Posted in Reading, Reviews

The Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood


No. 23 has a secret. In this bedsit-riddled south London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, something waits to be discovered.

Yet all six residents have something to hide.

Collette and Cher are on the run; Thomas is a reluctant loner; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a ‘quiet man’ nobody sees try to stay hidden. And watching over them all is Vesta – or so she thinks.

In the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the neighbours into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim…

As a cloying heatwave suffocates the city, events build to an electrifying climax in this dark, original and irresistibly compelling thriller.

“Not to be read while you’re eating lunch…”

I’ve had this book on my To Be Read pile ever since it first came out back in June last year and am now kicking myself that I didn’t read it sooner, because it is absolutely brilliant. If it’s sitting in your to be read pile I recommend you go and move it now to your next read, and if it’s not there, why not?

Dark, chilling and impeccably plotted, The Killer Next Door is an intriguing look into the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, how little notice we often take of the world around us and asks the question just how well do we ever really know our friends and neighbours?

We begin with Collette, discover the reason she is on the run and about her arrival at Beulah Grove, where she takes over the room of the mysteriously vanished Nikki.  From there we meet each of her ‘neighbours’ in the house that they all share, learning about their lives, their secrets and the circumstances that have brought them all to renting a single room with shared bathroom, cash in hand and no questions asked from #23’s slum landlord.

Their intertwining stories are at times scary, tragic, and filled with melancholy showing how easy it can be to find yourself in such dire situations as much through the actions of others, as well as your own.  My favourite part was how the characters all appeared drawn towards Vesta, finding it easy to tell their stories and offer up their secrets to her for safe, or perhaps not so safe, keeping. 

It’s a brilliant read that you won’t want to put down, although in my case it was easier for me to read and read, as I actually downloaded my copy of The Killer Next Door as an unabridged audiobook, via

The narrator is perfectly selected, and the editing slick, which meant listening to the story added an extra creepy dimension to the haunting passages of the killer and his thoughts.  It also highlighted just how vividly descriptive Marwood’s writing is, making sure you experience all of the sights, sounds and smells of the situation, which is a fabulous thing to read but certainly in my case means there is at least one bathroom section you may not want to be reading (or listening too) while you’re eating lunch…

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