Book Review

Book Review: Such a Quiet Place

Synopsis:

Welcome to Hollow’s Edge, where you can find secrets, scandal, and a suspected killer—all on one street.

Hollow’s Edge use to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truetts’ murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Review:

Always a fan of good mystery, I was drawn to the premise of this book—the murder of a successful married couple, the young woman who may or may not have murdered them by carbon monoxide, and a closed-off group of inquisitive neighbors who are all hoping their secrets stay safely tucked away. In Liane Moriarty fashion, the book contains a plethora of mysterious characters, but there were so many of them, I sometimes I had difficulty keeping track of who was who, especially in the beginning of the story. I liked the use of the device of the “Hollow’s Edge Community Page,” as I’ve seen more than my fair share of “community drama” on my own neighborhood social media page and the NextDoor app.

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The author does a good job setting up the story and almost making you hold your breath as Ruby walks back into Harper’s house as if she hasn’t just been released from prison on a murder conviction. The story unfolds slowly, and there were times I felt there was a little too much emphasis on descriptions of how the characters looked, their body language, and conversations that could have been cut shorter. Miranda deserves accolades for the setting in this novel—it really took center stage here. From the description of the neighborhood, the pool, the woods, the lake, the use of the community page, Hollow’s Edge becomes the most efficient way to evoke a sense of distrust and unease in the reader.

At the end of the book, I had some questions. I still felt like I didn’t really know Brandon and Fiona Truett, the two characters whose deaths the book centered around. Maybe more character development around them wasn’t necessary, but there was definitely room for it, in my opinion. Ruby never really explains what she went through while incarcerated. It’s frustrating that a lot of the confusion and finger pointing over the murder could be solved if people had flat out talked to one another and not skulked around like they were guilty. And yes, the neighbors all have secrets, but most of them are pretty tame once finally revealed. While still reading the book I came across a review that said something pretty shocking happened around the midpoint of the book, but I honestly didn’t think it was that shocking. It did intrigue me enough to stay hooked on the story.

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I think readers will find the book an interesting read and the ending makes for a good book club discussion.

Fun fact—I live in the area near author Megan Miranda, which includes a prestigious private university, so I could easily envision two or three local neighborhoods that could have been the inspiration for Hollow’s Edge, the fictional town set in Virginia, where almost all of the residents of the neighborhood worked. This made the setting for the book easier to visualize in my mind, especially since I was listening to the story via an audiobook.

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