clare's attention, but ignored by her?

Or Jack - The local doctor and husband of Jane, Clare's neighbors and parents of Harry - one of the hot teenage boys vying for Clare's attention - they say 90% of the time the victim knows their murderer.  The neighbors haven't seen anything, or have they? do they know more than they are letting on?  Would Jane tell, even if she did know and risk losing her marriage, family, reputation and the beautiful home that shes built up?

She's put up with a lot, has Jane, has it all got too much, after her needing hospital treatment at the hands of Jack. 

Is it time she told her secret?   She could talk to DS Madelaine Shaw, she'd help her - wouldn't she?

What about Clare's Mum - Rachel, poor frail Rachel. And Ian - Clare's stepdad, he soon took over Rachel and Clare's lives when her real Dad died, no sign of him in their house, no photos - has Ian killed her in a fit of rage?  He was in the army - take much to hurt Clare, even by accident.  

If you want to know the answers, you will have to read The Girl Next Door, I would highly recommend you do, this psychological page-turner truly ticks all the boxes with characters who pull you in and make you believe in them.  The story is flooded with believable twists that will make you wonder if you're actually reading a factual - not fictional book.  Phoebe Morgan hits the top spot with this one, 5 Stars from me.  I really loved this book, it's gritty, compelling and sensational.
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I really enjoyed this thriller - loved the way Phoebe Morgan turned everything you might think about someone completely on it's head.  At times the pace wasn't quite spot on but I was enthralled by the main character's voice and her different relationships and what she said and did vs what the reality of her life was like. A great one for fans of Gone Girl/Girl on the Train. A gripping read that doesn't disappoint - definitely pack it for your holidays now!
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Fantastic novel. Had me gripped from the start. Full of twists that I didn’t expect including the ending.
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Jane's next door neighbour's 16yr old daughter Clare has been murdered in a field on a cold day in February. Nothing like this has ever happened before in Ashdon. Jane watches the house through her windows where Clare's mother and Stepfather are coming to terms with the news.

We hear from multiple points of view. Jane's, DS Madeleine Shaw's and Clare's as  we're taken on a journey of not only what happened on that fateful day in February but also the aftermath and police investigation. 

There are a few twists and a lesson to be learned in this book. Not everything and everyone is as they seem. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely read more by this author. Phoebe Morgan creates palpable tension in this whodunit and a great twist near the end. 

Appearances can be deceptive, can't they?
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Jane has a perfect life, perfect husband, Jack and perfect children....however she has a secret.....

Her neighbours, Rachel, Ian and young Clare are devastated when Clare is found dead in the local Sorrows Meadow.

What follows is one of the most riveting novels I’ve many questions, doubts and suspicions.....just who did kill Clare?...I had such sympathy for all the characters, with the anger and domestic violence issues being at the fore and due to Phoebe Morgan’s marvellous writing I was on tenterhooks right to the very end.....a definite must read for all fans of a domestic thriller.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review
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This is your classic ‘who done it’ psychological thriller. The murder happens really early on in the story and at first there aren’t really any leads to follow. We follow Jane, the neighbour who lived next-door to Clare, as she gossips with the other mothers trying to figure out what happened. We also follow DS Madeline Shaw as she investigates the seemingly senseless murder. There is also the odd flashback thrown in from Clare’s moments in the days leading up to her death. 

I had a deep sense of unease reading this book but I wasn’t entirely sure to who my unease was directed. I just got the sense that all was not quite right with the characters that I was following and I was suspicious of a few in particular. 

