Berkley, May 2002, 6.99,
Growing up, as next door neighbors in early 1980s Rushton, England, Mickey and Fred were best friends doing everything together sort of Siamese twins. They expected their friendship to go years beyond their first cigarette and kiss to their last dying breath. However, the death of his father intercedes and the duo is separated as Fred and his family moves away.
Fifteen years later both are ignorant that the other also resides in London. The divorced Mickey raises a son by herself while managing a flower shop. Fred is a marketing manager for an Internet news site. He is engaged, but keeps asking “is that all there is”? That is until he accidentally runs into Mickey. With his wedding one month away, Fred wonders if he loves Mickey or just nostalgic over seeing his best bud from the happiest period in his life?
THE BOY NEXT DOOR uses the technique of alternating first person perspectives (between Fred and Mickey) that Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees are so adept at making work. The “He thinks, She thinks” story line focuses on the angst of the understandable lead characters with flashbacks to their idyllic childhood and the abrupt end of their personal Eden. Though his fiancee Rebecca is not much of a rival as she is too selfish to matter to Fred or readers, this novel will motivate readers to seek previous books from this dynamic duo (COME TOGETHER) while wondering what Josie wrote and what Emlyn wrote.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner