I’m blog touring in suburban America today! Thank you Michael Stephenson for inviting me along for this one! Publication is on 22 June, 2018 and you’ll find the pre-order link at the end of the review.
This is a heavy suburban noir, with many twists and turns and an abundance of secrets!
Summer is winding down in a quiet, but typical cul-de-sac in Shady Lake, Ohio. I pictured something that looked a lot like Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives! It’s been a long season of get-togethers among the neighbours who are all friends, and comfortable in the way that friends get spending lengthy periods of time together. As is the nature of things, by this stage, it sounds like everyone may have just had slightly too much of spending time together even though they’re all putting on a happy face! Everyone knows each other well … families tend to blend into each other – like I said: your typical cosy suburban neighbourhood.
But there’s always someone who’s peripheral to ‘the group’; someone on the outside looking in. In this case it’s grouchy old Herbert McKinney. When he suddenly announces that he’s seen ‘a man on your roof’ to one of his neighbours, it’s initially laughed off as the delusions of a jealous old man. But when a delinquent teenager is brutally murdered and his body blatantly displayed for all to see, suddenly everyone’s sense of humour dries up – who has time for humour when they’re so busy ensuring their secrets remain just that, not least of all, how each of them is connected to the victim! Even so, our neighbourhood crew are somewhat taken aback when they discover that they’re all under police suspicion. The obvious next step is the in-fighting the comes with suspecting each other!
To thrown a bit of a spanner in the works (as if another one was needed), the Detective on the case has ties to some of the suspects and is working with a rookie sidekick, who is trying to understand the sensitive balance between treading lightly because of these connections, and trying to catch a killer!
The story’s told in 3rd person, but it’s interspersed with uniquely narrated chapters by Suspect 1, Suspect 2 etc., so that you have no idea who’s speaking, and who’s sharing their secrets at any given time. It’s quite fun trying to guess and I’ll admit I wasn’t always right!
What you need to know: There are A LOT of characters to familiarise yourself with! It took me quite some time to figure out who was who and who belonged with who. The writing is extremely dense and there’s an enormous amount to get through. You really need to apply yourself to this one – it’s not a light, easy read that you can skim your way through. It requires time and dedication. It took me a lot longer than I was expecting to eventually get through the whole thing. On this basis, I’d advise that it’s probably not for everyone, but if you enjoy immersing yourself in this type of read, then you’ve found the perfect book for you!
The actual ‘man on the roof’ is still a bit of an enigma, to be honest! Is he a figment of old McKinney’s imagination? Is he using him as a means to gain attention due to his jealousy at being excluded from the goings on in his street? Or is ‘the man’ McKinney himself watching the activities of the outside world from behind his windows (and screen) and acting as everyone’s conscience? You’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself!
Available now for pre-order here: http://mybook.to/TMOTR
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