He Finds Women on Dating Apps. Then They Disappear.


Vain, snobby, lording it over their inferiors, the queen-bee moms of Ivy Woods Drive, an unique cul-de-sac in a D.C. suburb, spend a lot of their autumn planning their Halloween block occasion. (For some cause, it’s the occasion of the 12 months.) But in keeping with an unnamed character in Tara Laskowski’s THE MOTHER NEXT DOOR (Graydon House, 340 pp. paper, $16.99), by the point this October’s occasion is over, “one of us will be dead.”

The ebook, a elegant and entertaining homage to “Big Little Lies” and “Desperate Housewives,” begins seven weeks earlier than Halloween. The Ivy Five, because the moms name themselves, are in a state of frenzy. What will they put on? How will they embellish? “Think the most amazing, epic, terrifying Halloween decorations in the county,” one says.

But Theresa Pressley, who has simply moved to Ivy Woods together with her husband and teenage daughter, senses that every one shouldn’t be properly. For one factor, there are solely 4 Ivies; the fifth is lacking. Why received’t anybody speak about her? What did she do? (What did the opposite 4 do? “It’s been 13 years,” an nameless individual calling herself “Ghost Girl” says in a message to a neighborhood watch group. “This is the Halloween I take revenge.”)

Soon Theresa is awarded a coveted bejeweled pin within the form of an ivy leaf, marking her entrée into this nest of vipers. Before the autumn is out, we’ll be immersed not simply in murder, but in addition in adultery, pretend identities, bullying and folks locking different individuals in barns. The denouement is bonkers, however satisfying.

Not that Theresa is essentially innocent. After she buys blueberry-apricot tarts from the shop and pretends they’re selfmade, we marvel what else she’s mendacity about. “How many hours do you have?” she says to herself, when somebody asks her if she has any secrets and techniques. But out loud all she says is, “I’m afraid I’m just boring old me.”



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