Someone We Know by Shari Lapena #BookReview #BlogTour

It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood.
In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses.
‘I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.’
Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts.
And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets?
Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did. ...

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Someone We Know by Shari Lapena today. Many thanks to the author, Transworld and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance copy of the book.

Last year I read and thoroughly enjoyed Shari Lapena's previous novel, An Unwanted Guest. Someone We Know may not be another locked room mystery but it does still share some similarities as again there is an ensemble cast of characters, with many becoming suspects in a murder case.
The prologue is written in the first person, present tense as an unnamed narrator is overtaken by rage and brutally kills a woman. It seems obvious that he know her but just how remains a mystery at this point. The narrative then switchs to the third person as Robert Pierce informs the police that his wife, Amanda is missing. However, when admits that she lied, telling him she was spending the weekend away with a friend - who has since told him she knew nothing about their supposed shopping trip - the police assume she has simply left him. That is, until the body of a young woman is discovered and now a neighbourhood becomes the focus point into who killed Amanda Pierce.
Her husband is the obvious suspect and with good reason. I really disliked Robert, he is cold, calculating and throughout the book something seems 'off' about him. He is clearly not really upset about his wife's violent death and there are many incidences when he seems more concerned with concealing potential evidence which could implicate him rather than helping the police with their investigation. He obviously knows more about his wife's secrets than he lets on and he has an underlying and sinister sense of an man which suggests he is more than capable of committing a murder.
Nevertheless, there isn't any strong evidence to prove he is culpable and with the scene of crime unknown and the murder weapon missing, the police concentrate on questioning the neighbours to see what they know about the couple. Someone We Know is a gripping thriller but I suspect it would make a terrible housewarming gift to anybody new moving into the street - unless you want to suggest that almost every family in the road is harbouring dark secrets! It's definitely a novel that will have you looking at your neighbours with fresh eyes, wondering what they might be concealing...
Olivia and Paul Sharpe have found out that their teenage son, Raleigh has been breaking into houses in the night. Not, he claims, to steal from them but to gain access to their computers as he works on improving his hacking skills. Olivia is understandably distraught and writes anonymous letters to the homeowners, apologising for her son's actions. Meanwhile, Paul is furious with the boy but for the past few weeks, Olivia has become aware that he is preoccupied by something and hasn't shared his concerns with her as he usually would.
Glenda and Keith are the Sharpes' best friends and it is Glenda who Olivia turns to when she discovers what Raleigh has been doing. I really liked Glenda, throughout the book she is a loyal confidante and support who wisely acknowledges that teenage boys do really silly things at times. Her own son, Adam has been concerning her of late too, his binge drinking is becoming a problem but Keith either doesn't seem to notice or isn't worried about it.
Becky and Larry live next door to the Pierces and the investigation quickly reveals they both have secrets - and that also they haven't been quite as discreet as they believed. It's not surprising then that the police become interested in what they know. Becky wants to support her husband but can she really trust him? 
These are ordinary people with what seems like ordinary lives yet each of them has a secret and they are all guilty of hiding their true feelings from their loved ones. As the book progresses, there are several twists and turns where first one person then another becomes the most likely perpetrator. The characters become increasingly suspicious of one another really and I had no idea who could be trusted. There are stories with unreliable narrators, and then there's Someone We Know which instead features unreliable neighbours. It all makes for a terrifically compelling read, with the short chapters meaning I raced through the novel, unable to put it down until I discovered the grim truth about what really happened to Amanda Pierce. Shari Lapena has again written a tightly plotted, deeply satisfying mystery with believably flawed characters as the suspects. Highly recommended.

Someone We Know is published in the UK by Bantam Press, purchasing links can be found here.
Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller, the bestselling fiction title in the UK in 2017 and has been optioned for television. Her second thriller, A Stranger in the House and third, An Unwanted Guest, were both Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers. Her fourth thriller is out in 2019.
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