The Family Across the Street – Nicole Trope

30 November 2021
The Family Across the Street Book Cover The Family Across the Street
Nicole Trope
6 August 2021

Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…? Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new family, The Wests, are a perfect fit. Katherine and John seem so in love and their gorgeous five-year-old twins race screeching around their beautiful emerald-green lawn. But soon people start to notice: why don’t they join backyard barbecues? Why do they brush away offers to babysit? Why, when you knock at the door, do they shut you out, rather than inviting you in?

Every family has secrets, and on the hottest day of the year, the truth is about to come out. As a tragedy unfolds behind closed doors, the dawn chorus is split by the wail of sirens. And one by one the families who tried so hard to welcome the Wests begin to realise: Hogarth Street will never be the same again.

A completely gripping, twist-packed psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Sally Hepworth and Lisa Jewell.



In this tense, gripping novel, Nicole Trope has written a domestic psychological thriller that feels alarmingly authentic and keeps a compelling momentum from the opening scene to the deadly conclusion. Could what happened The Family Across the Street happen to any family across the street?

On Hogarth Street, an affluent area in Sydney, Australia, a few concerned neighbours and a delivery driver are horrified when shots ring out behind the closed doors and blinds of number 24. John and Katherine West and their 5-year-old twins, George and Sophie, have endured a terrifying day, and it’s all about to end shortly.

The story then takes a step back in time to earlier that day when a delivery man, Logan, attempts to deliver a package to number 24, but Katherine refuses to open the door and accept the parcel. Unable to deliver the item, Logan returns to his van but is concerned by Katherine’s visible distress and the refusal to accept her package. Logan is a fascinating character dealing with several family issues and being an ex-convict trying to hold down a job from his condescending brother-in-law. Mack is the delivery business owner and takes regular pleasure in denigrating Logan for his criminal appearance with tattoos covering his arms. Logan is also deeply concerned about his sister, Maddy, who is in hospital in Melbourne, having been savagely beaten by her boyfriend.

Gladys is an elderly next-door neighbour and somewhat of a neighbourhood watch. She hasn’t seen the children go to school today, nor John go to work, and the blinds are still drawn. Unfortunately, she has a history of exaggerating neighbourhood issues to the police, so she is hesitant to report more concerns without being completely sure. Nevertheless, Gladys instinctively knows something is wrong with the West family. Dealing with her anxiety and compulsion to investigate, Gladys will explore every possibility to find out more.

The story also covers the POVs of Katherine and one other to create a brilliantly observed plot, with a tense atmosphere and drama. Nicole Trope does a fantastic job of developing the anxiety and the mental turmoil from each of the four main characters. Torn between respecting someone’s privacy and meddling because something doesn’t seem right, challenges Logan’s and Gladys’ conscience, and they return to number 24 several times until we are once again outside the house when the shots ring out.

I felt the authentic and gripping mood of the story the whole way through, until the ending introduced a coincidence that shifted my believability. The Family Across the Street is a great psychological thriller that I would recommend, and thanks to many of my Goodreads friends for putting it on my radar. I want to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for providing a free ARC in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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