Title: Those People
Author: Louise Candlish
Published: July 1st 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Mystery
Rating: 3.5 stars
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS YOU’LL LOVE TO HATE
Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.
Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: They did it.
But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours.
Those People is the latest book from British author Louise Candlish. The popular writer of Our House once again delves in the world of domestic noir, with particular emphasis on the niche category of suburban and housing based fiction. This time around, Candlish tackles a set of neighbours who are troubled by the presence of an unsightly new resident in their street. Those People is a tale of status, class, dispute, community relations, domestic rights, murder plots and more.
Lowland Way, located in South London, is the centre of the action in the brand new novel penned by Louise Candlish. This sought after neighbourhood is a sanctuary for those who are lucky to reside there. However, this idyllic suburban home base is about to be ripped apart by a new resident. As soon as Darren Booth arrives on the scene, occupying house number 1 on Lowland Way, he sends his neighbours up in arms. With his loud music, renovations and unfavourable car parking, Darren is faced with a bevy of complaints and threats. As the tensions in the street escalate, things take a dangerous turn when a shocking accident occurs, involving one of the residents of Lowland Way. When the police get involved, the evidence points to the new resident of Lowland Way. But it will take a lot to convince the police of Darren’s involvement.
Louise Candlish has taken a highly relatable principal subject base for her new novel, neighbours, and she has crafted a twisted tale of a neighbourhood consumed by the arrival on an unwelcome new resident. I know I was able to relate immediately to this book, which is its main strength. I live in a suburban private estate and I am surrounded by two properties that are rentals. Over the twelve years that we have lived in our house, we have come across a good handful of unwelcome neighbours. From parking issues, to incredibly nosy neighbours, to domestic disputes, loud music, wayward pets and constant comings and goings, the list could go on! I’m sure when you sit down to think about it and reflect on your own neighbour experiences, you could easily pen a book about these escapades – I know I could! I’m a drifting off the review line a fair bit, but in discussing these issues, I feel Louise Candlish has tapped into a very common area that we may have all experienced problems within the past, or we are currently dealing with. Those People is a book that compounds these issues within the one involving narrative.
The character set in Those People not very agreeable at all. We are meant to dislike Darren from the onset, along with her girlfriend. But the other residents of Lowland Way are not much better in my mind! I do think this is the direction Candlish wants us to go in. Candlish works to blur the lines between who is good and who is bad, by flipping the good guy, bad guy scenario on its head. Those People definitely leans towards the psychological, so the reader is constantly observing and judging these characters. It is a fairly large cast and I would have liked a list of residents and their house number at the start of the novel. However, once I had a handle on this protagonist set, and I worked out their preoccupations, I was set.
Overall, I found the narrative of Those People to be paced well. The short and sharp chapter format lends to Those People to be read in a swift manner. The structure of the novel is divided into shifting points of view, reflecting the different players in the street. Inserted within the narrative are statements and interview transcripts taken by the Metropolitan Police from the various residents of Lowland Way. Press features about the neighbourhood, city reviews, resident notices, texts, website advice, emails and Facebook group posts all provide an extra insight into the happenings of Lowland Way. Candlish draws on these different sources as a way to build to suspense and atmosphere of the novel. It made me second guess everything about Those People!
In the end, Those People provided plenty of entertainment value. A twist to the tale, and an interesting final turn of events concluded the latest novel by Louise Candlish. I recommend this book to fans of the burgeoning domestic fiction genre, especially if you have interest in the politics of neighbourhood housing environments. It sure is a gritty tale, and depending on your current housing situation, it may make you thankful for the neighbours that you have, or don’t have!
Those People by Louise Candlish was published on 1st July 2019 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Those People, Louise Candlish, visit here.
*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.