The Family Across The Street – Nicole Trope

Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…?

Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new family, the Wests, are a perfect fit. Katherine and John seem so in love and their gorgeous five-year-old twins race screeching around their beautiful emerald-green lawn.

But soon people start to notice: why don’t they join backyard barbecues? Why do they brush away offers to babysit? Why, when you knock at the door, do they shut you out, rather than inviting you in?

Every family has secrets, and on the hottest day of the year, the truth is about to come out. As a tragedy unfolds behind closed doors, the dawn chorus is split by the wail of sirens. And one by one the families who tried so hard to welcome the Wests begin to realise: Hogarth Street will never be the same again.

Nicole Trope

Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because-as her professor pointed out- ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’ She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree in Children’s Literature.

The idea for her first published novel, The Boy under the Table, was so scary that it took a year for her to find the courage to write the emotional story. She went on to publish a further five novels in Australia before joining Bookouture in 2019. She is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller in the USA, UK, AUS and CAN.

She lives in Sydney with her husband and three children

My Review:

The Family Across The Street is a gripping standalone thriller by Nicole Trope and one that I found difficult to put down once I’d started it.

Set in Sydney, Australia on one of the hottest days of the year, the story begins with a bang (literally) as gunshots are heard from one of the quiet residential houses. Something dreadful is happening behind the door of the Wests house where Katherine and John live with their 5 year old twins.

With multiple narrators, the reader is taken on a fast-paced journey retracing the events that led to the gunshot. Katherine – the devoted mother of twins, trying to stay alive and keep her children safe during this situation, Logan – an innocent passerby who is trying to stay on the right side of the law, but feels compelled to help and Gladys – the nosy neighbour who knows something is going on next door and is determined to find out what.

I raced through this book, loving each and every character and chapter, my heart in my throat as the tragedy slowly unfolds. As a mother, my heart ached for Katherine, determined to protect her children at whatever cost. Getting to know Gladys was wonderful once her layers had been peeled back and everyone should have a nosy neighbour like her. However, my favourite character had to be Logan, the delivery driver, who finds himself drawn back to the house convinced someone is in trouble.

Overall, this is a great story, full of believable and fascinating characters and I am delighted when my amateur armchair detective skills let me down, because I really hadn’t worked out what or why had led to this tragedy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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