Monday 22 May 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Bad Neighbour - Jennie Ensor

In March 2020, the Covid pandemic hits the sleepy English village of Brampton. At the start of lockdown, local busybody Tara Sanderson sets up a community group to help vulnerable residents through the crisis. Elderly Elspeth Chambers, her longstanding neighbour and friend, accepts Tara’s offer to buy food and collect medicine for her.

But it isn’t long before neighbourliness and community spirit turn sour. Tensions arise when Tara becomes jealous of Elspeth’s emerging friendship with Ashley Khan, a recent arrival in Wilton Close.

Suspecting there is more to Tara’s hostility toward them than meets the eye, Ashley and Elspeth start to uncover their neighbour’s long-buried secrets, and realise that Tara is capable of almost anything...

What did I think?

I've been a fan of Jennie Ensor's books since I read her stunning debut, Blind Side, in 2016 and her fifth novel, The Bad Neighbour, is just as stunning.  Set during the Covid-19 pandemic, the reader is part of the Brampton community as they come to terms with lockdown and whilst the majority of people will do anything to help others, there's always one who will simply help themself.

It gave me chills reading about this dark time in our recent history and I relived the fear and confusion that many of us felt through the exquisite characters that Jennie Ensor has created.  The sense of community that we all saw in our own cities, towns and villages is portrayed beautifully but the plot darkens when one neighbour isn't as community minded as she appears.

Tara is a character that everyone will love to hate; she is so selfish, jealous, petty and scarily dangerous.  Tara gives the outward appearance that she is helping her elderly neighbour, Elspeth, but she doesn't want to do it for nothing and reading about her antics made my blood positively boil.  Just when you think she can't do anything worse...she outdoes herself.

Deliciously dark and hugely entertaining, The Bad Neighbour is a beautifully written, compelling read that I couldn't put down.  Filled with drama and tension, as well as a brilliant cast of characters, it would make a fantastic TV series.  I absolutely loved it!  Very highly recommended

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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