Cover image for The neighbors
The neighbors
Smith, Carol, 1938-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, 1999.

Physical Description:
372 pages ; 24 cm
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Critically acclaimed novelist Carol Smith returns with a modern-day Rear Window that brings Hitchcockian suspense to the written page in a tale of murder in a London apartment building.

Author Notes

Carol Smith lives in London, England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This romantic suspense novel from London literary agent Smith (Charmed Circle) is set in London in 1995. Princess Diana is still alive, the 50th anniversary of VE Day is approaching and rogue stock traders in the City are pressing their financial schemes on na ve victims. Protagonist Kate Ashenberry has just returned to her native England after living for several years with an abusive boyfriend in New York City. She sublets a flat in Kensington Court, a massive Victorian mansion block in an upscale Kensington neighborhood. At first, Kate's memories of past abuse make her reluctant to emerge from the protective cocoon of her new home. But eventually she becomes friendly with some of the people who live in the building. The neighbors are a mixed bag of personalities, and Smith spends much of the novel delineating their quirks and personal histories. However, even as Kate learns to relax in what she believes are safe surroundings, something evil is afoot in the staid old building. A mysterious figure seems to watch her from a nearby apartment, and an elderly woman is murdered in a locked room. Kate's own dark past may be returning to haunt her. Murders keep happening around her, but she remains a passive, terrified observer, and Smith never builds the level of suspense high enough to make readers worry for Kate. Smith's secondary characters are mostly defined with a few broad strokes--a marked contrast with the elaborately imposing Victorian edifice of Kensington Court itself, which is described with a loving thoroughness that might better have been lavished on its inhabitants. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Fleeing from Manhattan and an abusive relationship, Kate Ashenberry ends up in an expensive London flat. Because she is a stranger in town, she becomes friendly with the many characters in her building. Yet her neighbors are not all that they seem to be. The premise is a good one, but Smith's writing is slow-going and gets bogged down in a jumble of different scenes that do not quite mesh. In addition, Kate is an insipid fool unworthy of our sympathy. She has no qualms about falling into bed with her best friend's lover just days after finding her best friend dead. This novel is touted as a suspenseful mystery, yet there is no suspense; the story line is weak, and the ending is unrealistic. Finally, Smith (Charmed Circle) tries to introduce too many undeveloped characters, so that by the end we do not care about any of them. The equivalent of a bad B movie; not recommended.Marianne Fitzgerald, P.L. of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Cty., NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.