As soon as things started to be revealed I was more curious than I had been at the start of the book to work out the why’s of it all. The author ties everything up nicely by the end leaving the readers with a rather chilling last few lines that made the hairs on the back of my next stand up. Very well done! I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.
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The Girl Next Door was a great whodunnit that I enjoyed right till the end and even though I guessed pretty early on who the culprit was it didn’t deter my enjoyment.
Sixteen year old Clare has been found murdered her mum and step father are distraught and won’t stop feeling this way until the culprit is caught. Jane lives next door with her husband who is the handsome local doctor, most of this book is from Jane’s viewpoint as she tries to help their neighbours with their loss, look after her own children and still be involved in the crowd at the school gate. Although most of the chapters are from Jane’s view they are interspersed with Clare’s thoughts and feelings and what she was doing leading up to her death and this worked well.
This is a village that appears to be tightly knit but the more you find out the more you see that not everything is how it first appears and this is a book with secrets upon secrets upon secrets and works really well. I flew through this book and although inwasnt a fan of a couple of characters I think I was intentionally meant to feel like this.
I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK - HQ for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this arc in exchange for an honest review. I highly enjoyed the twisty The Doll’s House, so was looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. This is about 16-Year old Clare who goes missing and then is found dead in the woods, and the affect this has on the small surburban community of Ashdown in Essex. This is told from 3 POVs:
* DC Madeleine Shaw who is investigating the case
* flashbacks from Clare herself from her last day leading to the tragedy that takes her life
* Jane - married to a doctor, a mother of three children and an upstanding member of the community. She’s Clare’s neighbour and is hiding secrets of her own...
This is fast paced read with lots of surprises and twists.
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First book read by this author but I can’t wait for her next book. This is about the murder of a sixteen year old girl from a small village where everyone knows everyone . But amongst them is a killer  who will do everything to not get caught . Plenty of twist & turns to keep you enthralled in this book.
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This is the second book I've read by this author and this one is just as good as her first.  I loved the twists, and the flow of the story definitely kept me hooked.  Thoroughly recommended.
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The Girl Next Door is an incredible page-turner. Few of the characters are quite what they seem and Phoebe Morgan combines thriller and domestic noir with great skill, creating a nuanced cast of characters and a twist-filled plot that is satisfying from start to finish. All in all, a great read.
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The Girl Next Door, Phoebe Morgan's second novel, is a well-crafted tale that highlights how destructive secrets and lies can be. There are a few twists throughout and some of them were quite easy to predict, but I never saw the ending coming, so it remained a solid read despite my correct guesses of where it was heading. The characters are well built and believable, and although most of them are unlikeable it didn't impact my enjoyment. Morgan depicts a small town community where people hide behind a facade when behind it there is much jealousy and judgemental behaviour. This is rural Essex where gossip runs rife and is taken as gospel. You quickly realise that no-one can be trusted making the tension all the more palpable.

The multiple perspectives keep you engrossed and immersed in the story and lets us see things from various different points of view, and the pace and structure of the book made it extra suspenseful. Those of us who appreciate an unreliable narrator will no doubt love this novel. The author hooks you in from the very beginning and holds your attention right until the stunning and satisfying conclusion. I liked this a lot more than her debut as this is a real page-turner, which at certain points was dark and utterly chilling. However, I would've liked a little more background on DS Madeleine Shaw as she's a fascinating character, and I hope to see her making an appearance in future books. Ultimately this is a masterclass in how to create a gripping novel through unreliable narration.

Many thanks to HQ for an ARC.
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Well if you like a book with lots of twists and turns then this is the book for you. 
Clare doesn’t come home from school and her parents are becoming more and more worried. The Police are called and soon bring the terrible news that Clare has been murdered. 
The village where it happens is a close knit community - or so they’d like to think. The truth is they all have their own secrets to hide. 
Life goes on with the murder hanging over everyone and as the story develops we learn more about Clare and those around her. 
I can’t say much more about the story as I don’t want to spoil it for you but this is a great read. 
Thanks to HQ and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Having read and enjoyed Phoebe's previous book The Doll House I was very keen to read her latest release The Girl Next Door.

The storyplot was an intriguing one, elements of which you certainly don't come across much in other books which makes this stand out because of it.  Having finished it in just two sittings, it has certainly been addictive read from start to finish. To be honest there wasn't too much guessing involved as it was quite easy to figure out who the murder was but it was still an enjoyable read.

