Atria, July 2004, 292 pp.
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.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner