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The Perfect Neighborhood

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Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson. When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson. When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mother, Rachel, blames herself for being at work and letting her only child walk alone. Cassidy, Billy’s teenage babysitter, was also late to arrive on the afternoon he disappeared and blames herself for his disappearance. As the clock ticks down, police are unable to find any trace of Billy, forcing Rachel to ponder the enemies she’s made in their well-off suburb. Could it be one of her neighbors who stole her son? Would they abduct Billy to hurt her? How easy would it be to take a child while the parents or nannies are distracted? When another child goes missing, the town is put under a microscope as the police try to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Will they be able to find the two children, or will it be too late? What secrets lie at the heart of this tragedy, and how far will one go to keep those dangerous secrets buried?


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Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson. When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson. When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mother, Rachel, blames herself for being at work and letting her only child walk alone. Cassidy, Billy’s teenage babysitter, was also late to arrive on the afternoon he disappeared and blames herself for his disappearance. As the clock ticks down, police are unable to find any trace of Billy, forcing Rachel to ponder the enemies she’s made in their well-off suburb. Could it be one of her neighbors who stole her son? Would they abduct Billy to hurt her? How easy would it be to take a child while the parents or nannies are distracted? When another child goes missing, the town is put under a microscope as the police try to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Will they be able to find the two children, or will it be too late? What secrets lie at the heart of this tragedy, and how far will one go to keep those dangerous secrets buried?

30 review for The Perfect Neighborhood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    4.5 ⭐️ “GOSSIP IS LIKE OXYGEN-IT’S EVERYWHERE, SUSTAINING US” So, how could it not become breaking news that worked its way into every morning conversation when the beautiful model and actress, Allison Langley, left her rock star husband, Christopher in the middle of the night?! It was certainly more interesting to speculate about why she snuck out at 4 AM with no suitcase than it was to discuss the Peterson’s new shed or who might get a Labradoodle next. That is until, 5 year old, Billy Barnes goes 4.5 ⭐️ “GOSSIP IS LIKE OXYGEN-IT’S EVERYWHERE, SUSTAINING US” So, how could it not become breaking news that worked its way into every morning conversation when the beautiful model and actress, Allison Langley, left her rock star husband, Christopher in the middle of the night?! It was certainly more interesting to speculate about why she snuck out at 4 AM with no suitcase than it was to discuss the Peterson’s new shed or who might get a Labradoodle next. That is until, 5 year old, Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mom, Rachel feels guilty for letting him walk home alone at that age, and for taking his phone away from him that morning, when he was using it to play a game during breakfast. Cassidy, his teenaged babysitter, blames herself for running late on the day he disappeared. Maybe if she had been on time, it wouldn’t have happened. But, is the neighborhood as perfect as it seems? Nobody had any idea how unhappy Allison was behind her convincing smile. What other secrets lie behind closed doors? Perhaps, Rachel and Cassidy aren’t entirely at blame? The story unfolds primarily from the perspectives of Allison, Rachel and Cassidy, with an occasional chapter from the other Moms, who shed light on all of the possible suspects. Bombshells are revealed through conversations and will have you changing your mind about who may be responsible for what happened and why. The women seem like people you could meet and the story like one you could read about in the headlines tomorrow. I gravitate toward the NEIGHBORHOOD stories that fall into the category of domestic suspense, and if you do as well, this is DEFINITELY one worth adding to your TBR list! Liz Alterman has published a Memoir, and a YA thriller prior to this book, but I hope she will stay in this lane, as I am definitely intrigued to read what she pens next? Find out what happened to Billy today! AVAILABLE NOW! Thank You to Crooked Lane Books for the gifted ARC. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️

