Perfectly Nice Neighbors is an A++ Legal Thriller featuring major Neighborhood Drama from Kia Abdullah.
This is my second novel from Abdullah and I have given both 5-stars. I think it’s fair to say, I’m a huge fan!
As far as Thrillers with a Legal bent go, I don’t read a lot of them, only a few a year, but the ones I read, I do tend to enjoy. I feel like Abdullah brings such substance to her stories though, they almost go above and beyond.
In this story we follow two families. Salma, Bil and their son Zain, who are the new family on the street, and Tom, Willa and their son Jamie, long-time neighborhood residents.
It is important to note, Salma’s family is Bangladeshi, while Tom’s family is white. Also, please note, each family has a dog and the dogs are also involved in the drama.
You have been warned now about these two aspects. In other words, you may read things in this book that will make you uncomfortable. You may read things in this book that will make you angry, or emotional, but I promise, you’ll walk away with a lot of thoughts and it will be memorable.
Basically, Salma and Tom get into it. They get into it deep. This is a neighbor feud for the freaking record books. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.
As events escalate, the tension really amps up. I was squirming in my seat. It feels very unsafe, like a ticking time bomb, but how far will the battle be taken?
Y’all, I am always down for the drama. But this is a different sort of neighborhood drama than I’m used to. This was on a different level than most.
I appreciated how quickly Abdullah got to the action. She didn’t waste a lot of time on build-up. We meet Salma and her family, basically as they’ve just moved into their new home. It seriously takes no time at all for the event that leads to the initial confrontation to take place.
After that, each subsequent run-in just digs both families into their position deeper and deeper.
The snowball keeps rolling until the point where I was feeling emotionally drained. I don’t mean this as a bad thing, because hey, at least I was feeling something.
In fact, one of the things I love most about Abdullah’s stories is that she sets her Readers up with space to do some critical thinking. The way she frames her stories, it explores both sides, instead of hammering home with one character’s perspective. It’s so engrossing.
I feel like her style is a great platform for Readers to have some real self-reflective, as well as shoe-on-the-other-foot, moments. It feels written with such intention and what’s not to appreciate, and respect, about that.
I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy tense neighborhood dramas that explore current societal issues. I know this won’t work for everyone, but for the Readers who do end up enjoying it, I think they’ll walk away feeling like they’ve had a memorable reading experience.
Thank you so much to the publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to see what Abdullah comes up with next!