Cover Image: The Family Next Door

The Family Next Door

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel for an honest review. This was my first novel by this author, I genuinely enjoyed this authors style of writing. I hope to read more of her work. I loved the dark, horrifying killer. The best crime novel I’ve read this year. Super creepy and dark! I totally recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Review featured at

3.5 Hearts I liked most of this story. The reason I say most is there is a bit of what I would call “horror” and it was really descriptive. A bit too descriptive for me. I have never been a fan of horror movies. I enjoy suspense and I liked the suspense part of this book and the story was interesting but the horror was just too much.

Taking the horror out of it I liked the characters and I think I would enjoy the same story told with less graphic details. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Lots of different people telling the story which is based in a neighbourhood regarding the residents that live there. Lots of secrets . You have to be on the ball because the story is told by so many different people . The storyline was good though. Great twist. It had me frustrated in parts though.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this one. It was creepy and dark in all the best ways. I wasn't sure what to expect with the book description but I was definitely surprised at how intense the story got. Very much recommended!
Was this review helpful?
Garrick and Olivia Lockwood along with their 2 children were ready for a new start at life. The only way they were  able to afford 25 The Avenue in Essex was due to the bodies being dumped in the park by the house, so how could they pass up such an amazing price? There’s a serial killer on the loose,  dubbed by the media  as “The Dollmaker”, the cause of death is unknown but all the bodies have one thing in common, the eyes have been removed and replaced with glass eyes.  Just as the Lockwoods are pulling up to their new house, they hear sirens in the distance, next thing the know the police and forensics show up, a 5th body has been discovered. 
Wow! Fiona Cummins had me on the edge of my seat, there was no sleeping to be had, I devoured this book in one sitting. 
Thank you Netgalley for a chance to read this book. I gave it 5 stars!
Was this review helpful?
Much odder and darker than I expected from the blurb, so maybe my expectations ruined the reading experience. Wasn’t a stand-out in my mind
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Family Next Door by Fiona Cummins.

A new family has just moved into the neighborhood,un-reluctantly at best.  But desperate and hard times call for tough measures.  Watching them move in is the neighbor serial killer who has been reeking havoc on this quiet neighborhood for quite some time now.  And they have plans for this family.

This was okay, it kept my attention overall, but it was also really easy to forget it the minute it was over.  I felt like it defaulted to a tired prose, so there was nothing that really stood out to me.  It would be a fast and fun beach read though.
Was this review helpful?
The Family Next Door is a fast-paced, creepy thriller about a serial killer in a neighborhood and the family that moves into their new home after bodies are discovered in the woods behind it because if this hadn't of happened, they couldn't afford it. Readers will wonder which of the neighbors could be the murderer. Highly recommended to readers looking for a strong, spooky thriller. Be sure to check out The Family Next Door today!
Was this review helpful?
Author: Fiona Cummins
For Sale: Lovely family home, ready for your updates. Friendly neighborhood setting close to park; secluded.

If not for the bodies discovered in the woods behind their new home, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood couldn't have afforded to buy number 25 The Avenue. It's the fresh start they and their two children badly need. Soon, these terrible crimes will be solved, they tell themselves, and once Garrick has remodeled, he's confident they'll sell the house for a profit.

But the darkest secrets can reside on quiet, ordinary streets like this--behind the doors of
well-kept houses and neighbors' friendly faces. Secrets that can destroy a family, or savagely end a life, and will surface just when they're least expected . 

My thoughts
Would I recommend yet? Yes
Will I read anything else by this author? Yes
Get ready to meet a new kind of killer ,a killer that is creepy, and dark and twist in a way that their not afraid to let out secrets that aren't even theirs to tell all the while their watching from the shadows and planning their next move.And speaking of moving, would you move to a neighborhood where everyone has secrets, that even an unknown killer knows, and even then is it safe to trust anyone there.I guess the big question would be could you trust any of them and I do mean any of them from the creepy  doll maker, to the nice old couple who lives beside you, or even the mailman who delivers your mail.Unfortunately I can't answer that question for you.But I can say this if you ready to get lost into a story that has a lot of misdirection and twist and turns and pulls you into the story from the first page then this is the one for you.Because once the secrets start coming out you won't know who is telling the truth or who to trust in fact all you can do is set back and enjoy the ride and hope your not the next victim.With that said I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read and text it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved The Collector and this one too.  Right from the beginning I was nervous because one of the narrator’s voices was a bit flowery which is not my style. I also stumbled for a minute with the switches between narrators and timelines. That didn’t last too long but long enough to mildly irritate.

This will give you a good ride and some surprises. This has some great writing. The premise is fantastic. You have to stick with it as it takes a minute but trust me, it’s worth it. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Kensington Books for a copy in exchange for a review.
Was this review helpful?
This one was a horrific surprise! I was bored at first and a little taken aback with the mixed POVs and narration styles. I came close to DNFing it but I am so glad I kept going.

The various POVs grew on me and before I knew it, I was hooked. This neighborhood was a mix of some of the WORST people which made it nearly impossible to figure out who the killer was! And just when you think you have it figured out, Fiona Cummins pulls another twist out of her bag. 

