cover image The Neighbor’s Secret

The Neighbor’s Secret

L. Alison Heller. Flatiron, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-20581-0

In this entertaining psychological thriller from Heller (The Never Never Sisters), Lena Meeker, a resident of upscale Cottonwood Estates, has been a virtual recluse ever since the fatal alcohol-fueled car crash that occurred shortly after one of her signature soirées 15 years earlier. Now, neighbor Annie Perley, who’s not much older than Lena’s grown daughter, Rachel, who fled home as a teen after the tragedy, starts making persistent overtures of friendship, including pressing Lena to attend a meeting of the spirited monthly book club that serves as the local moms’ social lifeline. It turns out that Annie, a middle school guidance counselor hitting turbulence with her own teenage daughter, harbors a surprising hidden agenda for wanting to connect with Lena—albeit one arguably less shocking than the secrets her new friend has allowed to imprison her for so many years. Readers will relate to these appealing women, who toss off one-liners even as they wrestle with such issues as teen substance abuse, bullying, and workaholic spouses. This is perfect for Liane Moriarty fans—as well as potential book club catnip. Agent: Allison Hunter, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.)