Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
311 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Semi-Detached by Deborah Stone is a psychological thriller. Terry and Fiona have just moved into a new semi-detached house in a suburban neighborhood. They are a glamorous couple besotted with each other, while their neighbors, Bill and Amanda, are the complete opposite. Despite their differences and against all the odds, the two couples become friends. Amanda and Bill have been stuck in a rut, but their new friendship seems to pull them out until secrets start to spill, and nowhere’s left for anyone to turn.

Full of suspense and intrigue, Semi-Detached by Deborah Stone is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read. There are three stories, all inextricably entwined; you might think you know where the story is going, but when you least expect it, things go off in a different direction, throwing everything you thought you knew out of the window. This is action all the way through, starting in the present and then shooting back to the past, with loads of twists and turns as it approaches its conclusion. You get to know all the characters well, each with a story of their own to tell and their flaws that play a massive part in how the story plays out. The ending is a huge surprise, leaving you with many questions. You’ll root for certain characters until something happens, and you switch your allegiance to others. That’s the nature of this story; you won’t know who to trust until the end.

Alma Boucher

Semi-Detached by Deborah Stone is a psychological thriller. Bill grew up with his mother and was used to her doing everything for him. When Bill and Amanda got married, Bill expected Amanda to look after him the way his mother did. Amanda withdrew from social activity and no longer took care of herself. Bill and Amanda's life was boring and they never went out. Elsewhere, Fiona was pregnant and Terry asked her to marry him. However, it was a big relief for Terry when Fiona lost the baby. Terry changed jobs often, and as a result, he and Fiona moved frequently. Fiona took care of herself and loved shopping. Terry and Fiona became Bill and Amanda's neighbors, and a friendship developed between them. However, all was not as it appeared.

Deborah Stone took me on a roller coaster ride in Semi-Detached. It was fast-paced and jam-packed with action. There never was a dull moment and I just kept turning the pages. I could not put it down. I was too afraid I would miss something. The story started with two characters and moved on to the two couples. The chapters followed each other without breaking the storyline. With all the twists and turns, I never knew what to expect next. The characters were authentic and relatable. They were well-developed and fitted together like a puzzle. The story was well-written with an intriguing and complicated plot. I did not expect the major twist, and it completely changed my expectation as to how the story was going to end.

Mimie Odigwe

Semi-Detached by Deborah Stone will haunt you with questions. How well do you know your partner, and how much do you trust your neighbors? Bill and Amanda live a bleak and solitary life in their semi-detached home without affection, companionship, or children for years. With the arrival of their glamorous new neighbors, Fiona and Terry, they begin to question the lives they’ve lived for so long. As they become intertwined with the couple next door, their lives are upended, and they spiral into a tragedy neither of them bargained for. Deborah Stone writes a thrilling tale of three couples trapped in a web of deceit and resentment even as their actions continue to haunt them and each other.

The characters are complex. Deborah Stone employs flashbacks to paint realistic and multi-faceted characters with backgrounds and fears that drive every action they take. The character development is top-notch and genuine rather than forced and used solely as a tool for plot development, like in other thrillers. An excellent example of this in Semi-Detached is how Fiona, initially seeming shallow and self-conceited, slowly grows into one of the story’s strongest characters. This enthralling story feels like watching a train wreck in slow motion, as every action and every decision culminates in an explosion too fierce for them all to handle. Without a doubt, this is a powerful novel that will take you on a wild ride through your emotions as it explores friendship, love, trust, betrayal, and sympathy.