Book Review: The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland

Book Review: The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland

Hey, I know some of you don't like strong language, violence, or sexually explicit content. With that in mind, I've added a helpful table up top detailing whether this book has those things.

As Not to Waste Anyone's Time

Strong Language?

Yes | Infrequent


Yes | Mild

Sexually Explicit?


The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland

My Short Synopsis

There are kidnappers on the prowl in the normally quiet suburbs of England, and they're looking to snatch up babies. Or, are they? A new mum and her long-time husband are about to find out. Of course, their eclectic neighbors will get involved as the conspiracy spirals out of control.

Who knows if anyone's safe anymore?

My Review

I've always enjoyed a good psychological thriller, especially one that takes place in the suburbs, and The Child Next Door doesn't disappoint. From the beginning, conflict and tension abound, leading to solid pacing throughout. The premise is simple: "I'll have no kidnappers taking my baby today or ever, thank you," but there are plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting.

All of the characters are enjoyable to read about even if they can be maddening at times. I never felt like their actions were at odds with the story, even if I hated some of the choices they made. Of course, if they always made the choice I thought they should, it would be a pretty dull thriller.

The story is set in the summer suburbs of Dorset in what seems to be the middle of an unusual heatwave. I feel like the setting really added to what was going on in the characters' lives and was in harmony with the genre. Suburban living can be quite boring by design, but that didn't stop me from staying up late to see what was happening in this little cul-de-sac of thrills.

My Recommendation

I'd recommend The Child Next Door to psychological thriller fans who want to be entertained above all else. The story is well-told in a fairly linear fashion without much pause for reflection or exploration, which helps keep the quick pace at the forefront. If that sounds like a blast, then I think you should pick up a copy and enjoy your reading time. No doubt, it will fly by.