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Cul-de-sac

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A shooting lays bare the secrets harbored by five families in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Wrong Places. Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night. Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t qu A shooting lays bare the secrets harbored by five families in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Wrong Places. Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night. Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t quite live up to her expectations? They’ve packed up their two children and fled their life in California, hoping for a fresh start in Florida, only to find the demons of the past hovering on their doorstep. Maybe it will be Nick, a highly respected oncologist, or his wife, Dani, a successful dentist, both with well-kept secrets of their own. Or Julia, an elderly widow, whose troubled grandson has recently moved in with her, introducing unsavory habits and even more unsavory acquaintances into her formerly quiet existence. Then there’s Olivia and her husband, Sean. Having lost his job at a prestigious advertising agency, Sean is depressed, resentful of his working wife, and drinking heavily. He is also prone to increasingly violent fantasies. And what of the newlyweds, Aiden and Heidi, whose marriage is already on the rocks, due to Aiden’s reluctance to stand up to his intrusive mother? Matters aren’t helped when Heidi befriends Julia’s grandson, setting the stage for a major blowup. A diverse group of neighbors, to be sure. Yet all harbor secrets. All bear scars. And all have access to guns. Not all will survive the night.


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A shooting lays bare the secrets harbored by five families in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Wrong Places. Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night. Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t qu A shooting lays bare the secrets harbored by five families in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Wrong Places. Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night. Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t quite live up to her expectations? They’ve packed up their two children and fled their life in California, hoping for a fresh start in Florida, only to find the demons of the past hovering on their doorstep. Maybe it will be Nick, a highly respected oncologist, or his wife, Dani, a successful dentist, both with well-kept secrets of their own. Or Julia, an elderly widow, whose troubled grandson has recently moved in with her, introducing unsavory habits and even more unsavory acquaintances into her formerly quiet existence. Then there’s Olivia and her husband, Sean. Having lost his job at a prestigious advertising agency, Sean is depressed, resentful of his working wife, and drinking heavily. He is also prone to increasingly violent fantasies. And what of the newlyweds, Aiden and Heidi, whose marriage is already on the rocks, due to Aiden’s reluctance to stand up to his intrusive mother? Matters aren’t helped when Heidi befriends Julia’s grandson, setting the stage for a major blowup. A diverse group of neighbors, to be sure. Yet all harbor secrets. All bear scars. And all have access to guns. Not all will survive the night.

30 review for Cul-de-sac

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! Do you think you know your neighbors? Everyone who lives on this cul-de-sac has a secret. Which one of them is deadly? Carlyle Terrace is a small cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood in Florida. With only 5 houses, there aren’t too many people. Maggie, along with her husband and two children, have recently moved onto Carlyle Terrace after leaving a traumatic experience in California. Nick and Dani, doctor and dentist respectively, live with their two younger children and appea HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! Do you think you know your neighbors? Everyone who lives on this cul-de-sac has a secret. Which one of them is deadly? Carlyle Terrace is a small cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood in Florida. With only 5 houses, there aren’t too many people. Maggie, along with her husband and two children, have recently moved onto Carlyle Terrace after leaving a traumatic experience in California. Nick and Dani, doctor and dentist respectively, live with their two younger children and appear standoffish to the rest of the neighbors. Olivia and Sean are married, and struggling after Sean loses his job. Maybe he has a solution. Julia is an elderly woman whose grandson, Mark, moves in with her. Mark is troubled, maybe even more than Julia realizes. Then, there’s Aiden and Heidi, newlyweds who are already having problems in their marriage due to his controlling mother. On a quiet night in July, one of these people will be shot dead. I wouldn’t classify this as a mystery/thriller. It’s more along the lines of domestic/neighborhood drama/suspense. Did that bother me? NOT ONE BIT. I devoured the secrets these characters were keeping, and couldn’t get enough. The use of multiple POVs is handled expertly, with each neighbor’s story leaving me wanting more until their respective chapters came around again. The characters are fully-fleshed out and multi-dimensional...very human. Some I really cared for, others not so much. There’s definitely someone for all readers to love or hate in this gem. I’ve been reading Joy Fielding’s books for years and have rarely been let down. This is no exception. I absolutely loved it. Scandal, devious behavior, moving/touching moments, a hugely satisfying ending...What more could I ask for? Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This will be available: 8/10/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    What is this the year of the neighborhoods gone naughty? So many books with this theme lately. Asshole men, weak and passive women, and a neighborhood where everyone's locked and loaded does not make for a good book for me. Here's the thing: I am anti-gun. I don't like them one bit. I have no desire to own one and no desire to ever shoot one. When I hear people start spouting about their 2nd amendment rights I head in the other direction. Simply put, guns aren't my thing. However, I do realize g What is this the year of the neighborhoods gone naughty? So many books with this theme lately. Asshole men, weak and passive women, and a neighborhood where everyone's locked and loaded does not make for a good book for me. Here's the thing: I am anti-gun. I don't like them one bit. I have no desire to own one and no desire to ever shoot one. When I hear people start spouting about their 2nd amendment rights I head in the other direction. Simply put, guns aren't my thing. However, I do realize guns are other peoples things and I'm okay with that assuming they are RESPONSIBLE gun owners. This book right here based in a neighborhood in Florida is a place where everyone has guns so my first reaction is just....blech! Yet this book is also very anti-gun or I assume anyways because every character in this book is unstable. Not sure if her point was that all gun owners are belligerent assholes or panic stricken weaklings but that's how it came across to me. So as an anti-gun girl this didn't sit right with me but for a pro-gun person I don't think this would sit right with them either. It all got a little too heavy handed. I will say that the last 25% did have me flipping the pages. I did guess who the victim / perpetrator was early on in the book and was proven right. This one particular storyline just made it very obvious to me. Most everyone in this neighborhood is unlikable except for Julia the 80-something year old resident. She was one cool lady and definitely a bright spot in this book for me. It was well written as Fielding has been at this writing gig for many years and I think so many people are going to love this. My issues are from a completely personal standpoint and will likely not bother other readers. My verdict: Take a spin around the cul-de-sac and watch the fireworks fly! 3 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 STARS A domestic drama set on a street full of mostly unlikeable characters, wack-a-doos with secrets to hide and guns in their closets. My first by the author and definitely won't be my last, although I had some issues with this one. Many cliched characters and some tropes that I'm completely over (PTSD, hateful MIL, spousal abuse) just to name a few. Maybe if she hadn't piled sooo many on! I enjoy some sarcasm, but it was too excessive and harsh after awhile. She did a good job of developing 3.5 STARS A domestic drama set on a street full of mostly unlikeable characters, wack-a-doos with secrets to hide and guns in their closets. My first by the author and definitely won't be my last, although I had some issues with this one. Many cliched characters and some tropes that I'm completely over (PTSD, hateful MIL, spousal abuse) just to name a few. Maybe if she hadn't piled sooo many on! I enjoy some sarcasm, but it was too excessive and harsh after awhile. She did a good job of developing the characters even with so many to keep up with. I absolutely despised one of them and I'm sure that was the point. I guessed part of the ending (double cringe). Even though this one fell short for me, I want to read more from the author. She did keep me invested and reading until the end. Library loan August 2021

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man?” Is the old motto from the Shadow. Well, it applies here. What a wild story! Everyone in this story has secrets and everyone is pretending to be something they’re not. The cul de sac only has five houses, but, oh, what a wild assortment of folks live there. The chapters alternate between the various neighbors, which helped to keep moving the story along at a brisk pace. We know from the very first chapter that someone dies but we aren’t told who d “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man?” Is the old motto from the Shadow. Well, it applies here. What a wild story! Everyone in this story has secrets and everyone is pretending to be something they’re not. The cul de sac only has five houses, but, oh, what a wild assortment of folks live there. The chapters alternate between the various neighbors, which helped to keep moving the story along at a brisk pace. We know from the very first chapter that someone dies but we aren’t told who dies or who kills them. As we get to know them, it would appear that anyone could have been the victim (hell, there were a few I would have gladly shot) and anyone could have committed the crime. This is just pure entertainment. It’s the kind of story that should be opted as a mini-series for Amazon or Netflix. I heartily recommend this for when you need something really fun. This is Joy Fielding’s 29th book but the first of hers I’ve read. It won’t be the last! My thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    If you could flip the lid on some of these upscale homes in Cul De Sac, you'd view some mighty strange goings on. People behaving badly. Every day of the week non-stop. Joy Fielding has taken a slice of Florida life in the heat of July. Fielding has added a lotta lotta characters to keep track of including their various children. Each household has a kettle of questionable behavior brewing on the back stove burner. And while that is circulating hot steam into the air, a gun shot rings loudly thro If you could flip the lid on some of these upscale homes in Cul De Sac, you'd view some mighty strange goings on. People behaving badly. Every day of the week non-stop. Joy Fielding has taken a slice of Florida life in the heat of July. Fielding has added a lotta lotta characters to keep track of including their various children. Each household has a kettle of questionable behavior brewing on the back stove burner. And while that is circulating hot steam into the air, a gun shot rings loudly through the neighborhood. Which address can it be traced to? Palm Beach Gardens seems to be the ideal community especially in regard to a semi-circle of houses situated in proximity to one another. Oddly, the neighbors hardly ever greet one another or raise a hand in recognition. But that's all about to change now. Certain events will cause these individuals to realize that they do need one another. Some more than others. And some will still guard their privacy at all costs. Fielding has created characters as varied as the flowers in a field. Neighbors range from an elderly widow whose grandson now lives with her to another couple who have just recently separated. There are two married doctors, a former soldier and his wife, and a couple in which the husband lies about the loss of his job. Fielding has packed this one with PTSD, marital trauma, violence, dishonesty, theft, in-law woes, and mega secrets galore. Like Cinderella, you've got to see which fits which household. Oh, and there's got to be fingerprints on that gun. Care to take a guess? I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Random House (Ballantine Books) and to Joy Fielding for the opportunity.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Light ‘Em Up. If you want to see fireworks, come to this neighborhood where fuses are posed to ignite. With a cast of fifteen prime time players ranging from sympathetic to despicable, there’s ample room for developing frictions and setting off tempers. Facades are about to fall by the wayside. The book introduces each resident in the five houses by alternating their stories and slowly weaving them together. With so many characters, I outlined the occupants and their relationships which prevented m Light ‘Em Up. If you want to see fireworks, come to this neighborhood where fuses are posed to ignite. With a cast of fifteen prime time players ranging from sympathetic to despicable, there’s ample room for developing frictions and setting off tempers. Facades are about to fall by the wayside. The book introduces each resident in the five houses by alternating their stories and slowly weaving them together. With so many characters, I outlined the occupants and their relationships which prevented me from having to play catch up with each new chapter starting with a different person. I was intrigued with all and because of my investment, I enjoyed the tidy ending. Each individual and their lives going forward had loose ends fastened and although slightly predictable, anything different would have left me disappointed. This was my kind of book. I love colorful characters - whether likable or not, and dysfunction as a side dish. However, I wouldn’t describe it as a thriller but more of a domestic drama with a mystery. A buddy read with Mary Beth, she wasn’t quite as thrilled as me, so be sure to look for her wonderful review for an alternate opinion. Heads up for domestic abuse, rape, and firearms discussion. Hardback purchased at Barnes and Noble.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    4.5* Oh what scandalous, delectable fun! I just adore neighborhood books and this was among the best of them! A shot rings out in the night. One neighbor is dead. Of course, everyone wants answers. Although there’s a considerable list of characters in this book, Ms. Fielding did an amazing job of bringing vivid depth and life to all of them. At no time did I have any difficulties keeping them apart. The storyline unfolds from multiple POV. and I enjoyed them all. Once again, I think we can all ag 4.5* Oh what scandalous, delectable fun! I just adore neighborhood books and this was among the best of them! A shot rings out in the night. One neighbor is dead. Of course, everyone wants answers. Although there’s a considerable list of characters in this book, Ms. Fielding did an amazing job of bringing vivid depth and life to all of them. At no time did I have any difficulties keeping them apart. The storyline unfolds from multiple POV. and I enjoyed them all. Once again, I think we can all agree, no one ever really knows what goes on behind closed doors. My third read from this author and my favorite to date and can’t wait to see what she conjures up next. Meanwhile, I have an enormous backlog of her books to keep me busy!🤓🍿 Enjoy domestic drama? Make sure this book is on your list! Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend... Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group Ballantine for granting my wish.

