The Good Neighbor–A.J. Banner


Amazon suggested this novel, which I understood better once I saw that it’s published by Amazon. It’s a slim volume–just 194 pages–and it moves quickly.  Sarah writes children’s books and is married to a hunky dermatologist, Johnny.  They live in a small town on a court where the houses are the same to all but those who live there.  Sarah knows her neighbors, or thinks she does, until the night her neighbors’ home burns and takes down hers, as well.  Deeply unsettled, Sarah begins to question all of her assumptions–about her neighbors, about her husband, even about her own judgment.

As Sarah questions, she invites the reader to do so, as well, and to join her paranoia.  Who can we trust?  Can we trust Sarah, the narrator?

The story moves quickly and is successful at setting a paranoid, eerie tone.  The dialogue is realistic, but there were several times that I found myself noticing odd narrative constructions.  Banner has promise as a writer of thrillers, but is not yet a master.

Finished 3/31/16


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