The Woman Next Door: A Psychological Thriller With a Stunning Twist Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
I suppose everyone has their reasons for living here. Who knows what lies behind the pretty curtains and the well-groomed lawns of Mulberry Avenue?
Lucy has a kind and adoring husband, a job she loves as a teacher, and a house on Mulberry Avenue with floaty curtains and the softest bed linen. After her troubled childhood, she knows life will never be perfect, but it’s pretty close.
She’s also got Amber, right next door. They never run out of things to talk about. Even if Amber’s life - with her high-profile job and handsome, wealthy boyfriend - is more glamorous than Lucy’s, they share a down-to-earth sense of humor.
But then Amber starts to hint that her life isn’t all it seems, and when she comes to Lucy, terrified, saying that she’s getting threatening messages, Lucy promises to protect her.
The closer Lucy gets to anyone, the harder it’ll be to keep her past to herself. But Amber doesn’t have anyone else, and Lucy welcomes her into her home.
Lucy knows all too well that people aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes they have secrets. And they’d do anything to keep them. Yet when Amber settles in a little too quickly, Lucy’s still sure: she can trust her friend...can’t she?
Gripping and pause-resisting, All Her Secrets tells a story about the dark side of friendship and has a final twist that will shock every listener. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Friend Request, and Clare Mackintosh.
Reviewers love Sue Watson:
"Tense, atmospheric psychological thriller with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Impeccably written and a big fat 5***** from me. Awesome!" (Number one best-selling author Angela Marsons)
"Gripping tension that builds and builds... I kept thinking I knew where she was going only to be knocked sideways... An absolute page turner of a read that sent my heart racing. Bravo to the new queen of psychological thrillers." (By the Letter Book Reviews, 5 stars)
"Most definitely a book that captures your imagination... A book that I literally did not put down." (Best Crime Books and More, 5 stars)
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 31 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 23, 2019|
|Publisher||Hachette UK - Bookouture|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #14,961 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#94 in Psychological Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#513 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#873 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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I have mixed feelings about this book. Other than the baby, I strongly disliked every single character ... even before I knew more. But that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, there are plenty of books I love with casts of vile characters. But this book, oof. Around the 35% mark, I nearly gave up on reading further. I didn’t think I could stomach yet another page of the hero worship of Amber (by Lucy). It just went on and on, round and round, same thoughts and actions .... Ms Watson beating us over the head with “Ok, so the backstory is that Lucy is obsessed with Amber and wants to protect her, see? See here? See some more?” Yes. After nearly half the book, I got it. And it was very annoyingly over the top. Lucy was ready and eager to sacrifice other friendships, her marriage, her job ... for some woman who had just moved into the neighborhood, acted weird, and was often rude. Ok, mmhmm, sure. I guess it had to do with Lucy’s childhood? I don’t know. We get a few flashbacks, but they really didn’t feel well-connected to the bizarre frothing over Amber, in my opinion.
I guessed many of the twists early on, but am not taking away because of it. It was still fun to see if I was right, and how it’d all play out. Ms Watson is very talented at tying up loose ends in most cases. Some were laughably cliched and very played out, though.
Many of the actions were so completely over-the-top, far-fetched, as to just make me roll my eyes. I know, this genre of books can and does play loose with reality, but sometimes it’s just too much silliness. I need to feel some sort of connection to the characters, to feel more immersed in the story, to be able to suspend my disbelief enough. I didn’t with this book. I just didn’t care about any of them in any way, so didn’t care what happened. I get very annoyed when we “meet” characters, who seem a certain way, but then inexplicably start behaving as if aliens took over their bodies. (That doesn’t apply to Amber. Her character was clear from the start.)
Three stars because it did keep me engrossed and wanting to finish, although I didn’t like the scorched earth ending. I wish I could expound on that, but it would give away major spoilers.
Overall, I feel that the story was disjointed with gratuitous and non-organic twists that seemed out of place in many of the circumstances, and a few backstories and red herrings that didn’t seem natural. But most of all, that the very extreme situations come on immediately, before we even get a chance to “know” the characters enough to care about them. We get pushed into the deep, roaring rapids of the thriller river, ready or not.