If you like thrillers that are full of murder and mystery, this is for you. It's an uncomfortable read, but that's what makes this genre so addictive. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this one! All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
EXCERPT: one noticed a small girl - the youngest of the group - back away from the puppet theatre with its dead crow's head and limp feathers, stumbling over her best shoes, finding her way to a storeroom that should have been locked.

No one saw her scramble between the old boxes and piles of dust sheets, tears wetting her face, or stopped her squeezing through racks of fraying costumes, spiderwebs catching in her hair, until she found herself crouching behind a deep, wooden chest, curiosity driving her to open it.

No one noticed her at all.

Until the screaming began.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: For Sale: Lovely family home, ready for your updates. Friendly neighborhood setting close to park; secluded.

If not for the bodies discovered in the woods behind their new home, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood couldn't have afforded to buy number 25 The Avenue. It's the fresh start they and their two children badly need. Soon, these terrible crimes will be solved, they tell themselves, and once Garrick has remodeled, he's confident they'll sell the house for a profit.

But the darkest secrets can reside on quiet, ordinary streets like this - behind the doors of
well-kept houses and neighbors' friendly faces. Secrets that can destroy a family, or savagely end a life, and will surface just when they're least expected . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Creepy. Menacing. Dark and disturbing....

I took today off work in part so that I could finish this book. I think I did the same for her other novels, Rattle, and The Collector. Also creepy, menacing, dark and disturbing.

There are several different timelines in this story, giving us insight into the background of the killer, but we don't know who s/he is. The clues to the killer's identity are skilful but ambiguous. There are several people who fit the bill. I must have discarded three or four suspects before I selected my final one, and still I got it wrong.

I found The Family Next Door hard to settle into to begin with. The chapters are very short with many different narrators, and jumped about a bit too much for my liking. But by the time I was half way through, I had become accustomed to the writing style and I couldn't put it down. I found myself thinking, once or twice, that Ms Cummins could give Stephen King a run for his money characterwise.

Heart-pounding stuff.

This novel was previously published under the title 'The Neighbour'.

#TheFamilyNextDoor #NetGalley 


Some snippets I would like to share with you:

'....our secrets are never as well hidden as we think they are. A freeze framed expression. A forgotten newspaper photograph. A bloody secret buried beneath layers and layers of paint.'

'Smoke. Mirrors. Secrets. Lies. We believe what we want to, don't we? Our version of the truth. But there are many layers, many truths. We sift and curate and cherry-pick the parts that best suit the face we present to the world. Nobody is a true version of themselves. Everyone pretends.'

' much of the ugliness of her job was found not in city alleyways or late night street stabbings, but behind the mown lawns and washed cars and laundry on the line, the mundane and everyday. Inside lives quietly lived.'

'Grief was a complex emotion. It was possible to laugh, to go to work, to eat, at the same time as waves crashed against you, threatening to dash you against the cliffs and overwhelm you.'

THE AUTHOR: Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Family Next Door by Fiona Cummins. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage
Was this review helpful?
People coming and going are always a curious affair. In The Family Next Door things keep happening on this street or lane in this supposedly average place. I found the character a bit off and the story a long winding road to absorb.  This was a hard read but once you committed to the story it kept your attention..
Was this review helpful?
I have read and enjoyed Cummins' series, starting with The Collector. And initially, I expected this to be a part of that. But, this is a standalone title - one that was actually published earlier in the UK under the title The Neighbour.  Unfortunately, my disappointment over this not being a continuation of the series did somewhat spoil the beginning to me. But by the second half of the book, my spoiled expectations were long forgotten as I started to genuinely enjoy this quite a bit in its own right!

Set on the Avenue in Essex, this little street is surprisingly full of secrets. Just about every household on the block harbors some sort of hidden activity or past. The book shifts from various perspectives starting from the day the Lockwood family moves in - and alternates between the "Now" where a serial killer knows his spree is up and is preparing for the police to arrive. 