Despite what I said above, there was still a twist & shocking revelation within the story come the end that I certainly wasn't expecting nor did I see coming. Just goes to show that you really can't trust your neighbours sometimes especially not in such a small community as depicted in this story. 

I thought it was very cleverly written and all of the characters were well developed. I had fun getting to know each and every one of them.

So final words, another great book from Phoebe and I'm already looking forward to her next book in the future.
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An interesting story about a teenage girl who is found dead and ( again ) a whodunit based around the parents and neighbours and people who live in the small Essex town of Ashdon
Of course there are secrets on secrets on secrets errr on secrets and nothing is quite as it seems
I really enjoyed the narrative of Jane ( the neighbour ) and how her thoughts were described and her sniffy on point observations of everyone where great
I thought the killer was quite easy to fathom out but didnt spoil the book for me at all
The actual WOAHHHHHHH of the book was not who the actual murderer was but who they pretended to be and what they actually were!!!and that nicely led to the NON all loose ends tied up everyones happy ending.....this is the opposite!!!
Its quite easy to say psychological thriller at the moment and cover a wide range of things but this truly is a book worthy of that description
8/10   4 Stars
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My thanks to HarperCollins U.K./HQ for an eARC via NetGalley of Phoebe Morgan’s ‘The Girl Next Door’, which combines domestic noir with police procedural.

When sixteen-year old Clare Edwards, the girl next door, is found murdered Jane Goodwin suddenly finds the facade of her apparently perfect life threatened. As with all thrillers and whodunnits, I am going to say little regarding the plot to avoid inadvertently giving spoilers. 

While the majority of chapters are narrated by Jane, who clearly is holding back on us, there are also chapters outlining the efforts of DS Madeline Shaw to investigate the murder, and the occasional chapter from the viewpoint of Clare during her final hours.

Morgan draws a picture of a small town in rural Essex where secrets, lies, envy, and jealousy lurk behind fake smiles. Jane is especially catty when commenting on her fellow female PTA and book club members with their love of gossip.

This was a well crafted novel that kept me glued to my tablet and certainly delivered on the promised twists. I did feel that aside from Clare (in retrospect) and Madeline, the novel’s characters were in general a fairly unlikeable bunch though I expect this was intentional highlighting the toxicity lying beneath the surface.

Certainly recommended and I plan to read her previous novel and be on the lookout for future projects.
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The Girl Next Door is a twisty and twisted read by Phoebe Morgan. There is a palpable sense of tension in this book, after the initial crime takes place. You start to wonder who you can trust. It's all about the facades that people and communities assume. But you never really know what goes on behind closed doors, and just how desperate some situations are. The characters are all well developed, some not so likable, but that makes them all the more realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, became immersed in the plot, and only had a slight inkling as to who the murderer was. Evil truly exists in this tale, making it a delectable and un-putdownable read. Highly recommend. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy.
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I read this in one sitting, staying up into the night, curled up in the sofa under a blanket. Just couldn’t put it down. 
Five stars.
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The Girl Next Door is another brilliant release from Phoebe Morgan (I also loved her debut, The Doll House). It has some great characters – some more likable than others! – and an intriguing plot which kept me guessing but also wasn’t too far-fetched or ridiculous. It felt like it stayed on the right side of believable and, although I guessed some parts fairly early on, I hugely enjoyed it.

I feel that Phoebe Morgan really evoked a strong sense of tension and suspense in the little village of Ashdon; I could imagine the atmosphere and worry that would be created from a young girl’s suspicious death, in what is normally such a sleepy, safe village. I also really liked that the plot threw some key assumptions on its head; there were some twists which I found really satisfying - apart from anything else because they really did surprise me!

The multiple points of view – mainly focusing on next door neighbour Jane, DS Madeleine Shaw and victim Clare – kept me as the reader on my toes, and it’s always interesting to read the investigation from the perspective of different people in the case, instead of just the victim’s family, or just the police.

The Girl Next Door gives the reader a peek into family life and shows that all is often not quite as it seems. I finished this book with a real sense of satisfaction, so I’d say that’s a definite success!
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