  8. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    Joy Fielding gives a potpourri of lifestyles in this little cul-de-sac of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Some are abusive, cheaters, liars, thieves, lonesome and some have just giving up on life. There was a constant blend of emotions that left me bitter and unresolved on what to think. You know someone is going to die by a gun in the beginning. It became a board game of Clue deciding which room it would take place in and which character would die or kill someone. With 5 houses, only one without ma Joy Fielding gives a potpourri of lifestyles in this little cul-de-sac of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Some are abusive, cheaters, liars, thieves, lonesome and some have just giving up on life. There was a constant blend of emotions that left me bitter and unresolved on what to think. You know someone is going to die by a gun in the beginning. It became a board game of Clue deciding which room it would take place in and which character would die or kill someone. With 5 houses, only one without marital issues and that was due to her being a widow. Maggie & Craig have split up. Their daughter says because she is crazy, which you realize quickly and humorously she talks to herself ....sometimes not realizing aloud in public. Dr. Mick and Dr. Dani have control issues counteracting with abusive behaviors. Olivia and Sean, probably the saddest of the couples because of her denial that anything is wrong...a constant slew of lies brew from his mouth and some weird notions of killing people or himself. Aiden & Heidi have understandable problems because his mother Lisa is the evil puppet master in his marriage and has decided to move in with them. A quick and fun psychological domestic mystery/thriller which ramps up at the annual neighborhood BBQ, so accept my invitation to join in on this celebration and you decide which one deserves to die... Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group & Ballantine for inviting me to review this book and this is my honest opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    I love reading neighborhood dramas as much as family dramas. This book is basically a combination of the two. You just never know what is going on behind closed doors, right? This story had the added bonus of throwing in some thriller and suspense elements into the mix. I hesitate to call it an entertaining read because there are some dark storylines, but I certainly felt invested in the story. There are five families living in a suburban cul-de-sac. From the get go you find out an important piec I love reading neighborhood dramas as much as family dramas. This book is basically a combination of the two. You just never know what is going on behind closed doors, right? This story had the added bonus of throwing in some thriller and suspense elements into the mix. I hesitate to call it an entertaining read because there are some dark storylines, but I certainly felt invested in the story. There are five families living in a suburban cul-de-sac. From the get go you find out an important piece of information, someone in the neighborhood was shot in the middle of the night. The story alternates between the different characters and shows what led up to the gunshot as well as the aftermath. The reason this book was a page turner for me is because it has an intriguing setup in that everyone is a suspect as well as a potential victim. I think the author did a good job at building a case for each character being somehow involved that night. However, at some point I think it does become obvious the direction the story is headed even if I couldn't come up with the details. For that reason, I wouldn't say this book is necessarily a strong thriller/mystery/suspense read, but as a fiction read it held my interest for sure. I think it is important to note this story has some heavy subjects, abuse and suicidal ideation, which might be triggering for some readers. While I don't normally give trigger warnings in my reviews, I want to mention it in this case because I did find myself feeling uneasy with certain parts of the story. Each person can decide for themselves if it's something they feel comfortable reading about or not. Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for providing me with an advance digital copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Actual footage of me every single time I see a house on a book cover . . . I requested this one from NetGalley quicker than a jackrabbit on a date. The story here is about a cul-de-sac (duh) and a shooting that occurs there one July night after a neighborhood block party. You’ll meet all of the players who live at the end of the street and get to snoop around in all of their closets for random skeletons while trying to figure out the whodunit. Per my comment with my pal debra below, I’d call Actual footage of me every single time I see a house on a book cover . . . I requested this one from NetGalley quicker than a jackrabbit on a date. The story here is about a cul-de-sac (duh) and a shooting that occurs there one July night after a neighborhood block party. You’ll meet all of the players who live at the end of the street and get to snoop around in all of their closets for random skeletons while trying to figure out the whodunit. Per my comment with my pal debra below, I’d call this a poor man’s Liane Moriarty. It contains the mystery and the neighbors behaving badly aspect of Big Little Lies, but it wasn’t quite as polished. It turns out Joy Fielding has written a poopton of books . . . but I had only read one of them prior to this. I’ll definitely be picking up