    4 Stars This book jumped out at me because it has houses on the front: and, due to a certain GR friend’s obsession with books that have houses on the front…I now find myself always noticing books with houses on the cover. So there’s that. Then I read the blurb and saw that this was about neighborhood/domestic drama, and I was…SOLD. Because I am apparently all about catty neighbors all up in other people’s business. It’s like honey and I am Pooh. And the honey here was delicious, folks. Neighbor go 4 Stars This book jumped out at me because it has houses on the front: and, due to a certain GR friend’s obsession with books that have houses on the front…I now find myself always noticing books with houses on the cover. So there’s that. Then I read the blurb and saw that this was about neighborhood/domestic drama, and I was…SOLD. Because I am apparently all about catty neighbors all up in other people’s business. It’s like honey and I am Pooh. And the honey here was delicious, folks. Neighbor gossip, backbiting, constant hypocrisy, Revolutionary Road-esque judgement, kid’s club mama drama? Check, check, check, check, cheeeeeeck. Insert the lazy popcorn eating gif I am too lazy to actually insert right here. And then children go missing too? It’s was like a warm reader hug and I devoured it on one day. A great way to pass a Sunday afternoon. ***ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    3.5* Did you hear? There’s a celebrity couple living among the other wealthy families in the suburb of Oak Hill. And nothing gets the gossip train rolling as much as overhearing (via the gossip channel) that Allison, the actress is leaving her nearly washed-up musician husband, Chris. Strangely, that’s not the only disappearance in this enclave. Two children from the neighborhood also vanish. Both supposedly under the supervision of the same babysitter. Now doors are locked and curtains drawn. Eve 3.5* Did you hear? There’s a celebrity couple living among the other wealthy families in the suburb of Oak Hill. And nothing gets the gossip train rolling as much as overhearing (via the gossip channel) that Allison, the actress is leaving her nearly washed-up musician husband, Chris. Strangely, that’s not the only disappearance in this enclave. Two children from the neighborhood also vanish. Both supposedly under the supervision of the same babysitter. Now doors are locked and curtains drawn. Everyone is giving their neighbors a second glance as they walk by. As much as I love domestic dramas this one just didn’t quite check all the boxes. There wasn’t a single likable character…except maybe for Billy (the first child to go missing.) The interactions in the neighborhood just felt forced in order to bolster the drama. Thanks, but I’ll just be moving down the street to another neighborhood! Hope it works better for you if you decide to drop in on Oak Hill. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    Some mixed feelings on this one. I should have read the synopsis closer. I'm a bit over the missing child trope and didn't realize it was front and center to the mystery here in this Oak Hill community. The neighborhood is far from perfect and most characters were pretty unlikeable. I especially had a negative reaction to the rock-star husband, Chris. (view spoiler)[ He takes advantage of and sleeps with a girl who just graduated from High School. He is twice her age. (hide spoiler)] His wife, Alli Some mixed feelings on this one. I should have read the synopsis closer. I'm a bit over the missing child trope and didn't realize it was front and center to the mystery here in this Oak Hill community. The neighborhood is far from perfect and most characters were pretty unlikeable. I especially had a negative reaction to the rock-star husband, Chris. (view spoiler)[ He takes advantage of and sleeps with a girl who just graduated from High School. He is twice her age. (hide spoiler)] His wife, Allison has walked out on him and the gossip mill is having a field day. It read like a YA novel for me with a weak plot and conclusion that came out of nowhere. I won't even go into how the police handled the case. You can expect a lot of nosy, gossipy neighbors, missing kids, a bumbling police force and fingers pointing everywhere. I'm an outlier here, but I just didn't love it. Ho-hum. Thanks NG and the publisher for my arc. OUT July 12, 2022

