The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman
7/12/22; 288 pages
Crooked Lane Books
The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman is a highly
recommended suburban drama.
It is the talk of the neighborhood gossips in Oak Hill, New Jersey, when actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Chris, at 4 AM. But this is overshadowed when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing while walking home from kindergarten. Rachel, Billy's mother blames herself for her career and parenting. Cassidy, Billy's teenage babysitter blames herself because she was late to the Barnes house that day. Police are unable to find any trace of Billy. Perhaps Oak Hill isn't as idyllic as it appears to be on the surface?
The narrative is told mainly from the point-of-view of Allison, Rachel, and Cassidy, in alternating chapters with a few chapters from others in the neighborhood. As the search continues and the neighborhood gossips drink wine and discuss events, there are many secrets exposed and suspects are plentiful. Suspense and tension rises quickly. Everyone judges everyone else and we are privy to their pronouncements.
The quality of the writing is excellent in this suburban domestic
drama. The characters resemble archetypes of different personalities
rather than real people, but it works in a novel of this type. It is a
quick read and an entertaining whodunit with a satisfying denouement. It
is also a bit disappointing that whodunit is very predictable, but the
appreciation is in the journey to the conclusion. 3.5 rounded up.