Cover Image: Cul-de-sac


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Member Reviews

Joy Fielding has a knack for suspenseful writing and Cul de Sac is no exception. This domestic drama is set in a small neighborhood in Florida that is full of guns, secrets, and intrigue. Each chapter gives the reader a glimpse into one of the family’s lives and I was invested from the beginning thanks to Fielding’s descriptive characterization (of what are mostly unlikeable characters). The book concludes with a satisfying and logical ending, which is a hard to come by for books like this. I enjoyed this read!
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Thank you to Random House - Ballantine, Joy Fielding, and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Cul-de-sac is a fun, twisty domestic thriller that kept me hanging on every word. I thought the book was fantastic. It grabbed me right from the start and I couldn't put it down. It was well written with a fairly large cast of characters that was easy for me to keep track of. I can't wait to read another book by this author.
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I LOVED this book. It's not just a thriller, it's the story of families and neighbors, and how people interact with and see each other. Yes, it starts with a murder right off the bat, and while I was reading it I wanted to know the ending, but it never felt rushed or boring on the way there. Full of sympathetic characters (and others you will NOT like), this book is so much different than your average "whodunit."
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I'm just not interested in reading about graphic depictions of domestic abuse and rape. Especially, within a thriller. Everything seems disrespectfuly done.
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Fielding did such a great job twisting her characters together and I was fascinated equally by them all! I loved their stories and I have strong opinions about them all! I relate especially to Maggie with her teenage daughter. Watching each neighbor as they grew and learned and the choices they made was just fascinating!
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I really enjoyed this book. There were many different character’s points of view, and it kept my interest the entire time. I really liked the ending as well.
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I absolutely love Joy Fielding. The Cul-de-sac was a page turning thriller. I could picture each neighbor and their complex problems. Like neighbors in real life some of the neighbors I loved others I would hate to live near. Great ending thanks Netgalley.
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Cul-de-sac   by Joy Fielding

The book literally opens with a bang. On a normal, quiet Cul de sac where five families live, their lives are forever changed.

Someone was shot and murdered  on a hot sultry summer night in Florida.

The reader instantly knows who died, but not who did it.

The book takes the reader on a wild ride, trying to figure out who did it.

Was it Maggie or her husband Craig? Surely not their two children.

Was it Nick or Dani his wife?

Perhaps grandmother Julia or her grandson, also suspects.

Also on the list Olivia or her husband Sean. Or neighbors Aiden and Heidi.

Such a diverse group of people, at times the story kept flipping around from one family to another, I got dizzy and took notes on who was who.

Would the killer be revealed?

To divulge that would be a spoiler so I won't go there.

I will say that this story kept me reading and wanting to know who did it. Wanting to learn more about the families, and why would someone kill?

I do read my fair share of thrillers and mysteries and the author is a favorite of mine so this book comes highly recommended for an afternoon or evening.


My thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the complimentary e arc in exchange for an honest review.

review posted @ Netgalley, Goodreads, amazon and
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I've been a fan of Joy Fielding for a long time, so of course I was excited to read Cul-de-sac. This book grabbed me from the very beginning, and I had such a hard time time putting it down because I really wanted to know which character would be killed (and find out if it was the one I hoped it would be). The characters were well-written and easy to empathize with, and Fielding did a great job of making me hate certain characters (especially Nick). I liked that the story was told from the perspectives of several different characters, and I loved the ending. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for giving me the opportunity to read and review this amazing thriller. : )
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A great domestic thriller which unfolds through multiple POVs.  Even with the considerable cast of characters, I found them well developed and easily discernible.  Set in an idyllic Florida cul-de-sac, someone is going to die in the middle of the night.  It was enjoying to get to the know the 5 families and I found myself rooting for many of them.
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I wasn’t sure what to think when I started this book. There are several POVs and it took me a minute to get into it. But once I did - oh boy! I loved the characters development and especially Maggie. The ending was good and I hoped I guessed it right - and I did! But that didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

I will say there some hard topics. Domestic abuse,  sodomy, rape, guns, PTSD. But, it all fit with the story and I really thought she did a good job!

I really liked this one. I recommend it. I’m just sorry I didn’t finish it sooner! 4.5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Only because I was a little worried about the multiple POVs at the beginning)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy.
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3.5 stars! 