  5. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    Happy Publication Day ⭐️ 4.5* The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman's "engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities..." I couldn't have said it better myself. The book begins as typical neighbors gossip and pine for what the other one has, including their husbands. It was hard to put down! In this Norman Rockwell safe community, 5 year old Billy Barnes was walking home alone from school and never shows up, the whole town Happy Publication Day ⭐️ 4.5* The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman's "engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities..." I couldn't have said it better myself. The book begins as typical neighbors gossip and pine for what the other one has, including their husbands. It was hard to put down! In this Norman Rockwell safe community, 5 year old Billy Barnes was walking home alone from school and never shows up, the whole town is put under a microscope. My first thoughts he is too young to walk alone, but then the neighbors were all so trusting. Until, a lot of secrets surface, affairs exposed and guilty thoughts from his anguished mother Rachel over working instead of being home with him. Unlike a lot of latchkey kids, he had a sitter that waited for him on the doorstep, but that day she was late, so she carried the guilt and grief because she had secrets to hide why she was late. When another child in her care goes missing, this raises significant implications on her. A hair-raising chill will run through your body when the truth becomes more lies and people aren't as they appear in this fancy neighborhood. The trust put into others will have you question what is lurking in their dark minds and how they ever got to that. The story flows thoughtfully through 3 POVs, Rachel, Cassidy, the babysitter and a famous actress, Allison who also lives in this not so close-knit neighborhood. Keep your enemies close.... Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this title in exchange for my honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    This book starts off rather slow, but it does build up as the story progresses. I rate it 3.5 stars rounded down. If you watched the Desperate Housewives tv series, then you are familiar with the scene: A Perfect Neighborhood with idyllic families. But there are things that happen below the surface: A teenager who has a crush on her music teacher, and has an affair with him. Marriages that seem perfect suddenly fall apart. Then a 5 year old boy disappears on the way home from school. Suspicion fo This book starts off rather slow, but it does build up as the story progresses. I rate it 3.5 stars rounded down. If you watched the Desperate Housewives tv series, then you are familiar with the scene: A Perfect Neighborhood with idyllic families. But there are things that happen below the surface: A teenager who has a crush on her music teacher, and has an affair with him. Marriages that seem perfect suddenly fall apart. Then a 5 year old boy disappears on the way home from school. Suspicion focuses on the babysitter. But other suspects emerge and I was not sure who the kidnapper was until the end. The book alternates between several narrators, all women. Cassidy, the babysitter Allison, one of the suspects and a glamorous actress. Sarah, mother of a kidnapped child Rachel, another mother of a kidnapped child. One quote on the neighborhood: "Because Oak Hill was straight out of a storybook, it perpetuated the myth that no harm or hardship could ever befall anyone lucky enough to live there. Our neighbors believed they were untouchable." Thanks to Dulce Botello, at Crooked Lane Books for sending me this ebook through LibraryThing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    As I mentioned in an update, I figured just one more "neighborhood" book wouldn't hurt and also it was way back in October when I downloaded this one from Netgalley. (As a side note, you have no idea how hard it is for me to spell neighbor/neighborhood without a "u"!). Oak Hill is the neighborhood in question, a mostly affluent area in New Jersey. Allison Langley, actress and model, left her husband Chris, a former rockstar, in the middle of the night; gossip runs rampant for a short while until As I mentioned in an update, I figured just one more "neighborhood" book wouldn't hurt and also it was way back in October when I downloaded this one from Netgalley. (As a side note, you have no idea how hard it is for me to spell neighbor/neighborhood without a "u"!). Oak Hill is the neighborhood in question, a mostly affluent area in New Jersey. Allison Langley, actress and model, left her husband Chris, a former rockstar, in the middle of the night; gossip runs rampant for a short while until 5-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing and police are unable to find any trace of him. His mother, Rachel, and Cassidy, his teenage babysitter, both feel responsible for different reasons. And then another child goes missing. I mostly enjoyed this well-written domestic drama. I know they're a dime-a-dozen right now but some are more enjoyable than others. The story is told mainly from the POVs of Allison, Rachel and Cassidy in alternating chapters with dates included at the beginning of each chapter so that we can follow the progression of the drama, interspersed with occasional chapters from the viewpoints of other characters. I have to be honest and admit that I had trouble keeping the narrators straight, other than teenage Cassidy. Maybe it's because they had such ordinary names - Allison, Rachel, Sarah, Betsy, Lindsay (no offence to my Goodreads and other friends by those names!) and it was hard to tell them apart. Also, by about 75% I was getting a little tired of Allison's inner monologue to do with her childlessness. It was very sad and had its place in the plot but it went on too long. Things picked up again as we raced towards the climax. I'd still recommend this book as a quick and engrossing read. I know you're not supposed to quote from an ARC but I loved these two and I hope they made it to the final version: "You're a pair of cowboy boots and a pickup truck away from the beginning of a Nicholas Sparks novel." and "Mom always jokes that high school behavior extends well into adulthood in Oak Hill."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    This is my first book by Liz Alterman and I think I have been missing out. In this suburban drama, we are given the facts be women involved in and surrounding a missing little boy. What happened to Billy? He walked away from school one day and vanished. Reading this book was a bit like watching an episode of 48 Hours at times. A crime has been committed. Who is the culprit? The babysitter? The entitled half brother with some bad habits? What about that misunderstood vet who seems to have too muc This is my first book by Liz Alterman and I think I have been missing out. In this suburban drama, we are given the facts be women involved in and surrounding a missing little boy. What happened to Billy? He walked away from school one day and vanished. Reading this book was a bit like watching an episode of 48 Hours at times. A crime has been committed. Who is the culprit? The babysitter? The entitled half brother with some bad habits? What about that misunderstood vet who seems to have too much time on his hands? The whole neighborhood is on pins and needles. The gossip is flying and the casseroles are proliferating. There are some clever red herrings and some crafty clues dropped here and there. I found this to be a compelling page-turner and I hope that ending might give us a sequel. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Of course you know immediately from reading the title that the neighbourhood in the novel is not going to be perfect. Oak Hill is a close knit community, mostly upper middle class and wealthy with very low rates of crime. The sort of place where you feel safe, let your kids walk to school and hire teenagers to babysit them. But behind closed doors the neighbours love nothing better than to gossip about each other and all is not what it seems on the surface. When a child goes missing (five year ol Of course you know immediately from reading the title that the neighbourhood in the novel is not going to be perfect. Oak Hill is a close knit community, mostly upper middle class and wealthy with very low rates of crime. The sort of place where you feel safe, let your kids walk to school and hire teenagers to babysit them. But behind closed doors the neighbours love nothing better than to gossip about each other and all is not what it seems on the surface. When a child goes missing (five year old Billy allowed to walk home from school alone), the community is shocked. His mother blames herself for going back to work and agreeing with her husband that her son was old enough to walk by himself. Most of the community however blame his teenage baby sitter who was a little late arriving at the house to meet him that day. If they knew the reason she was late that day they would be deeply shocked. The question everyone wants answered is whether Billy was taken by a stranger or whether a member of their own perfect neighbourhood is responsible. Told through multiple points of view, the suspense ramps up as the reader tries to work out what happened to Billy and why the police are not able to find any trace of him. I would have liked to feel more empathy with Allison, one of the main characters, who has had a very hard time, but she just seemed too remote and cold to evoke much interest. Her rock star husband Chris was also difficult to like despite his popularity in the neighbourhood. I did however feel sorry for Cassidy the babysitter, taken advantage of by everyone and then blamed for Billy’s disappearance. 3.5★ With thanks to Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for a copy to read

