Sometimes the scariest premise evolves out of the most mundane of events. In Louise Candlish’s Those People, new residents move into the vacant house on Lowland Way setting off a string of events that shatters the sanctity of this once peaceful neighborhood.
Once upon a time, life on Lowland Way resembled an idyllic oasis – neighbors got along and visited with each other often, the street was shut down on Sundays so that the children could play safely, and the peaceful beauty of the environs was celebrated by all. That all changes the day the Darren and Jodie move into the area. Not only are they disrespectful and loud, but they had absolutely no interest in hearing the opinions of anyone else – especially their nosy neighbors.
As tensions continue to rise, confrontations because angrier, more violent, and downright dangerous. As Louise Candlish documents the actions of that summer, each character in the neighborhood gets a viewpoint – allowing readers a fuller picture of what is happening in each of these homes. Because each chapter begins with a snippet from a police interrogation, readers know that somewhere along the line a death (at least one) occurred. Speculating about who the victim is and what happened is inevitable, but Candlish only keeps that under-wraps until about the midway point of the novel.
It is at that point that the focus shifts to the aftermath of this death. Turns out that every house on Lowland Way contains secrets. Candlish has a gift for creating realistic and complex characters. It is doubtful that anyone would side with Darren and Jodie, but readers are likely going to have issues with each of the other characters here as well. No one is blameless. As tensions on Lowland Way escalate in the wake of the tragedy, plots and plans are made. Readers will find themselves stressed about the risks each character chooses to take and will likely contemplate what they would do in a similar situation.
Louise Candlish has craved out a unique niche in the domestic suspense sub-genre. By focusing on property ownership and the human desire to create a loving and safe home life for one’s family, she is able to craft novels that everyone can relate to. While the issues in her novels often go to extremes for entertainment purposes, the central problems at their core are common enough. It is this realism that helps to elevate the scary nature of Those People and keeps readers returning for another dose of that Louise Candlish danger.