The plot keeps the reader guessing, as there are multiple plausible possibilities for the killer's identity- there's the creepy older man who makes dolls, the vulgar one with the telescope, the postman who seems to only ever be delivering mail on their street... The sort of omniscient writing style does take a little bit of getting used to - and I definitely love the prophetic role of the Magic 8 ball here! It's an entertaining novel and one that I really did enjoy - despite my reluctance at first. I saw some of the twists coming, but there were plenty of surprises that I didn't expect, too! I am looking forward to seeing what Cummins will write next! Hopefully next time there isn't such a lag between the UK and US publications!
Was this review helpful?
My first read by Fiona Cummins and it did not disappoint!  A psychological thriller with elements of horror and intense suspense combine to keep you reading into the night - but not too late or you won't be able to sleep!  Awaiting her next...
Was this review helpful?
What secrets lie behind closed doors...?
What secrets lie behind closed doors? Dark, suspense from Fiona Cummins. The Lockwoods have a new home, one that they normally couldn’t have afforded to buy - however, the discovery of bodies in the nearby woodlands has brought the house price rocketing down. The couple are sure that this won’t pose a problem. That the crimes will be solved. That all will be well. That their house will sell for a profit. They do not foresee the secrets bubbling up around them. Tension building read, well compiled and full of misdirection.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, I really loved this creepy, dark, twisted tale!  I thought it was absolutely unputdownable, well written, a bit original, and full of twists and turns!  I found it to be full of some amazing thrills, chills, twists & turns, and shocks!  Highly recommend to those who love twisted psychological thrillers!  
Will make sure I buzz it up on all the different platforms!
Was this review helpful?
Garrick and Olivia Lockwood, along with their children, nine year old son Evan and teen daughter Aster, are moving in to their new home at 25 The Avenue, off the coast of Essex. Thirty seven acres of Blatches Woods borders the property.
They've gotten a great deal on the house, probably because the police have just found the fifth murder victim in the woods near them. No cause of death has been determined and their eyes have been removed and replaced with glass ones.
A serial killer is on the loose in the neighborhood and his nickname is The Doll Maker.
As Detective Sergeant Wildeve Stanton investigates to find the killer, it becomes a personal vendetta for her.
We meet a creepy cast of neighbors in the community and there are lots of sinister behaviors. This crime thriller was gripping and suspenseful. My only issue with it was I had a difficult time keeping track of the many characters.
An interesting and entertaining read.
Thank you to Kensington Books Pinnacle for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
The Family Next Door by Fiona Cummins is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Kensington Books (Pinnacle), and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When police pull a fifth body from Blatches Park, they are disheartened to find he is one of their own.  DI Adam Stanton was working the serial killer case.  Now he is dead.  His wife, Wildeve, who also working the case, can't step back.  Five bodies, and still no clues.  The eyes of the victims are removed (after death) and replaced with fakes.   Makeup is applied to the face.  No other marks on the bodies.  They don't even know how the victims died.  The press is calling the killer The Doll Maker.

Garrick and Olivia Lockheed and their two children move into Number 25 The Avenue, right down the street from Blatches Park.  Money has been a little tight lately, so they were relieved to find a house with 3 bedrooms and a garden at such a bargain price.  Yes, bodies are being found nearby, and the house needs upgrading, but they'll make a profit when they sell, and they desperately need a fresh start.

The Avenue is a strange name for a street, but so are the people who live there.  Secrets among the residents are numerous.  There is a real doll-maker who some think murdered his wife, a stargazer who sees more than he should,  a gardener and his wife who haven't seen their son in over 30 years, and a mailman who is a little too close to them all.  Is one of them the serial killer....or is it someone else.

 My Opinions:  

So, originally titled "The Neighbour" when it first came out, that title would still suit just as well.  I'm just not sure why the name change, although they often change it when released in the U.S.  Still doesn't make sense to me.

The book is told from different perspectives, one of them being that of the killer.  It seemed a little disjointed until I really got into the book.  Then everything came together.  It was a compelling story of secrets.  The many characters were all intriguing and all a little creepy.  They were well-defined, and the street itself seemed to take on its own personality.  The short chapters kept the reader turning the pages, and it ended up being a fast read.  Although I was correct in who the killer was, there were so many red herrings that I often questioned my judgement.

I am still trying to figure out why it took me so long to get into the book.  Once I was in, I was there for the duration....hardly put it down.

On a personal note. Although this is not a romance novel, it probably had the best love letter I've ever read, and made me think of writing one to my husband to read after my death.  Hmmm...something to ponder.

Anyway, a great read!
Was this review helpful?
Combine a good sprinkling of mystery, heinous crimes, grisly secrets, despicable acts, and an astronomical chill factor and you end up with The Family Next Door by Fiona Cummins.

Not having read any of Fiona Cummins' previous work, I had no real expectations beyond the description outline. I am pleased to say that I found it completely intriguing and compelling!

Told from the perspectives of many characters, including the killer, the author leaves the reader to guess as they try to make sense of this story. While there is an abundance of people in this novel the killer is one whose presence I shall remember. Through a series of memories about events in the small Essex town, the killer tells of a simple life of children and entertaining which turned rancid and left a veil of hopelessness and death. 

With the focus on the Lockwood family, who are new to the area, the killer formulates a plan, upping the ante and keeping me wondering what might be next. With the varied perspectives in this book, Fiona Cummins did not leave me short of any character development or dynamic narrative, as I attempted to analyse the crime(s), alongside the detectives. With its short, snappy chapters and great deal of effort, I managed to keep up with the wicked pace.

With the abundant misdirections and twists, I loved the sections of the book that featured DS Wildeve Stanton, with her strong personal drive to seek the truth and identify the killer. Cleverly crafted, sinister, nightmarish, and relentlessly surprising, the air of foreboding deepened with every chapter until the final exciting and fulfilling denouement. 

I’m excited to read this talented author's previous novels, especially "Rattle", and as a new fan I'm curious to see what's in store, next. I have no hesitation in recommending The Family Next Door to fans of the genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from the publisher via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?