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    I literally went and begged for a copy of this book (do I even need to mention the reason? *cough house cover cough*) so I’m super bummed that I didn’t completely love it . . . . Per the house cover, I didn’t bother reading the blurb. I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of missing kid stories. And it’s not because they “trigger” me – it’s because I’m heartless and find them a slog . . . . ^^^Just in case you forgot. This one is a mashup of missing kid with an attempt at a Big Little I literally went and begged for a copy of this book (do I even need to mention the reason? *cough house cover cough*) so I’m super bummed that I didn’t completely love it . . . . Per the house cover, I didn’t bother reading the blurb. I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of missing kid stories. And it’s not because they “trigger” me – it’s because I’m heartless and find them a slog . . . . ^^^Just in case you forgot. This one is a mashup of missing kid with an attempt at a Big Little Lies delivery where you meet several people from the same uppercrust neighborhood and most all have some sort of skeleton hiding in the closet. Unfortunately, they often blurred together for me and I had a rough time remembering exactly who was who. The payoff at the end was satisfactory, though, and it was definitely a quick read. If this is on your TBR, take my rating with several grains of salt. ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was an engrossing domestic suspense story about what secrets hide beneath the seemingly perfect veneer of an upperclass neighborhood. The book starts with the disappearance of 5 year old Billy and is told primarily through the POVs of his mother Rachel, his babysitter Cassidy, and his neighbor Allison, with some additional chapters interspersed from various other neighbors. The chapters are short and alternate between narrators, keeping the pace of the book fast. The author gives you many d This was an engrossing domestic suspense story about what secrets hide beneath the seemingly perfect veneer of an upperclass neighborhood. The book starts with the disappearance of 5 year old Billy and is told primarily through the POVs of his mother Rachel, his babysitter Cassidy, and his neighbor Allison, with some additional chapters interspersed from various other neighbors. The chapters are short and alternate between narrators, keeping the pace of the book fast. The author gives you many different potential villains and I had a hard time figuring out who committed the crime- I didn’t figure it out early (which I usually do!) and thought that the suspense and subtle clues were done really well. I didn’t especially like any character in this book, though I did feel that I could empathize with them, for the most part. The end of the book leaves another open question that kept me thinking about it after I finished reading. Overall, fun read with a good mystery that is hard to figure out. I recommend this book to readers of the domestic suspense genre. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Inés Molina

    I felt like I was part of Oak Hill, the book had such great description. It was told from different perspectives. The neighborhood seems to be such a great place until it isn't. Five year old Billy goes missing walking home from school. Who would hurt him? Everything changes when another kid goes missing. I could feel the tension rising from the pages. This was the perfect "whodunnit" book for summer. I felt like I was part of Oak Hill, the book had such great description. It was told from different perspectives. The neighborhood seems to be such a great place until it isn't. Five year old Billy goes missing walking home from school. Who would hurt him? Everything changes when another kid goes missing. I could feel the tension rising from the pages. This was the perfect "whodunnit" book for summer.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Actress and model Allison Langley and her former rock star husband Christopher seem to have the ideal life living in suburban Oak Hill. Allison suddenly leaves in the middle of the night, Christopher has no idea where she’s gone and the whole neighborhood is talking about why would she would desert her handsome husband? Rachel Barnes is a real estate agent and her husband Ted thinks it’s perfectly safe for their five year old son Billy to walk to and from kindergarten. When Billy’s baby sister Ca Actress and model Allison Langley and her former rock star husband Christopher seem to have the ideal life living in suburban Oak Hill. Allison suddenly leaves in the middle of the night, Christopher has no idea where she’s gone and the whole neighborhood is talking about why would she would desert her handsome husband? Rachel Barnes is a real estate agent and her husband Ted thinks it’s perfectly safe for their five year old son Billy to walk to and from kindergarten. When Billy’s baby sister Cassidy McLean calls Rachel telling her Billy hasn’t arrived home and she's frantic. Billy has disappeared, Detective Dubin and Officer Kinsley are in charge of the case. The two women start blaming themselves, Rachel for not listening to her mother’s instinct and Cassidy for being late arriving at the Barnes house. Rachel can’t eat or sleep, she thinks constantly about who could have taken Billy, she regrets not being friendlier to the group of kindergarten mum's with children the same age, and her husband Ted is extremely distant and no support. When a little girl goes missing three weeks later, the whole town is in a panic and the pressure is on the police to find the children. Every possible lead is followed, could it be a disgruntled Au pair or her nasty boyfriend, the new neighborhood pool cleaner, an unhappy half-brother, the crossing lady, a troubled army veteran and possibly even one of the fathers? I received a copy of The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. It’s a light thriller/mystery that looks closely at the picture perfect neighborhood, relationships, friendships, personal tragedies, the secrets people are keeping, and their attitudes towards each other, you never know what goes on behind closed doors, it kept me guessing until the end and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/KarrenReadsH...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Initial thoughts: Wow. Too many points of view. I think I counted 6? I don’t even know. This maybe would have worked better if we followed just Cassidy and her friend Lexi. Also some of the characters like Rachel I flat out disliked. The plot was way too predictable though. It’s obvious what is going on and why and it took way too long to get there. Also I’m not a great fan of the police, but there’s so Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Initial thoughts: Wow. Too many points of view. I think I counted 6? I don’t even know. This maybe would have worked better if we followed just Cassidy and her friend Lexi. Also some of the characters like Rachel I flat out disliked. The plot was way too predictable though. It’s obvious what is going on and why and it took way too long to get there. Also I’m not a great fan of the police, but there’s so much here that would never have happened in a real police investigation it was sad. For example, the FBI would have been called in real quick due to Billy’s age. It also made zero sense that no one would have asked for access to cell phones, or gone and looked for cameras on Billy’s route. There’s other glaring things too. "The Perfect Neighborhood" follows residents of Oak Hill after the kidnapping of a young 5 year old boy named Billy Barnes. The book then follows the mother of the boy who was kidnapped (Rachel), his babysitter (Cassidy), a rich actress who used to live in Oak Hill (Allison), then other mothers in the neighborhood. So Rachel isn't that great. I think that Alterman is trying to show you all sides to motherhood and gossip/towns, but it doesn't work when you get into more backstory on Rachel. I just got tired of her half way through this book. I had sympathy for Cassidy who is broken up about not being there to make sure Billy gets home. Alison's chapters/points of view make no sense in context of the larger plot for a good portion of the book. The other mothers are kind of awful. I will say that the plot was straight forward, but as I said above, too many things were not realistic as I was reading this book that just took me out of it. A young boy being kidnapped would have his parents investigated, along with his siblings from the get-go. It seems at times that the local police don't even know basic things about Billy, and I don't know if Alterman is trying to show how incompetent the police were or what, it just didn't really work when we know that this would have pulled in not only local, but state police along with the FBI within 24 hours. A white 5 year old boy goes missing and his family lives in an affluent area? Come on. The writing was just okay. I could tell everyone's "voice" apart, but the flow was pretty bad after a while. I think the POV I enjoyed the most was Cassidy. Honestly if we had just followed Cassidy and her true crime best friend I would have been all for it. The setting of Oak Hill feels a bit bland. You hear about how big these women's homes are and how they look, but the whole thing felt like bad set dressing. The ending left things up in the air a bit and I just went what in the world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Following on from her debut YA fiction book, The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman is a cosy domestic noir. It begins with the scandal of the separation of the glamour couple neigbours, before a five year old child goes missing as he walks home alone from kindergarten. The story is told in multiple voices, from the babysitter, the separated wife and the mother of the missing boy. As the police investigate, the neigbourhood gossip is rife and there’s plenty of judging and blame to go around. T Following on from her debut YA fiction book, The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman is a cosy domestic noir. It begins with the scandal of the separation of the glamour couple neigbours, before a five year old child goes missing as he walks home alone from kindergarten. The story is told in multiple voices, from the babysitter, the separated wife and the mother of the missing boy. As the police investigate, the neigbourhood gossip is rife and there’s plenty of judging and blame to go around. Then another child goes missing and the perfect neigbourhood is not all that it seems. So, an enjoyable psychological thriller that explores the darkness and secrets of suburban living with a three and a half star read rating. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.

