cover image The Killer Next Door

The Killer Next Door

Alex Marwood. Penguin, $16 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-14-312669-0

At the start of this engrossing standalone from Edgar-winner Marwood (The Wicked Girls), Det. Insp. Merri Cheyne from Scotland Yard questions a young woman, Cheryl Farrell, about the grisly find of human fingers in a freezer inside a rundown boarding house located in a London suburb. As Cheryl confirms, the prints from those fingers belong to a fellow lodger, Lisa Dunne, who witnessed a murder and whom the FBI was seeking to interview. Dunne is not the only victim. Body parts from multiple corpses have surfaced in and around the boarding house, which turns out to be a destination for people with dark and embarrassing pasts that they wish to conceal. Meanwhile, the tenants must contend with break-ins, strange smells, loud music, hidden video-recording equipment in the bathrooms, and pipes clogged with a mysterious substance. Events converge to unite the lodgers in a mutual conspiracy, building up to a well-plotted ending filled with unexpected surprises. Six-city author tour. Agent: Laetitia Rutherford, Watson, Little (U.K.). (Oct.)