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The Girl Next Door: A Novel [Hardcover]

Patricia MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 27 2004

Patricia MacDonald has won a worldwide audience of readers with her page-turning novels of domestic suspense that twist and turn with surprises. Now she presents a riveting thriller about a young woman who finds her life threatened when she returns to her picture-perfect suburban hometown where a brutal crime shattered her family when she was a teenager.

The affluent town of Hoffman, New Jersey reeled in disbelief when highly esteemed physician Duncan Avery stabbed his wife Marsha to death one spring evening. The two Avery sons turned their backs on their father but his daughter Nina never stopped believing in his innocence.

Now, fifteen years later, Nina, a struggling actress in New York City, returns to Hoffman when her father is paroled and insists on re-settling there. Not only does Dr. Avery want to repair his relationships with his sons and meet his grandchildren, he claims he wants to find out who killed his wife. But neither Nina's brother Patrick, a successful investment banker with a wife and twin sons, nor Jimmy, a recovering drug addict who has adopted a new family, can bear to acknowledge their father's return.

Then, as suddenly as before, another act of violence overturns the Averys' lives. No longer certain if she can trust her family, her neighbors, or her old friends, Nina finds she can rely only on herself and a surprising new ally in her life as she searches for the truth behind crimes past and present. If she digs deep-down into the secrets of her family's and her neighbors' lives she stands a chance of catching a killer before she becomes his next victim.

With psychologically perceptive characterizations, emotional realism, and a gripping story line, The Girl Next Door exposes the dark impulses and fierce passions that can rule seemingly ordinary people and showcases Patricia MacDonald at the height of her celebrated powers.


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Product Description

From Booklist

Nina Avery is taking a break from her acting "career" (she survives on bit parts in soaps and the occasional commercial) so that she can help her father adjust to life on the outside. Nina was only 16 when she found her mother dead, stabbed with a kitchen knife. But Nina's father, Duncan, a doctor, found her first, and he was implicated, charged, and eventually convicted of murdering his wife. Nina never thought he was guilty, unlike her older brother, Patrick. Nina's other brother, Jimmy, is only now recovering from the drug and alcohol abuse that gave him solace after losing his mother to death and his father to jail. Duncan insists on returning home, but the small town isn't ready to forgive and forget. Then more tragedy forces Nina to dig further into the death of her mother. MacDonald, the master of the small-town tragedy, delivers another sure winner. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Patricia Macdonald's darkly hypnotic tales have captivated readers across America, as well as in France, where she is a #1 bestselling author. Her previous novels include Suspicious Origin, Stranger in the House, Not Guilty, and the Edgar Award-nominated The Unforgiven. She lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey, where she is working on her next novel. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong psychological suspense tale July 17 2004
Format:Hardcover
Fifteen years ago Nina Avery returned home from her first date to find her mother dead and her father trying to shield her from the carnage. After an investigation Nina's father Douglas, a well respected doctor, is charged with the crime and found guilty of second degree murder. Her brother Jimmy, an alcoholic and drug addict, was placed in the care of neighbors where he straightened his life out, her older brother Patrick went on to college and married and had two children. Nina stood by her father while trying to find acting jobs in New York City.
At a parole hearing Jimmy fails to show up, Patrick speaks out against him and Nina does all in her power to get the board to let her father go free. Parole is granted and Douglas who swears he is innocent returns to the scene of the crime to find evidence that would exonerate him. Before he can find out anything he is murdered but someone made it look like suicide. With the help of the prison doctor, Nina takes up where her father left off and finds herself in danger from a killer she has known for almost two decades.
Fans of Marry Higgins Clark will want to read THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the quintessential psychological suspense tale. The Avery clan is a dysfunctional but likeable family who pull readers into their angst laden drama and end up hoping they will recover from the traumas they have endured. Patricia Macdonald is a brilliant writer known for her works of intrigue; her latest novel is definitely her best but this reviewer will probably say that about her next novel too.
Harriet Klausner
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like............WOW! Oct. 14 2004
By E. Alvis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have read all of Patricia MacDonald's book, but this was the best. I read it in two days. You have to really admire Nina for having so much faith in her Dad with all the evidence against him. Especially since it is her Mom that he is convicted of killing. And, it had a touch of romance without all the sexual dancing that so many books have. I am not a prude, I just rather have a good book with a good story and this one delivered just that.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discover Patricia MacDonald Aug. 17 2004
By Noranne G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rather than review this particular book in depth, (I will leave that to the other reviewers), I would like to make a suggestion: Discover Patricia MacDonald! A previous reviewer stated that she had written three previous novels - actually, she has written quite a few more that. She is a very gifted writer of suspense fiction and should be giving Mary Higgins Clark a run for her money, but not enough people have discovered her yet.

After you finish this novel, you will be hooked. Run to your local bookstore and pick up the paperback issues of her previous novels and then hit the library or used book stores for the older stuff. Everything she writes is marvelous.

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because although this book is a real nail-biter, some of her others are even better! Look for "Suspicious Origin", "Not Guilty" and "Stranger in the House". Then go back even further for "Mother's Day", "Secret Admirer", "Lost Innocents" and "The Unforgiven" The list goes on... I am sure you will add her to list of favorite authors, as I have.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong psychological suspense tale July 17 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Fifteen years ago Nina Avery returned home from her first date to find her mother dead and her father trying to shield her from the carnage. After an investigation Nina's father Douglas, a well respected doctor, is charged with the crime and found guilty of second degree murder. Her brother Jimmy, an alcoholic and drug addict, was placed in the care of neighbors where he straightened his life out, her older brother Patrick went on to college and married and had two children. Nina stood by her father while trying to find acting jobs in New York City.
At a parole hearing Jimmy fails to show up, Patrick speaks out against him and Nina does all in her power to get the board to let her father go free. Parole is granted and Douglas who swears he is innocent returns to the scene of the crime to find evidence that would exonerate him. Before he can find out anything he is murdered but someone made it look like suicide. With the help of the prison doctor, Nina takes up where her father left off and finds herself in danger from a killer she has known for almost two decades.
Fans of Marry Higgins Clark will want to read THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the quintessential psychological suspense tale. The Avery clan is a dysfunctional but likeable family who pull readers into their angst laden drama and end up hoping they will recover from the traumas they have endured. Patricia Macdonald is a brilliant writer known for her works of intrigue; her latest novel is definitely her best but this reviewer will probably say that about her next novel too.
Harriet Klausner
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Sept. 22 2004
By true crime reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought this book was great. It just keeps you going. And the ending is something you would never expect. Very hard to put it down.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feels like Mary Higgins Clark Nov. 28 2005
By DoReMiFaSo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
which is a good thing in my opinion. The mystery is well plotted and the characters are likeable. However, the pace could have been better. I find the beginning to be a bit slow, and there are not much happening for the first half of the book, except introducing the characters, which makes is less suspenseful.
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