cover image Those People

Those People

Louise Candlish. Berkley, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-48914-2

British author Candlish follows her well-received debut, 2018’s Our House, with a cannily plotted if disappointing domestic thriller. After moving into 1 Lowland Way in South London, in-your-face auto mechanic Darren Booth and his equally pugnacious romantic partner, Jodie, create a dusty, noisy, rubble-strewn eyesore with their DIY renovation. The unrelenting stress and nocturnally blasted heavy metal music quickly take a toll up and down the street, especially on a couple who, with their six-month-old son, live on the other side of a shared wall, as well as on an elderly divorced woman dependent on B & B income to make ends meet. Tempers flare, hostilities escalate, and formerly upstanding residents start to entertain murderous fantasies. Then there’s a fatal scaffolding collapse. Only it’s not Booth who’s killed. Though Candlish skillfully juggles multiple narrators and frequent flashbacks to maximize suspense, the book’s first half, before the plot grenades detonate in earnest, may frustrate readers expecting more action. Hopefully, she’ll return to form next time. [em]Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents/ICM Partners. (June) [/em]