Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding

Joy Fielding is a new author to me – I have never read anything written by her before, but she is fairly popular with patrons at the library. Her latest title Cul-de-sac is a twisty psychological suspense thriller that focuses on secrets hidden within one community.

At the end of a quiet suburban cul-de-sac live five families. Someone in this cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a hot July night. Who is responsible? What drove them to murder? What secrets live in each of the five houses?

Maggie and Craig are recent arrivals to Florida. Maggie is a jumpy perfectionist, while her husband Craig could never quite be what she needed. They packed up their two kids and moved from California to Florida hoping for a new start. Maggie wants to leave behind the bad memories that destroyed their perfect California lives, but she finds that even sunny Florida can’t fully dispel the shadows she sees lurking everywhere.

Nick is a respected oncologist. His wife, Dani, is a successful dentist. Even though she is a doctor in her own right, others look down at her and treat her as just Nick’s wife. Dani and Nick have their own deep secrets that they have even managed to hide from their two children for years.

Julia is an elderly widow. Her son and his fourth wife want her to sell her house and move into an assisted care facility. To combat this, Julia’s troubled grandson has recently moved in to help her, much to her son’s chagrin. Her grandson’s bad habits have followed him to Julia’s house though.

Olivia and her husband Sean are going through a rough patch. Sean recently lost his job at a prestigious advertising agency, meaning that Olivia has had to find a job to support the family. Sean resents his wife, has started drinking heavily, and his depression is getting worse. Despite searching for a job, he is unable to find one. He spirals out of control, leading to increasingly violent fantasies.

Aiden and Heidi are newlyweds. They recently moved into their house, which Aiden’s mother purchased for the two. Their marriage is already floundering and is made even worse by Aiden’s mother’s constant intruding. Heidi has repeatedly expressed her displeasure to Aiden, but he is reluctant to stop her since his mother controls all of the money.

Each house has their own secrets, while each also has access to guns. This makes for a deadly combination. Someone will not survive the night.

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