An addicting and twisty debut about an apartment building devastated by the disappearance of a teenage girl--and by the secrets that won't be kept behind each closed door--that will thrill fans of Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.
One House. Three Families. Countless Secrets.
From her downstairs apartment in suburban London, Emma has often overheard the everyday life of the seemingly perfect family upstairs--Steph, Paul and teenage daughter Freya--but has never got to know them. Until one day, she hears something that seizes her attention: Freya has vanished and the police are questioning Steph and Paul about their life. Do either of you have any enemies? Anyone who might want to harm or threaten you?
The effects of Freya's disappearance ripple outward, affecting not just her parents, but everyone who lives in the building, including Emma and local driving instructor Chris, who was the last person to see the teenager before she went missing. Each character's life is thrown into sharp focus as devastating mistakes and long-held secrets are picked apart and other crimes come to light--including a child gone missing twenty-five years earlier, and a shocking murder--that make clear that the past never stays where we leave it, and that homes can be built on foundations of lies.
About the Author
Helen Cooper is from Derby and has a MA in Creative Writing and a background in teaching English and Academic Writing. Her creative writing has been published in Mslexia and Writers' Forum; she was shortlisted in the Bath Short Story Prize in 2014, and came third in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2018. The Downstairs Neighbor is her first novel.
"Fans of British mysteries will love this debut...It is difficult to put down. This is one that readers may not figure out fully, if at all, in advance of the denouement, but the author ties all the secrets together in a most satisfying reveal."--Library Journal (starred review)
“Perfect for fans of twisty plots that’ll keep you guessing.”--Country Living
“[A] heart-pounding debut...Even avid suspense readers won't be able to predict all the twists. Cooper is off to a strong start.” --Publishers Weekly
“Cooper skillfully builds a house of cards, demolishes it, reshuffles the deck, and deals an even stronger hand, while keeping a few cards up her sleeve. An emotionally charged domestic-suspense debut, perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.” --Booklist
“Powerfully displays how we often think secrets are the best way to protect those we love, but they often cause more damage than good.”--San Francisco Book Review
"I am a sucker for an eavesdropping premise, and Helen Cooper’s The Downstairs Neighbor doesn’t disappoint. Cooper starts with a bang, with a missing girl and a big house filled with suspects, then holds the suspense high with characters that will keep the reader guessing—and guessing wrong. A gradual unearthing of long-held secrets wrapped in a smoothly plotted page-turner. "--Kimberly Belle, bestselling author of Stranger in the Lake
"Lock your doors, close your curtains, and sink into this claustrophobic tale of families, neighbors and buried secrets. Tense and perfectly paced, this emotionally charged novel will keep you guessing right to the very end."--Emma Rous, bestselling author of The Au Pair "The unrelenting tension of this well-crafted debut kept me whizzing through the book, eager to discover exactly what had happened to Freya and whether the intriguing neighbours had anything to do with it. Loved the tension, the secrets and the satisfying, unexpected conclusion. Recommended!"--KL Slater, author of The Apartment
“An intriguing and compulsive story about family, secret pasts and private lives. Simmering with suspense and packed with twists and tension, this expertly crafted novel kept me gripped from start to finish.”--Holly Miller, author of The Sight of You