The Sudden Departure of the Frasers
By Louise Candlish
Published by Michael Joseph (7 May 2015)
They were the life and soul of the street. So why did they disappear overnight?
Joe and Christy Davenport's dreams come true when they buy their perfect house on sought-after Lime Park Road. And they happily overlook the fact that the previous owners seem to have fled overnight.
But once moved in, Christy witnesses strange behaviour from her new neighbours. One of whom is Doug Whalen, reclusive, unkempt and aggressive. And the more Christy's attempts at friendship are met with silence, the more she's convinced the only way to discover the truth about Lime Park Road is by unpicking the shocking story of her predecessors, Jeremy Fraser and his glamorous wife Amber.
The Sudden Departure of the Frasers is a story about secrets in suburbia. The quest for the perfect home. Life with twitching curtains. A place where everyone knows, or tries to know, each other's business.
The book focuses on two women - Christy and Amber. Christy and her husband Joe have just moved into their 'forever' home in Lime Park Road, a highly sought-after location, but they find that the neighbours don't want to know them. Something obviously happened there, and Christy is desperate to discover what it was. Amber and her husband Jeremy lived in the house before them, but left in a hurry and no one knows where they are. So what is the secret that all the neighbours are determined to hide?
The book alternates between Amber and Christy's stories, building up to the final reveal. I found myself comparing these two women, their husbands and their lives. It is cleverly written, because the other characters - especially the mysterious Joe - come across very differently, depending on whether you are reading Christy or Amber's chapters.
Overall, The Sudden Departure of the Frasers is an enjoyable read that keeps you guessing to the end. However, it's a slow burner, so not for people who are expecting a fast-paced psychological thriller. And the secret wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, which was a slight disappointment after all the build up.
I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and also through the Lovereading Reviewer Panel in exchange for an honest review.