In the town of Hoffman New Jersey, a high school student named Nina Avery came home after a date and found that her mother had been murdered. The man in the room with her mother was her father, Dr. Duncan Avery. He would be accused of the murder and be in jail for the next 15 years.
Throughout all that time in jail Duncan denied that he killed his wife even though the evidence was overwhelming. Yet, after a parole hearing, Duncan was freed and Nina was there, ready to take him in and help him get his life together again. This would not last long because a few nights later, Duncan was murdered as well.
The Girl Next Store is a great character driven story about Nina and her brother and the suspects in the murder of her mother and father. The story moves along making the reader wonder who the killer was. As the mystery grows deeper, there are a multitude of suspects and by the of the book, it was a surprise to me as to who the killer was.
MacDonald brought out some memorable characters in the story such as Patrick, Nina’s brother, who hated Duncan because for all those years, he believed that Duncan killed his mother. Then there was Jimmy, an alcoholic and drug addict, who had his own demons to deal with. Even minor characters like Lindsay came out in the story nicely, making me wonder what her involvement was.
Then there was Gemma, the skinny girl who was Patrick’s tutor in school before she turned out to be Patrick’s wife, the girl who was made fun of in school. She worked at a University at the school before she married Patrick.
With a cast of characters like this, I would say that the story made for a good read. I wouldn’t say it was a fun read but I couldn’t help but turn the page because I wondered throughout the whole book who the killer was.
If you’re a fan of authors like Harlan Coben who write mysteries about murders in the suburbs, then you should enjoy this book like I did, since this book takes place in New Jersey as well. It’s a great character driven mystery.
There are about 30 reviews on Kindle and 16 of them are five stars. I have to go along with that and will say that this book is worth five stars. Looking forward to reading more books by Patricia MacDonald.