The Deadly Neighbors
Dunne, Dec 2007, $24.95
Art therapist Zoe Hayes worries that her program will be eliminated and she downsized as The Philadelphia Psychiatric Institute where she works is facing difficult funding decisions. However, the six month pregnant Zoe puts aside her employment worries when she receives a frantic call from her estranged father’s neighbor Lettie Kinkaid in Mount Airy.
Taking her six years old adopted daughter Molly with her to meet her grandpa for the first time, Zoe finds quite a scene as Walter is stabbing his girlfriend Beatrice Kendall in the throat. Zoe grabs the knife and dials 911. Her angry fiancé homicide detective Nick Stiles, who never knew about Walter’s existence, concludes Beatrice choked to death on pari-mutuel betting tickets. Though the police are unhappy as they still suspect Walter of murder; no charges are filed against him for performing a tracheotomy. His daughter moves him into an assisted living home as he keeps thinking she is his long dead wife her mother who died when she was Molly's age. Zoe learns of another recent homicide and soon others follow. As Zoe investigates while Nick fumes, the neighbors are less then cooperative; they are hostile towards her.
The third Hayes amateur sleuth investigation (see THE NANNY MURDERS and THE RIVER KILLINGS) is a fabsulous over the top thriller that seems implausible yet recent real events provide genuineness to the tale. Zoe is at her best as her inquiry with sidekick Molly forces her to look back at her family secret skeletons while seeking to learn the truth behind what seems like a serial killer at work. Fans will enjoy her efforts as Nick worries about her activity in the Philadelphia suburb as she carries their offspring and her child into danger.