  16. 5 out of 5

    SabiReads

    Thank you NetGalley, Legend Press and Liz Alterman for letting me read “ The Perfect Neighborhood” in exchange for an honest review. “Think you know your neighbors? Think again!” Clear blue sky, fancy houses and a clean road. That’s the cover. It does not scream thriller to you out loud. Oak Hill, Pleasantville? Maybe, maybe not. Not everything is as it seems. Actress Allison left her musician husband Chris! Big news, alert the gossip channels, alert the media, alert everyone! Gossip spreads fast Thank you NetGalley, Legend Press and Liz Alterman for letting me read “ The Perfect Neighborhood” in exchange for an honest review. “Think you know your neighbors? Think again!” Clear blue sky, fancy houses and a clean road. That’s the cover. It does not scream thriller to you out loud. Oak Hill, Pleasantville? Maybe, maybe not. Not everything is as it seems. Actress Allison left her musician husband Chris! Big news, alert the gossip channels, alert the media, alert everyone! Gossip spreads fast in this “pleasant”little town. But that’s not the only big news. Not only one kid disappeared, nope two. Everyone gets a second glance now. How could this happen? How is the babysitter connected? How are Allison and Chris linked?! We mainly get the story told from the points of view of three different characters. Model and actress Allison, who’s life is not as perfect as it seems, Cassidy, the unfortunate babysitter who feels a huge amount of guilt, and Rachel, Billy’s mom. Billy was the first child who disappeared. Later, a little girl disappeared as well. The two investigating officers turn every stone to find the children. Will they succeed? Are all the characters in this novel likeable? Nope nope nope. I assume that is partly on purpose. Still I found them well rounded and at points relatable. Rachel’s characters made the tiny hairs on my neck rise. She just annoyed me. What irked me the most was the decision of the parents Rachel and Ted to let a five-years-old walk alone to kindergarten and back. I have no kids if my own but that seems awfully young to me?! And the giving of an expensive phone and teaching him to read and write specific sentences? I mean great for teaching him, but it just seems so far fetched? But hei, if that did not happen, we would not have a novel to read. This is a solid domestic suspense novel. It covers relationships, gossip, personal tragedies and has a touch of mystery. I guess you have to be into these kind of novels, but I throughout enjoyed this book as well as Liz Alterman’s style of writing. She is a new author to me, but I will look out for more of her work!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle B

