Book review: The People Next Door by Christopher Ransom

Mick Nash is an ordinary small town American guy but something seriously scary is happening to him ... and it involves the people next door.

Christopher Ransom, author of runaway bestsellers The Birthing House and The Haunting of James Hastings, has a new supernatural thriller on the market and it packs an electrifying punch.

The People Next Door is the perfect read for fans of Dean Koontz and Stephen King with its pulsating paranormal storyline and a twist in the tail that’s guaranteed to send out shockwaves.

Mick and Amy Nash and their two teenage children, Kyle and Briela, lead fairly routine lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Amy worries about her weight, Mick is suffering from what he calls ‘a total life-hangover,’ Kyle has just discovered alcohol and girls, and Briela is having a tough time at school.

When a family day sailing on a nearby lake ends in a near-death drowning experience, Mick finds himself on the cusp of a terrifying mystery with the power to change his fortunes forever, or destroy everything he holds dear.

Resuscitated underwater by unknown forces and recuperating at home, Mick suffers horrific visions from the other side while young daughter Briela is gripped by tantrums and recurring nightmares that foretell an approaching menace.

A warning from a dead friend is only the first in a series of disturbing new insights and visitations, opening frightening doors to new opportunities and leaving Mick increasingly paranoid.

Then into the house next door move the Renders. They are beautiful, confident and charming, and the Nashes are promptly seduced by their charisma, their money and their sex appeal.

Wife Cassandra offers uncanny solutions to Amy’s suburban doldrums, and husband Vince becomes instrumental in rescuing Mick’s diner business from financial ruin.

Too late Mick learns they are not as perfect as they seem and that something is deeply, darkly wrong with them. Who are these people, where did they come from and what are they hiding in the basement?

As death and darkness descend on the neighbourhood, only Mick can save his family and expose the horrifying truth about the people next door.

If pure terror is your bag, Ransom’s novel could be a perfect partner as the nights draw in...

(Sphere, paperback, £7.99)