Good Neighbors : A Novel
by Langan, Sarah

"From three-time Bram Stoker-Award-winning novelist Sarah Langan comes a propulsive literary suburban noir set in near-future America during the hottest summer on record. Maple Street has a neighborly cul-de-sac, where a terrible secret tears a rift between two misfit moms who were once best friends. When innocent Shelly Schroeder falls down a sinkhole, it's one mom's word against the other's, in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood. Think Big Little Lies-if reimagined by Shirley Jackson"-

Sarah Langan, a Columbia MFA graduate and three-time recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, is the author of three novels including The Keeper. She grew up on Long Island and she currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters. Find out more at

*Starred Review* In the year 2027, the Wilde family are the black sheep of Maple Street, a Long Island community. Effusive Gertie is a real-estate agent with a big personality; her husband, Arlo, is a former celebrity in recovery from a heroin addiction. Their quirky children, Julia and Larry, fit in better, running with the "Rat Pack" of local kids. The subtle conflict between the Wildes and the other families-led by slightly unhinged professor Rhea Schroeder-explodes when a sinkhole erupts in the neighborhood. Shelly Schroeder disappears down the sinkhole, and Rhea blames Arlo Wilde. Rhea's insanity fuels the events thereafter as the Wildes become even more ostracized, leading to violence and a shocking conclusion. The reader is given some clues to the outcome through news articles and book chapters from the future that allude to the "Maple Street Murders." These extra documents add to the rippling tension throughout. Distinguished horror writer Langan (Audrey's Door, 2009) knows how to make that tension pop off the page. A creepy standout for readers who want an extra kick to their suburban dramas. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

A seemingly perfect suburb hides secrets and violence just beneath the surface. From the outside, Maple Street looks idyllic. It's in a Long Island suburb full of families who work hard and want the best for their children-but something isn't right. The first sign is the giant sinkhole that opens in the community's park, coating things in thick oil, scrambling cell signals, and claiming the life of a German shepard. But the sinkhole is only the beginning of the real trouble for the families of Maple Street. Longtime resident Rhea Schroeder, a community college professor who's hiding some of her own dark secrets, has it out for newcomer Gertie Wilde, a former pageant queen who doesn't really fit in. Neither does Gertie's family, which includes her former rock star husband, who commits the cardinal sin of smoking on the front porch instead of in the backyard like everyone else in the neighborhood. When Rhea's daughter Shelly falls into the sinkhole, Rhea quickly launches into attack mode, blaming Gertie's family for Shelly's death. Things spin further out of control, ruining an entire neighborhood and countless lives in the process. The story itself is entertainingly absurd and over-the-top, but perhaps the most interesting part is the way Langan chooses to tell it. She intersperses the story with articles and interviews from years later referencing "the Maple Street Murders," allowing not only a grim foreshadowing, but a slice of realistic true-crime obsession (as well as a glimpse into what the climate crisis may look like in the near future). An incredibly dark (and surprisingly fun) page-turner. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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