    The Oak Hill neighborhood seems to be the perfect suburban location to live…until it isn’t. Allison Langley leaves her rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night. This is the talk of the town until a child goes missing. Billy is 5 years old and disappears while walking home from school. In a search for suspects, Billy’s mother, Rachel, has to consider who would have a reason to hurt her and her family. Could it be someone from the neighborhood? When a second child goes missing the The Oak Hill neighborhood seems to be the perfect suburban location to live…until it isn’t. Allison Langley leaves her rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night. This is the talk of the town until a child goes missing. Billy is 5 years old and disappears while walking home from school. In a search for suspects, Billy’s mother, Rachel, has to consider who would have a reason to hurt her and her family. Could it be someone from the neighborhood? When a second child goes missing the investigation goes full tilt and turns the neighborhood upside down looking for any clue. I spent a lot of time trying to solve the mystery of THE PERFECT NEIGHBORHOOD. In the end, I was successful but it was a great story and a lot of fun to unravel. Any one living in suburbia will relate to this book on some level. The writing is top notch and the characters come to life from the pages. Liz Alterman has created a nearly perfect “whodunit” with THE PERFECT NEIGHBORHOOD! Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    Yet another book where I predicted the ending (and then some). It doesn't mean that the book is bad, but I do wish it was executed a bit better. There are scenes where it becomes obvious who did the crime(s) early on, and the little seeds of doubt that are supposed to steer the reader in another direction weren't planted properly, at least not in my case. The predictability isn't the main flaw of this book however, since I've previously enjoyed similar books, and I did enjoy this one too. No, I th Yet another book where I predicted the ending (and then some). It doesn't mean that the book is bad, but I do wish it was executed a bit better. There are scenes where it becomes obvious who did the crime(s) early on, and the little seeds of doubt that are supposed to steer the reader in another direction weren't planted properly, at least not in my case. The predictability isn't the main flaw of this book however, since I've previously enjoyed similar books, and I did enjoy this one too. No, I think the problem is that so many dialogues between the characters added nothing to the story. It just seemed like they were there to fill up the pages, making the book feel longer than it really was. I was expecting something like Desperate Housewives, but scarier, and I got a very, very, VERY watered down version of that instead. I wasn't even scared once while reading, which is sad. Anyway, the characters. I didn't have any strong feelings about them, other than Cassidy. She was a babysitter who was at the scene of the crime not once, but twice when the kids went missing and a big part of the community is convinced she had something to do with it. Did she? Classidy was the most relatable to me, and the most realistic. The rest were fine, but they won't stick with me like she will. And the atmosphere was nice, I like small town/suburban settings, especially in mysteries. I really loved the descriptions at the end when it rained. Because of that I'd read another book by this author in the future. 3.5 *Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  19. 5 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Publication date: July 12, 2022 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Josh Publication date: July 12, 2022 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Liz Alterman’s engrossing novel is a thought-provoking read about the dark side of suburbia and the secrets of close-knit communities, perfect for fans of Joshilyn Jackson. When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbours can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mother, Rachel, blames herself for being at work and letting her only child walk alone. Cassidy, Billy’s teenage babysitter, was also late to arrive on the afternoon he disappeared and blames herself for his disappearance. As the clock ticks down, police are unable to find any trace of Billy, forcing Rachel to ponder the enemies she’s made in their well-off suburb. Could it be one of her neighbours who stole her son? Would they abduct Billy to hurt her? How easy would it be to take a child while the parents or nannies are distracted? When another child goes missing, the town is put under a microscope as the police try to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Will they be able to find the two children, or will it be too late? What secrets lie at the heart of this tragedy, and how far will one go to keep those dangerous secrets buried? IT SEEMS VERY ODD TO BE WRITING A REVIEW FOR A BOIOK THAT DOES NOT COME OUT FOR NINE MONTHS~~but here we go. The book was masterfully crafted and the characters were enjoyable to spend time with - if you take this to the beach next July, (or your back yard, porch or balcony) and enjoy it - just wear a tonne of SPF110 as you will lose track of time as you read this. - If we are in the 7th or 8th wave/mutation of COVID19 by then, stay inside: no tan is worth dying for. You will certainly look at your neighbours differently after reading this book and watching your kids more closely - what an excellent novel that I will recommend to friends, family, patrons and strangers on mass transit! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. ") on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏖️🏖️🏖️🏖️🏖️

