The Girl Next Door Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Girl Next Door

Atria, July 2004, 292 pp.
ISBN 074323615

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.
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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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Girl Next Door

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Patricia MacDonald Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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