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" 

The story begins in a cul-de-sac of five homes, where a gunshot goes off late one night. The book backtracks to 2 months earlier, introducing the reader to the 5 families who live on the street. Each family has its own set of problems, and potential reasons to be the location of the shooting just two months later. 

There is a war vet and his new wife with his busy body mother in one home, a rich surgeon and his dentist wife hiding a nasty secret in another. A newly single mother and her two kids live in the third house, and in the fourth is an elderly lady who lives with her troubled young adult grandson. Finally, an alcoholic husband recently laid off from his job who is hiding a secret of his own, and his wife and kids live in the 5th house. 

The novel unfolds family secrets in each home, and as the neighbors come together and get more intertwined, even more secrets unfold. 

In my opinion, this book would be more considered a domestic drama/mystery rather than a thriller. It wasn't much of a page turner, more of a slow burn. It is definitely a character-driven storyline. Don't expect your pulse to race, but if you prefer well detailed characters and a slow burn leading into an ending crescendo, then this book is for you. 

I did enjoy this book, although I have to say I prefer a little more "thrill" in books like this. That said, I was curious enough to finish the book, as I wanted to know who was behind the shooting and who got shot. There was enough intrigue and reasons that any one of the houses could be the subject of the shooting, and so the end really was exciting in that respect. 

This book would be great for fans of Little Fires Everywhere. 

Special thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for this advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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You know how you read a book and can see it made into a movie or series?  That's how I felt reading this book. I was hooked and couldn't stop reading.  I really like everything Ms. Fielding writes.  

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity read and review this book.
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An Interesting book as I was reading it, but fairly forgettable. I wouldn’t call this a thriller, it read more like suspense or domestic fiction, heavy on the psychological. Fielding did a great job developing her characters, all of whom had series issues (but hey, that’s life isn’t it?). After reading Cul-de-sac, I sure am glad I don’t live in a neighborhood… too much drama. 3.5 stars rounded
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This is a great Domestic thriller perfect for fans of Shari Lapena!
I’m not going to lie, when I first started reading this I thought I might have to skim it as I’ve been done dirty by some neighborhood thrillers before. There are 5 houses in the Culdesac on Carlisle Terrance, and every single one of them holds a secret. The story starts with one of the neighbors getting shot in July and then backtracking to May for the lead up.
There are multiple POV’s from everyone who lives in the culdesac and there isn’t any rhythm to it, so you do need to pay attention to which character’s perspective it is. I the chapters are so short that I found it easy to keep track of since you never got lost in one persons story.
 At first I thought this was going to be one where I didn’t like any of the characters. However, they all really grew on me, especially the strong women and the children. It’s true what they say about never knowing your neighbors or everything that goes on inside their house.
I had who got shot and the ending narrowed down to a couple possibilities, and one of them was right! If a thriller could get a happy ending, I felt like this one did. It left me satisfied with how everything played out!
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Joy Fielding, the bestselling author of STILL LIFE, SEE JANE RUN and other acclaimed novels, returns with CUL-DE-SAC, the story of a neighborhood beset by secrets, dramas and a quietly unfolding act of violence that will change its residents’ lives forever.

The term “cul-de-sac” is the literal translation of “bottom of a sack” in French, derived from the Latin culus, meaning “bottom.” In Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, however, it means a short, dead-end street in the shape of a circle set in a sleepy, solidly middle-class suburb. Five houses surround the cul-de-sac, each with a different family, each with their own secrets, desires and betrayals.

At the heart of the circle is Maggie McKay, a newly separated woman who lives with her teenage daughter and young son. Directly next door are Dani Wilson and her celebrated oncologist husband, Nick, along with their two sons. Then we have the Grants, Sean and Olivia, who are just settling into life following the births of their twins and third child. On the other side live Julia Fisher, an 84-year-old widow, and her up-to-no-good grandson; and the Youngs --- beautiful, swoony Heidi and her veteran husband, Aiden, who suffers from PTSD. But each of the five households counts at least one gun among them, and as many of us have learned over the last few years, where there are guns --- let alone five or more --- there is bound to be a shooting sooner or later.

Alternating among each of the five households, Fielding paints a portrait of a neighborhood rife with good stories. Maggie McKay lives, breathes and practically marries her fear following an altercation with a biker gang. With her husband unable to live with the stress anymore and her children looking to her for answers about their father’s return, Maggie has turned to a gun for comfort. But a loaded weapon is a poor match for her paranoia and confusion, and even she is starting to wonder if a gun can keep her --- and her family --- safe if she does not start to work on her fear.

