Neighborly Secrets. Deadly Desires.

Fiction - Suspense
328 Pages
Reviewed on 06/16/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

In Cul-de-Sac: Neighborly Secrets. Deadly Desires by Liz Crowe, Amelia and Michael found their dream house on Connelly Court. They cannot wait to move in after being shocked to see that it fits so effortlessly within their budget. The previous owner was discovered dead in the bathtub, but after renovations, Amelia and Michael quickly forget about the sordid past of their new home. On Labor Day, Amelia and Michael are invited to a cul-de-sac BBQ by Janice and Allen, and shortly after, they receive invitations to other private events. However, things are getting out of hand on Connelly Court as the close-knit group of friends starts turning against one another. Would Amelia and Michael manage to leave this unusual way of life, or would they succumb to temptation at every turn, no matter the consequences?

Liz Crowe's Cul-de-Sac is a dark story about friendship, marriage, passion, and betrayal. The fascinating second half picked up speed after the first half's slow start, which laid the foundations. As it approached the ending, this sensual plot of deceit and sexual hunger had me turning the pages as fast as I could. The motivations of the characters were plausible, and they were well-developed. Understanding and getting to know the cul-de-sac's residents were made easy by the characters' backstories. I kept my fingers crossed that Amelia and Michael would make the right choice by withdrawing from their neighbors' activities. Given the subjects at hand, it is quite an accomplishment that the book manages to be seductive and provocative without appearing aggressive or vulgar.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Cul-de-Sac: Neighborly Secrets. Deadly Desires by Liz Crowe is a shocking domestic thriller. Michael and Amelia Ross have finally chosen a house to buy, their dream house in the secluded Connelly Court. But this neighborhood harbors deep secrets and a lifestyle that should stay hidden from others. However, it’s all about to unravel. The Ross’s new home belonged to a family destroyed by that lifestyle and Amelia begins questioning who her neighbors are. As they all begin to turn on one another, their lives start to fall apart. Can Connelly Court survive, or will everything they built up be destroyed?

Cul-de-Sac: Neighborly Secrets. Deadly Desires by Liz Crowe is an adults-only, suspenseful tale with plenty of action. This book drew me in right from the start but don’t expect it to race away from the first page. The well-paced plot takes time to introduce the main players properly, providing everything you need to understand them and the part they play. This helps the suspense build throughout, keeping you well and truly hooked as each individual story intertwines on its way to the explosive, unexpected finale. I thought I had this book figured out but I was completely off the mark – full marks to Liz Crowe as, to me, that is the mark of an excellent writer. The narrative does include discussions of suicide, sex in and out of marriage, and polyamory, so if that sort of thing offends, this book really isn’t for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to domestic and psychological thriller fans.

K.C. Finn

Cul-de-Sac: Neighborly Secrets, Deadly Desires is penned by author Liz Crowe in the suspense, interpersonal drama, and relationship intrigue genres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience. We are introduced to Connelly Court, a secluded neighborhood of old money, but one that conceals a labyrinth of desires and deceit beneath its pristine façades and manicured lawns. Amidst the seemingly idyllic setting, a group of neighbors, bound by shared secrets and an unconventional lifestyle, finds their lives unraveling amidst suspicion, betrayal, and hidden agendas. What results is a riveting drama with a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

Author Liz Crowe uses drama and passion to craft an intense read that delves into the darkly delicious underbelly of suburban life. Crowe masterfully constructs an atmosphere of tension and suspense as the facade of perfection crumbles, revealing the sinister truths lurking beneath the surface. I was impressed with the subtle descriptions of locations that perfectly matched the atmosphere to the emotional tone of the scenes playing out behind closed doors. The portrayals of the characters' complex relationships and the unraveling of their secrets were extremely well-paced and exciting to follow, and the series of twists kept me gripped until the shocking conclusion. The exploration of marriage, friendship, desire, and betrayal against the backdrop of a seemingly serene neighborhood made for a compelling and thought-provoking read that will have you looking over your shoulder, wondering what your neighbors might be up to. Overall, Cul-de-Sac is a highly recommended dramatic read that challenges the notion of familiarity within one's community, with fascinating results.