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The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner

(Hachette, $38)From the outside, Sandra and Jason Jones seem to have it all: a gorgeous daughter, a cute house, good jobs and a perfect marriage.Behind closed doors, however, it is a different matter as Detective Sergeant DD Warren discovers when pretty blonde Sandra goes missing and handsome, secretive Jason emerges as the prime suspect.There’s no evidence and no motive but there’s not much of anything else either. Who are these people? Where have they come from? And how many skeletons are hiding in their respective closets?From the beginning it is clear that Jason is a man with scary secrets but he’s also totally in the dark when it comes to the whereabouts of his wife. So the marriage was less perfect than it seemed, but there are reasons for that.These reasons – or waiting to find out what they might be – propel the reader through every gripping page of The Neighbour until its totally unpredictable ending. on her website, Lisa Gardner says that when she’s writing a book she considers six separate possible endings then throws them all away and writes a seventh, which makes it pretty hard to guess whodunnit. It certainly works!With occasional insight from other characters, such as the registered sex offender who lives down the road, Lisa Gardner’s 10th bestselling thriller is likely to satisfy anyone who takes their suspense without too much gore or forensics added.The same website (lisagardner.com) also offers readers the chance to enter the annual Kill A Friend, oaim a oate sweepstake whereby you can enter the name of someone you know to be killed in her next novel. This is a harmless bit of fun, she points out, so you are not allowed to provide a physical description of the person or gory details of how you would like to see them die.However, f you want to write your own book doing that, her website has great tips in the Tricks of the Trade link.

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