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Cul-de-sac: One neighbor will not survive the summer in this engaging domestic thriller.

There are five identical two-story homes on Carlyle Terrace, a small tree-lined cul-de-sac in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Nothing too noteworthy about the street. It isn’t part of one of the many luxurious gated communities located throughout the area. But on a July evening in this quiet place, someone is going to be shot and killed. The specter of death looms throughout Joy Fielding’s latest domestic thriller, Cul-de-sac.


No one would ever suspect that this small street is brimming with family problems. Maggie, with husband Craig and their children, moved to the area to escape a threatening situation in LA. She now carries a gun everywhere she goes. Her husband can no longer handle her paranoia and has left the house. Sean has lost his job while wife Olivia’s career is thriving. He turns to alcohol to drown his frustrations. Nick is a highly respected doctor married to Dani, a successful dentist. The seemingly perfect couple has their own secrets. Eighty-four year old Julia’s son wants to put her in assisted living. When Mark, her troubled grandson comes to live with her, he is more interested in stealing from her than anything else. And Heidi is unable to enjoy married life with Aiden as she tries to deal with his meddlesome mother and his PTSD. Each household is troubled. Each household has a gun inside it. Fielding does a fine job telling the stories behind each locked door keeping you guessing as to who will be the one carried off in a stretcher in the end.


This is Joy Fielding’s 29th book. She might be one of those author’s you recall your mother reading. (My mother introduced me to her books quite a while ago.) But Fielding has kept current and has written what might just be her best book in years.


Many thanks to Ballantine Books / Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this enjoyably suspenseful book in advance of its publication.


Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Domestic Thriller / Suspense.

Publication Date: August 10, 2021.


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