The Downstairs Neighbour

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What to expect

How well do you really know your neighbours?

In a converted Georgian townhouse in south west London, three families live under one roof.

The large flat that takes up the top two floors is home to the Harlow family: happily married Paul and Steph, and their bubbly teenage daughter Freya. The smaller first floor flat is rented by Emma, who spends most of her time alone, listening to people coming in and out of the building. And the basement flat belongs to Chris, a local driving instructor, who prefers to keep his personal life private from the neighbours.

But their lives are all upended when Freya vanishes. As the police become involved and a frantic Paul and Steph desperately search for answers, they begin to realise that the truth behind their daughter’s disappearance may lie closer to home than they were expecting.

When everyone has something to hide, can you ever really know those closest to you? Or will some secrets be taken to the grave?

(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critics Review

  • The unrelenting tension of this well-crafted debut kept me whizzing through the book, eager to discover exactly what had happened to Freya and whether the intriguing neighbours had anything to do with it. Loved the tension, the secrets and the satisfying, unexpected conclusion. Recommended!

    KL Slater
  • I can’t remember the last book that made me guess and long for answers quite as much as The Downstairs Neighbour. The story was always one step ahead of me, catching me out. Gripping, teasing, intricately plotted, an accomplished debut that’s impossible to put down.

    Cath Weeks
  • Lock your doors, close your curtains, and sink into this claustrophobic tale of families, neighbours and buried secrets. Tense and perfectly paced, this emotionally charged novel will keep you guessing right to the very end

    Emma Rous, bestselling author of The Au Pair
  • A gripping read with plenty of twists, Cooper’s debut will keep you guessing throughout

  • The air is thick with the sound of chickens coming home to roost in this promising domestic noir debut

    The Sunday Times Crime Club
  • I am a sucker for an eavesdropping premise, and Helen Cooper’s The Downstairs Neighbour doesn’t disappoint. Cooper starts with a bang, with a missing girl and a big house filled with suspects, then holds the suspense high with characters that will keep the reader guessing – and guessing wrong. A gradual unearthing of long-held secrets wrapped in a smoothly plotted page-turner

    Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Stranger in the Lake

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