Jane's Reviews > The Neighbour
There is so much packed into this slender little book. The Neighbour could so easily have been a conventional thriller, of a seemingly ordinary neighbour whose true deranged character slowly reveals itself under stress. And it wouldn't have been a bad book if that's what it had been - Julie Proudfoot writes tension and creepiness exceptionally well. But The Neighbour is so much more. She has written characters who approach and retreat from terrible things, over and over again, inside their heads and in their behaviour. And so often the terrible things in their heads happen at different times to the terrible things in their behaviour. Proudfoot's background in psychology is very clear: these characters are complex and unpredictable, but entirely believable, creating empathetic pain and tension which drove me to keep on reading. My only qualm was towards the end: I wasn't sure how much longer I could bear to be inside Luke's head without some of his troubles being resolved - perhaps good this was a novella and not a longer work! In some ways this reminded me of Christos Tsiolkas' suburban work (such as the slap), which bodes well for Julie Proudfoot's publishing future.
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