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Those People: 05/06/21
Those People by Louise Candlish is set on Lowland Way, a council controlled street in London that gives parents the feeling of suburban life with an easy commute. The house at one end of the street is sold to a man and woman who instantly engender hate and despair from the other homeowners which only gets worse each day they're there. Eventually a woman ends up dead and the question is, was it neglect by the owners or sabotage from one of the other neighbors.
The novel begins with the woman's death and then rewinds to the moving in of the new owners. As it creeps forward to the death, alternating points of view, as well as police interviews, raise the tension and justify the sabotage we know is coming.
I don't normally like mysteries that rewind after the death. Those People, though, works, through relatively short chapters, a good creation of tension, and interesting and flawed characters. None of the other neighbors are any better than the ones who have moved in. What's different about them is their socio-economic status and their collective desire to not let any chinks appear in their apparent street long utopia.
Also the book includes enough of a long tail ending to show how the police investigation goes about after the woman's death. That extended present time coda also allows for more time for the inevitable unraveling of the tenuous utopia.