It’s certainly not the worst book, so sure, I can recommend it. At least it’s not another missing kid book with a pair of toddler shoes as cover art. But I thought I’d add a truly unbiased review, i e, from someone who actually purchased it and isn’t a member of The Cult of Netgalley, et al.
That being said, I found the story started becoming extremely predictable at some point, even with the so-called “twists.” I won’t give anything away, but I knew almost instantly which character was writing the diary-like excerpts in between chapters. Perhaps a more casual reader might not be as anal-retentive as I am about jumping ahead of the storytelling and forming my own endings to see how they compare with the author’s.
It annoyed me how much each character seemed to lose their individuality and become more and more cliche as the story alternately got more and more complex. Matt went from endearing, chummy and supportive to a total locker-room d-bag. Lucy became insufferably more naive as the story wore on, then at the end she finally appeared to “grow a pair,” I guess after hitting her proverbial rock bottom? The only traits that persevered were Amber’s skankiness, selfishness, and indifference to everyone’s feelings. But, even SHE began to soften and crack a bit toward the end. Still, not once did she convey any human traits. She had a robotic, hypersexual demeanor that doesn’t exist in reality. Even the most evil sociopaths (real and fiction) usually possess a “human” trait resembling empathy, softness, or sensitivity. For me as a reader, it made the main characters highly unlikeable.
However, I’d recommend this to all readers. I have to point out how much I enjoyed the British slang, and learning how it differs from the way Americans speak and what we call things. The story is like a patchwork quilt of different movies and books pieced together but it’s still worth a quick read in my opinion.
Top reviews from other countries
Don't waste your time on this, I'd rather clean the oven.
There is an air of sinister goings on from very early on and that sense of trepidation certainly builds giving the book that air of ‘danger around the next corner’. However at the same time as the book unfolds it becomes one of those, which person do I believe here. There are multiple possibilities and as the book progressed I really didn’t know which way it would go. The last part of the book was absolutely brilliant and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Fundamentally there is zero wrong with this book because I think the readers are meant to dislike the characters but for me I always struggle if I dislike characters as I find I am just not that invested in finding out what happens to them. Thankfully the story pulled me in enough and and it was certainly worth it. Not my favourite of the two in this genre Sue has written but I will still be looking forward to the next release!
Written in a style which is very boring and immature.
I got to chapter4 or maybe 5 and was becoming irritated.
I am thankful Lucy wasn't a teacher to my children as her mind would never have been on the job because all she thought about or rather obsessed about was AMBER!
The day Amber moved into her new home Lucy baked her a special cake...Amber was such a wonderful friend...Amber and Lucy went out for lots of evenings together... Lucy loved the weather lady on t.v and what was Amber's career? of course, she, s a weather lady.
I don,t know how many times in the book up to when i gave it up the name Amber appeared but i know that when the light changed from amber to green i got up and with no second thought i left this book behind.
A Rubbish read.
It was badly written in my opinion, with a really basic writing style, with little description or scene setting, and describing motivations and feelings directly rather than letting you work it out yourself. The characters were really one dimensional eg Amber is shallow, Lucy is 'nice', etc and none of them are likeable at all. I have put nice in inverted commas as I think she is meant to be nice (she reminds me of the type of person who complains they are too kind and gets taken advantage of all the time) but she also comes across as shallow and desperate, dumping all her friends as soon as someone semi famous moves in to the street, and puts up with being treated badly because her friend is rich and successful. The plot is unbelievable and I saw the 'twists' coming from miles away. For example, what do you think happens to Lucy who dumps all her friends for someone really fickle with a nasty streak? Why would someone let their neighbour move into their house if they believed a stranger had been in their neighbours house, rather than take any steps to improve security like change the locks and alarm? Why would someone ever dump all their friends for one new friend who was periodically nasty to them? I wont say any more in case it spoils it for anyone but I found it full of holes eg around police procedure.