Nick Wilson is a revered oncologist, known for his passion for his patients and his ability to weigh difficult decisions. But although his wife, Dani, is also a doctor (a dentist), Nick finds her stupid, lazy and judgmental...and he has no problem airing these frustrations with his fists. Like many women trapped in violent marriages, Dani feels certain that the “real” Nick is not the one who hurts her, but rather the one who greets patients with clear facts and warm hugs. However, even she cannot ignore his cabinet of guns and the effect that his anger and eagerness for violence is having on their young sons.

Sean Grant, too, is keeping a secret: he has been laid off for over a year, and he is having no luck finding work. With the Grant family’s credit card debt running up and Sean growing tired of being a “house husband,” he turns to alcohol and, you guessed it, the surety of a gun in his hands --- the one thing that might be able to change the tides for his family. When Sean pretends to have been hired at an elite up-and-coming firm, his need for secrecy grows until even his neighbors start to wonder what is going on in the Grant household.

Across the cul-de-sac, Julia Fisher is getting on in years, but she is desperate to maintain her independence and the home she shared with her husband. Her son, now on his fourth bimbo wife and driving a ridiculous car, has turned into a man she no longer recognizes. But her grandson, devious and feckless as he is, offers her a reprieve. In exchange for her help battling his father, he will live with her, cook for her and make sure that she can maintain her home as long as possible. But her grandson is no angel either: he’s racked up quite a debt with his dealer, and he’ll need to dip into Julia’s wallet, jewelry case and medicine cabinet to avoid dangerous repercussions.

And then there are the Youngs, perhaps the most heartbreaking story of the cul-de-sac. Aiden served in Afghanistan, and like many soldiers, he came back with a horrifying case of PTSD. But that’s not all. He also returned straight into his mother’s firm grasp, and under her control he questions everything, including his love for his beautiful young wife, Heidi. Unable to take a stand for Heidi or himself, and tormented by vicious dreams, Aiden slowly starts to unravel as his neighborhood folds under its secrets.

CUL-DE-SAC kicks off with a gunshot and a murder. While each home is positively vibrating with the potential for violence, Fielding does a tremendous job dishing out details, distracting her readers with red herrings and exposing the inner lives of her tormented characters. On the surface, each household and its family are average, boring even, but in Fielding’s hands, the unknown breaks free in shocking, explosive ways. The “quiet neighborhood gone wrong” is not an unusual premise, but she really plays with the limits of the trope here, examining all the ways that a huge secret, like domestic abuse, can bump heads with a smaller one, like a domineering mother. As she demonstrates, the shadows --- even in the brightest streets of the brightest neighborhoods --- provide excellent places for secrets to hide, fester and flourish, and when a secret stays quiet for too long, it is bound to explode.

Perfect for readers of Megan Miranda's SUCH A QUIET PLACE and Sarah Langan's GOOD NEIGHBORS, CUL-DE-SAC is a satisfying mystery with plenty of domestic drama and well-rounded characters to keep you guessing, engaged and wary of your own neighbors.
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Cul-de-sac tells the story of 5 neighbors and the drama that happens one summer. You know someone will be shot and killed. The trick is finding out who dies and who did it! It took a little bit to get all of the characters straight in my head. Once I did, this story flew by. I really enjoyed the story and trying to figure it out. Fans of domestic dramas will love this one. Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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So often, books written with unlikable characters that make stupid decisions, can be so frustrating and ruin a read for me.  Somehow, Joy Fielding has a gift to make these same characters enhance the enjoyment of a book.  Very quick read.
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This was....a lot. There were five families in focus, and none of them were very likable. They were all highly dysfunctional, but felt very realistic because of this. All in all this was a solid thriller in a year full of excellent thrillers. 

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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**3.5 Stars...Thank You Netgalley for a chance to review**
Looking for a compelling home drama with a strong element of psychological suspense? Look no further. Character-driven drama with secrets and deceit, the drama is set in the present day. Despite its gorgeous setting, this area is everything from tranquil and serene. Appearances may be misleading, and mistrust can be found everywhere and everywhere. There are numerous points of view throughout the novel, secrets begin to amass, and dishonesty takes control.
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