The Family at Number 13 by S.D. Monaghan

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The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.

But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.

And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…

Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?


2 Stars **

You are made to believe from the blurb that this is going to be a story mostly between Mary and Andrew. Probably going back and forth between their viewpoints. In all honesty you could have never mentioned them in this book beyond the title of random neighbor was angry at me and this book would have lost nothing.  Almost all of the story focuses on Connor and his relationships with his neighbors as it relates to him. Randomly there is some Mary and Andrew as a couple information thrown in there.

I finished this book by the skin of my teeth and that is the only reason it is getting more then 1 star. The idea was interesting but this could have been a 1000 page novel or a whole series with all the sub plots contained within the story. When someone tells me a book is a psychological thriller I expect to be gripped by the story and for part of me to not know what is going on with each aspect of the story until closer to the end of the book. With this you know everything that is happening and it reads like a bad soap opera or an episode of Jerry Springer.

Guy hates hate, guy covets other man’s girlfriend, neighbor hates my guts and destroys my stuff, kid next door has a crazy mother, rape, abuse, and abandonment issues etc…. The main character, Connor, is almost just a voyeur into the lives of his neighbors as that seems to be his main purpose other then a direction to vent anger. Huge amounts of information are just dumped on you and then the characters are off onto a different tangent. Almost like the author wrote a decent book and then purposely went back and said well he needs speech issues, she needs daddy issues, he needs mommy issues, she should have a control thing and he should be a complete fake. Any one of these could be turned into a book… all of them just makes a disaster.

I just felt discombobulated by half way point and honestly it got no better. The author kept throwing new issues at you as soon as you shank your teeth into the one in your hands. I had no attachment to any of the characters by the end and nothing nice to say about this novel.


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