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Is Oak Hill, NJ the perfect suburban neighborhood?!? Hah right! Not in the least. With multiple female POV’s, this dealt with a slew of melodrama. Lots of secrets behind closed doors, jealousy, backstabbing, gossipy neighbors, cheating. Then the one thing that no one expected happens. The disappearance of not one, but two children vanish into thin air.. three weeks apart. Both under the same teen sitters care. Were they kidnapped? No clues are left behind until a disposable phone is recovered in Is Oak Hill, NJ the perfect suburban neighborhood?!? Hah right! Not in the least. With multiple female POV’s, this dealt with a slew of melodrama. Lots of secrets behind closed doors, jealousy, backstabbing, gossipy neighbors, cheating. Then the one thing that no one expected happens. The disappearance of not one, but two children vanish into thin air.. three weeks apart. Both under the same teen sitters care. Were they kidnapped? No clues are left behind until a disposable phone is recovered in the yard of the latest crime scene. It’s unsettling to read but oh what a thrill! If you enjoy a good domestic thriller this is not to be missed. 3.5 stars. Pub. 7/12/22 Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    A domestic drama that was juicy from start to finish! Oak Hill is a cozy place full of families, white-picket fences.. and a lot of small town gossip. The latest scoop is about the quasi-celebrities of the neighborhood. Chris and Allison Langley seem like the perfect couple, so why did she leave in the middle of the night? Conspiracies are flying but it all comes to a halt when they're given something bigger to talk about. A neighborhood boy named Billy goes missing on his way home from school. T A domestic drama that was juicy from start to finish! Oak Hill is a cozy place full of families, white-picket fences.. and a lot of small town gossip. The latest scoop is about the quasi-celebrities of the neighborhood. Chris and Allison Langley seem like the perfect couple, so why did she leave in the middle of the night? Conspiracies are flying but it all comes to a halt when they're given something bigger to talk about. A neighborhood boy named Billy goes missing on his way home from school. The hot couple are on the back burner, we have to find this little guy! Tensions are really flaring as already strained relationships are put to the test and suspicions rise about others in the neighborhood. Could it be the hyper-aware veteran? The crosswalk guard who's in AA? Was it an inside job? Will he be the only child taken? This was great. I usually complain about too many narrators but it was done so well here. I was actually excited to hear from different people and it gave the name and date at the beginning of the chapter so you could easily skim back to put the dates together. This was everything you could want in a quick summer read and I love the cover art! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    How could this happen in OUR neighbor? Children don't get kidnapped in Oak Hill. The perfect neighborhood wasn't so perfect after Rachel's son Billy disappeared while walking home alone from school. Rachel was at work, and the babysitter was late getting there. Why was the babysitter late, and would it have mattered if she had been there on time? We meet Rachel, her husband, her husband's son, Evan, Cassidy the babysitter, and Allison who also left her husband and the neighborhood and who desperate How could this happen in OUR neighbor? Children don't get kidnapped in Oak Hill. The perfect neighborhood wasn't so perfect after Rachel's son Billy disappeared while walking home alone from school. Rachel was at work, and the babysitter was late getting there. Why was the babysitter late, and would it have mattered if she had been there on time? We meet Rachel, her husband, her husband's son, Evan, Cassidy the babysitter, and Allison who also left her husband and the neighborhood and who desperately wanted a baby. The police have no clues as we follow along with the investigation trying to figure out along with them. Then the unthinkable happens again - another child goes missing and again while the child is under Cassidy's care. Did someone know she would be there? Did the family plan this to discredit Cassidy? It had been a last minute request to have Cassidy babysit the three children. Another horror for Cassidy and a few more suspects I had in mind. Along with the kidnapping, most of the characters had some issue going on besides being involved in this situation. You will be guessing and not sure if you will be guessing correctly, but the responsible person was not the one I chose. My first book by this author - a good thriller that kept me on my toes. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    The market is saturated with psychological thrillers set in a neighborhood environment lately. Some are better than others and, I am happy to say, this is one of the better ones. A kidnapping terrifies the upper middle class NJ neighborhood and causes a plethora of gossip and neighbors to suspect neighbors. When a second child is kidnapped, the neighborhood is on lock down. The plot is gripping from the start and alternating chapters told from the perspectives of multiple characters produce abun The market is saturated with psychological thrillers set in a neighborhood environment lately. Some are better than others and, I am happy to say, this is one of the better ones. A kidnapping terrifies the upper middle class NJ neighborhood and causes a plethora of gossip and neighbors to suspect neighbors. When a second child is kidnapped, the neighborhood is on lock down. The plot is gripping from the start and alternating chapters told from the perspectives of multiple characters produce abundant suspense and allow readers to witness the situation through a multitude of points of view. Shorter chapters cause the plot to move along at a frenetic pace and secret after secret is revealed. The twisty plot delivers more than one surprise and the ending is both unexpected and satisfying. I look forward to reading more from this author!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda Raiti

    Many thanks to @NetGalley @crookedlanebooks @lizalterman This was a quick read. I wish I loved it more, unfortunately it fell a little flat for me. It has multiple POV’s, almost too many - (I enjoyed Cassidy’s the most) add in - gossipy neighbours, secrets, jealousy, backstabbing and missing children. It has received some fabulous reviews, so please check them out and give it a go if you enjoy a character driven, fast paced, domestic suspense with Desperate Housewives vibes.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    1.5 rounded up. I don’t think any character in this entire story had a brain. Rampant with the dumbest decisions I’ve ever heard of. Repeatedly. Every “twist” if you could even call them that, you see coming a mile away. I was not suspenseful, just stupid. Also, if you don’t want to read 250 plus pages about kids, (which I didn’t) I suggest you skip this one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Kountoura

    If you're into desperate housewife’s and all the clichés about life in the suburbs with a dash of YA drama and psychopaths this is the book for you. Sadly, that's not my cup of tea and I was disappointed. I was expecting something along the lines of Vivarium, seemingly perfect but slowly & surely turning creepier and darker by the minute. Instead, what I found here was extremely predictable filled with unnecessary details, shallow unlikable characters and not a well thought out storyline overall. On If you're into desperate housewife’s and all the clichés about life in the suburbs with a dash of YA drama and psychopaths this is the book for you. Sadly, that's not my cup of tea and I was disappointed. I was expecting something along the lines of Vivarium, seemingly perfect but slowly & surely turning creepier and darker by the minute. Instead, what I found here was extremely predictable filled with unnecessary details, shallow unlikable characters and not a well thought out storyline overall. One example is having police around for decorative purposes, that waits around on people to return from vacation and "give them a call back" about crucial information regarding a kidnapping... Also I don't have any idea why lately more and more authors seem to think that telling a story from multiple perspectives will add anything interesting to the plot. How are you supposed to build up tension or suspense when you're letting us into everyone's head? I couldn't care less about useless mean thoughts and memories of every bored gossiping suburban housewife I would much rather have a single unreliable narrator leading me through a twisty angsty mystery filled with information I'm not sure I could even trust. Finally, cutting off the current flow of events only to present a memory mid sentence I can only say it was an extremely confusing and frustrating experience. The 2 stars are because could see the potential even tho it never delivered. Thank you NetGalley & Crooked Lane Books for the digital ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    The Perfect Neighborhood, was not at all what I was expecting but holy smoke was it mind blowing! This was an insane fast pace novel that puts you on a suspenseful ride of your life. Liz Alterman, knocked this book out of the park and made me a super fan! This was my first novel by Alterman, but no way will it be my last. I enjoyed the short chapters as it was easy to keep going and not put down . This is a domestic thriller packed with secrets and suspense. Told from multiple points of view. Bi The Perfect Neighborhood, was not at all what I was expecting but holy smoke was it mind blowing! This was an insane fast pace novel that puts you on a suspenseful ride of your life. Liz Alterman, knocked this book out of the park and made me a super fan! This was my first novel by Alterman, but no way will it be my last. I enjoyed the short chapters as it was easy to keep going and not put down . This is a domestic thriller packed with secrets and suspense. Told from multiple points of view. Billy is 5 years old and missing. Set in a wealthy neighborhood, this is wildly unexpected. The story is narrated between the point of view of his mother, his babysitter and a neighbor. What happened to Billy? With so many suspects that had motive, this book was hard to figure out and kept you on the edge of your seat . Throughout the book, small clues are dropped that give you just enough satisfaction . Typically, I am able to figure out the direction I am being led into but this one had me guessing the entire time and I loved every minute of it! The ending was just "WOW" . The Perfect Neighborhood will have me thinking about it for awhile now. I am still stuck in this period of "what the heck did I just read" ? In all good ways!

