This is the story of a guy who is really just a grade-A screwup and can't make one good decision to save his life.
Though it offers an interesting enough setup for a thriller—man moves into house, man finds out the guy next door is a real a-hole, man can't move out, turns out the guy next door is probably into some really bad stuff, man has to defend his turf—this one really wasn't for me.
Stylistically, the book just felt reaalllly slooow. It is constantly showing what's going on, and then also telling and explaining and talking about what happened too. We get it—readers can put things together. We don't need every little thing explained and then over-explained.
As it is told from said screwup's perspective, meticulously documenting every little thing he did and every thought that ran through his brain, the reader gets a good idea of what his deal is. And yet, I was so frustrated with him constantly asking him in my head to explain his actions, as they tend to not make logical sense, only forwarding the action of the story, rather than being what any reasonable person would do. This only amps up toward the end.
I don't have anything against unlikable characters. I think they can be very useful. But Ollie is more than unlikable, he is nonsensical, and I really draw the line there.
Between characters who seemed two-dimensional to transparent, the lack of motivation for the actions taken, and a plot that truly plods along, I can't really recommend this one as a book to pick up.
My thanks to Flame Tree Press for sending me an advance copy of this one to read and review.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.