Andrew Morrison sacrificed everything—his childhood, his education, and the girl of his dreams—to look after his alcoholic mother. But enough is enough, and now he’s determined to get out and live his life. That means trading the home he grew up in for a rented room in the house of an old childhood friend— both of which are in sorry shape.
The only thing worse than Drew’s squalid new digs and sullen new roommate is the envy he feels for the house next door: a picture-perfect suburban domicile straight out of Norman Rockwell, with a couple of happy householders to match. But the better acquainted he gets with his new neighbors—especially the sweet and sexy Harlow Ward—the more he suspects unspeakable darkness beyond the white picket fence.
Andrew's dad left when he was young. He was left the beat-up old pick-up truck and a mother who suddenly couldn't bear to leave the house and a new addition to alcohol. He spends his childhood growing up way to fast - paying the bills, buying the groceries and working as soon as he was able. The welfare checks only stretch too far and he's seen the consequences when there is no more money for booze. He doesn't make that mistake again. But when one day he sees his mom outside, he feels like he's been lied to for his whole life and decides to pack it up, quit his job and move out.
He finds his old childhood best friend Mickey and asks to rent out one of his bedrooms. Mickey lives in squalor but Andrew knows it's a new start for him and will do whatever he can to make it work. He wishes the house looked like the neighbors, pristine and fresh. When he meets the Wards, Harlow and Red, he wishes he had grown up with parents like that, in a house that nice.
Harlow takes a an immediate liking to Andrew, bringing him cookies and welcoming him to the neighborhood. When Andrew struggles to find a job, it's her husband Red who offers him one. But Mickey warns Andrew to steer clear of the neighbors and the neighbors subtly hint that Mickey could be a drug dealer. As the secrets begin to unravel, Andrew realizes that he may have figured it out too late.
This is the first Ahlborn novel I have read, but I've already put Seed on my list to acquire. Ahlborn has a knack for spinning a scene, tense and dramatic, that leads the reader into her web. Although a few things were predictable, I was caught off-guard at a few pivots and turns the plot takes. At times horrific, I had a few moments where I just visualized the shower seen in Psycho - crazy good stuff! If you enjoy a good psychological suspense, definitely pick this one up! You just never know what's next door.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.