The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra M. Ginsberg
This book's back cover reads "Set against the backdrop of the deadly 2007 wildfires [...] The Neighbors Are Watching examines the dark side of suburbia—a place where everyone has something to hide [...]" - intriguing, right?
The Neighbors Are Watching started out strong. The story line drew me in, and the author created a feeling of impending doom that grew in conjunction with the looming wildfires. It also explores not only family dynamics, but also neighbor dynamics, and the author does a great job of developing her characters.
My issues with this book are the wildfires and the resolution. First, the wildfires. Like I said above, the author focuses on building this sense of dread that comes along with the rapidly spreading fires. But the wildfires turned out to be almost completely irrelevant to the plot line, and then just like that, they were over and Diana was missing...
Now the resolution. Sigh. Like Crazy Rich Asians, the author created an intricate plot that lasted for most of the book but then seemingly got tired of writing and implemented a "spaghetti method" resolution - throw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall and hope some of it sticks. I felt like The Neighbors Are Watching abruptly ended, jumped forward three months, and then sped through an explanation of what had happened during the gap.
That all being said, it's a pretty good read if you're more interested in the dark side of suburbia than a mystery. Kinda made me rethink all the weird stuff I do at home because...the neighbors are watching.
Read The Neighbors Are Watching? Let me know what you thought!