Katy's Reviews > Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo
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's review
Oct 11, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: ebook, net-galley
Recommended to Katy by: Spread the Word initiative
Recommended for: fans of suspense/thrillers
Read from March 29 to 31, 2012 , read count: 1

My Thoughts: I need to start right off by saying I am more than a bit confused by something – and I apologize that this is a bit of a spoiler, but it occurs very early in the book and there are plenty of other surprises to be seen – but I’m very surprised that a woman is put in charge of an Islamic terrorist cell. Women are treated as second-class citizens by most Islamic fundamentalists, from my understanding, even if that is not what the Koran teaches, and it doesn’t make any sense to me that a bunch of radical Muslim men would take orders from a woman for any reason. From that point the whole house of cards sort of falls apart unless you are very much willing to suspend disbelief. Also, her daughter just disappears with absolutely no explanation as to where she went or how. While not insurmountable, these issues raised enough questions to leave me a bit unsettled.

However, as the plot progressed, I found myself caught up in the story. Switching back and forth between a terrorist cell and the prosaic life of Clark and his elderly mother, the story flows smoothly and quickly. While I frequently found myself upset, mostly because I just can’t fathom the mindset of people involved in terrorism of this sort, it is generally a good sign when a book is able to elicit those sorts of emotional responses. I don’t know exactly how this writer got so far into the minds of the terrorists – it’s a little scary, actually – but he did a good job of it.

Oh, by the way, she was a minor character and toward the end of the book, but I loved Mrs. Crowley. She would have made a good match for Clark’s randy old WWII vet neighbor, Mr. Stanley. I also enjoyed Clark’s mother, crazy as she was.

It is true that this is a galley, so hopefully the typos will be fixed – there are a lot of problems with using the wrong homonym. It gets worse as the book progresses, as if whomever did the initial proofreading lost focus. This happens, unfortunately – even I’m guilty of that when I’m editing.

So, a mixed bag. There are some plot issues that might make reading this more of an exercise in suspension of disbelief than the average reader will find easy, but the story itself is fast-paced, well-developed and suspenseful, with plenty of twists and turns. Recommended for fans of suspense and thrillers.

Disclosure: I received a free eGalley eBook ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother’s diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn’t possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of a terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell – which happens to be across the street – is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark’s quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become one of the most deadly places on the planet, and it’s up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation’s capital.

Fast, acerbic, wise and endlessly exciting, Love Thy Neighbor marks the unforgettable debut of a startling new voice in suspense fiction.
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Quotes Katy Liked

Mark Gilleo
“The interrogation and banter [with the IRS auditor] went on until lunch. In the process, Clark learned a valuable lesson that all Americans figure out sooner or later: if the government wants to fuck you, it is only a matter of when and what position they prefer. KY is optional and applied purely at the government's discretion.”
Mark Gilleo, Love Thy Neighbor

Reading Progress

24.0% "Bleagh, not enough sleep the last three days - feeling icky. Gonna go to sleep and read more later ..."
30.0% "Couldn't sleep after I got sick, but now I'm feeling sleepy again, so I'll make another go at sleeping. The dulcet tones of punk rock "we hate everyone" is lulling me toward dreamland ... maybe there'll be Gwar's tender love song about maggots next?"
46.0% "WTF is WRONG with people?? Celebrating the fact that a member of your family plans to martyr themselves by killing tens of thousands of innocent people because some freakjob misinterpreted the scripture? Oh, and you shouldn't kill or steal or anything - well, except it's OK as long as you feel really bad about it and pray for forgiveness right away. ???? *scratches head* As Buffy said: note to self, religion freaky"
60.0% "I'm feeling sick, and it's not all from this book ... I guess it's good I don't understand this sort of thought process, but it upsets me. but it's a good book. Anyway, I'm just generally feeling ill lately and hopefully it clears up soon. I'm taking a nap. Rock on..."
67.0% "Seeing some seriously scary bad problems with our national security system - no one wants to take responsibility for anything. *shudders*"
75.0% "You know, I know enough Muslims to know that not all of them think like these people in the book, but it seems more feel like this than I thought. Again I say, WTF is wrong with people?? Geez, you'd rather kill people than try to honestly convert them? What sort of God do you worship? Bloodthirsty much??"
82.0% "Paused to eat a tasty steak made by my wonderful hubby and look through the awesome George Takei's Facebook album :-) back to reading - let's get this book FINISHED!"
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