  28. 5 out of 5

    i.

    There is no such thing as a perfect neighbourhood because people are not perfect. People may like some of their neighbours and even befriend them but jealousy and envy are more often than not part of human nature. Gossiping is what people in Oak Hill like doing more than anything. Gossiping about perfect couples, broken marriages, and bad babysitters who happen to lose two children. The residents of Oak Hill are not ready for this tragedy nor are the families of those missing ones. Liz Alterman There is no such thing as a perfect neighbourhood because people are not perfect. People may like some of their neighbours and even befriend them but jealousy and envy are more often than not part of human nature. Gossiping is what people in Oak Hill like doing more than anything. Gossiping about perfect couples, broken marriages, and bad babysitters who happen to lose two children. The residents of Oak Hill are not ready for this tragedy nor are the families of those missing ones. Liz Alterman turns an apparently idyllic life in suburbia into a nightmare that will keep the reader turning pages non-stop. If you are a fan of suburbian mysteries this one is definitely for you. Tale into account, though, that you may not look at your neighbours the same way after reading this. Nobody really knows what happens behind closed doors. www.theleisurediaries.blogspot.com

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    THE PERFECT NEIGHBORHOOD Liz Alterman SOME OF MY THOUGHTS WHile reading: Where is Billy? HOLY CRAP 14.00 an hour to babysit and she screws that up? Who lets their kindergartener walk home (25 minutes) unattended? WHO gives their Kindergartener a CELL PHONE? Sort of poor character development, who can I like? Racheal? Allison? Cassidy? The conversations in this novel border on a bit juvenile if you ask me. But nobody did! The story is about a neighborhood (Oak Hill, NJ) and offers several POVs. There THE PERFECT NEIGHBORHOOD Liz Alterman SOME OF MY THOUGHTS WHile reading: Where is Billy? HOLY CRAP 14.00 an hour to babysit and she screws that up? Who lets their kindergartener walk home (25 minutes) unattended? WHO gives their Kindergartener a CELL PHONE? Sort of poor character development, who can I like? Racheal? Allison? Cassidy? The conversations in this novel border on a bit juvenile if you ask me. But nobody did! The story is about a neighborhood (Oak Hill, NJ) and offers several POVs. There is the POV of the mom, Rachel who allowed her FIVE-year-old son to WALK HOME ALONE WITH HIS CELL PHONE! Ok, so who would allow this, raise your hand! Then who would give a FIVE-YEAR-OLD a cell phone? What killed me was that the babysitter was TEXTING the child like he was a detailed reader! LOL Billy doesn't come home from school on the day the babysitter (Cassidy) is out doing the nasty with, well I can't tell you. The babysitter texts Billy, but his mom has his cell phone, so she can't track his whereabouts (OMG). She calls the snot of a dad and he is a jerk. Well, we can't find Billy, but then another child goes missing when the same babysitter is watching that one. YEP, she is going to lose that college scholarship for sure. This neighborhood is abuzz with gossip and noseyroseys. Allison, one of the neighbors has just left her aging rockstar husband and all the ladies are abuzz about that as well. The police can't find the children... what is a neighborhood to do? Alterman is a successful YA author and I think that might be the problem with this book. I found the plot a bit thin and certainly predictable. I thought that many of the conversations were relatively juvenile. I love YA generally and accept that, but not so much in a designated adult book. I did like that the chapters were clearly marked whose POV was being read. But I didn't think the characters were that clearly drawn and mostly found almost nobody likable with the exception of Billy, who was missing. 3 stars Happy Reading!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    A woman, actress and model Allison Langley, leaves her husband on an April morning. Then a young boy, five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his way home from school. Three weeks later, another child vanishes, too. This story moves between Allison; Billy's mum who is Rachel Barnes, an estate agent employee; Billy's childminder, teenager Cassidy McLean; and various neighbours. The pace of the tale is fast and I didn't work out who committed the crime from the large number of suspects. A thorou A woman, actress and model Allison Langley, leaves her husband on an April morning. Then a young boy, five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his way home from school. Three weeks later, another child vanishes, too. This story moves between Allison; Billy's mum who is Rachel Barnes, an estate agent employee; Billy's childminder, teenager Cassidy McLean; and various neighbours. The pace of the tale is fast and I didn't work out who committed the crime from the large number of suspects. A thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller that explores the darkness of suburban living, and a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Crooked Lane via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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