In this disquieting tale by three-time Bram Stoker Award winner Sarah Langan, neighbors have a falling-out amid a natural disaster, unleashing a frenzy of madness, malice and misunderstandings throughout a quiet Long Island community.
Before the drama really begins, something is already amiss on Maple Street. Gertie Wilde realizes that her family is the only one that Rhea Schroeder, the neighborhood queen bee, hasn’t invited to the community’s Fourth of July picnic at nearby Sterling Park. While Gertie and Rhea exchange words, their daughters Julia and Shelly are in the midst of their own feud until a sinkhole opens in the park, sending everyone scurrying.
Sarah Langan takes readers on a descent into depraved suburban drama.
The hole, a microcosm of the larger climate crisis, is cordoned off, and the neighborhood children are warned to stay away. Then a child falls into the hole, which sets off a disturbing chain of events as stories and secrets spread throughout the tightknit community.
Langan weaves interviews and news clips into her tightly written, fast-paced narrative, conveying the infectious spread and mutation of stories goaded by media sensationalism and attention-seeking neighbors. As gossip and rumors swell and proliferate, the stakes grow exponentially as well. The richly complex main characters reveal flawed pasts and duplicitous natures as the story transforms into a witch hunt, trying to discern which of the suspects may be responsible for the child’s erratic behavior before she fell. Horrific claims pit the children against their parents and the adults against one another.
Langan skillfully casts this suburban neighborhood in sinister light, building a sense of discord and apprehension from the first page. Intricate and edgy, Good Neighbors is a descent into depraved suburban drama, perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Stephen King-style thrills.