cover image The Neighbors

The Neighbors

Hannah Mary McKinnon. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1100-3

Nate Morris has no idea that Liam Jefferson, his new next-door neighbor in Bromley, England, shares an intimate history with his wife, Abby—and neither Abby nor Liam enlightens him in McKinnon’s enjoyable if flawed second novel (after 2016’s Time After Time). Twenty years earlier, Abby and Liam were in love and planned to move in together, but when a night of drinking resulted in an accident that injured Abby and killed her younger brother, she ended the relationship. Unexpectedly reunited in Bromley, the two confront their attraction to each other as Abby desperately tries to keep her teenage daughter, Sarah, away from Liam’s alluring son, Zac. The possibility that Liam, not Nate, might be Sarah’s father raises the stakes. Meanwhile, Liam’s wife, Nancy, pursues her own agenda. Ultimately, though, the plot falters, and a deus ex machina resolution and late revelation about the long-ago accident feel contrived. This sophomore effort works better as an exploration of personal relationships than a thriller. Agents: Cassandra Rodgers and Sam Hiyate, Rights Factory (Canada). (Mar.)