more of her stuff in the future – especially if it has a house on it *wink wink* ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Just about in every town in America you will find cul-de-sacs but in this story there will be a deadly shooting in one of the five almost identical homes and someone won't live to tell their version of what happened on that fateful day. Who might the shooter and the victim be? Maggie and Craig have only lived in the area for two years and have recently separated leaving Maggie in the home with her two children while dealing with severe PTSD. Dani and Nick a middle aged couple and their two sons. Just about in every town in America you will find cul-de-sacs but in this story there will be a deadly shooting in one of the five almost identical homes and someone won't live to tell their version of what happened on that fateful day. Who might the shooter and the victim be? Maggie and Craig have only lived in the area for two years and have recently separated leaving Maggie in the home with her two children while dealing with severe PTSD. Dani and Nick a middle aged couple and their two sons. Dani is a dentist and hansome Nick is an Oncologist and they also have plenty of problems in their marriage as well. Heidi and Aiden, a lovely young married couple although Aiden also suffers from traumatic episodes of PTSD from serving time in Iraq but another problem is his mother who wants to control every aspect of their lives. Olivia and Craig, another middle-aged couple with their three children who have always been happy until Craig lost his prestigious job and cannot catch a break at getting hired anywhere and their savings have finally dried up. Craig now suffers from depression and a wounded ego while Olivia stays strong and supportive. Last but not least, there is Julia who is an elderly widow living alone until her twenty year old grandson moves in with her while carrying a lot of baggage with him including drugs and no job. One of these homes will suffer and unspeakable tragedy which will leave a devastating effect on all the other people who lived in their very lovely and special CUL-DE-SAC. This was another terrific novel from Joy Fielding to add to her credits. I am a big fan and started reading her books many years ago and will always continue to seek out any new book that she writes. This book was current and stylish and possibly represent many homes or families and their problems. What fun and drama along the way trying to figure out who will be the shooter and the victim while all their stories unfold. The story was entertaining and so enjoyable that I didn't want to put the book down. The characters were relatable and for the most part likeable while all dealing with different weighty problems. I loved the book and I absolutely recommend it to any domestic mystery/thriller reader. I want to thank the publisher "Random House Publishing - Ballantine" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone! I have given this book 4 1/2 MARVELOUS 🌟🌟🌟🌟Stars!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Wife beater. Rape. Surly teen. Cowering victim. Powerless women. Is there anything more despicable? Sure. All Scum and this is right there with em. 0 of 10 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    While this is not the first book to plumb the depths of the dark secrets your neighbors may be keeping, it is definitely a standout. Expertly written, nuanced characters and a carefully interwoven plot about several families in a well-to-do cul-de-sac come together beautifully with a suspenseful tone to make this book a great read. Joy Fielding does a fantastic job of demonstrating the tension bubbling and brewing under the surface of numerous happy-looking families, making it possible that any o While this is not the first book to plumb the depths of the dark secrets your neighbors may be keeping, it is definitely a standout. Expertly written, nuanced characters and a carefully interwoven plot about several families in a well-to-do cul-de-sac come together beautifully with a suspenseful tone to make this book a great read. Joy Fielding does a fantastic job of demonstrating the tension bubbling and brewing under the surface of numerous happy-looking families, making it possible that any of these houses might be the one on the cul-de-sac that has a murder. She builds suspense expertly in each family’s story. There’s the well-respected doctor who may be horrible to his wife behind closed doors….the grandma who’s being robbed by her grandson and urged into assisted living by her selfish kids…the recently laid-off VP who can’t stand his wife being the breadwinner….the recently separated wife on the run from a motorcycle gang (yes, really!) and more! I was really impressed by the way Fielding drew all the characters. She made me care about all of them, and made me switch my opinion of which family would end up resorting to violence several times throughout. She also did a great job of joining some of the characters’ stories together. Though the real “action” does not take place until the end of the novel, the suspense and thrills throughout are very satisfying. I am always pleased to find a thriller author with writing chops like these, and I will definitely be jumping on Joy Fielding’s next read! Page-turning, suspenseful and thought-provoking. Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the ARC! 4+ shiny stars!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    In Cul-de-sac, Fielding has brought us a psychological drama giving us an in-depth look into the lives of five families living in a residential area of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. At first glance it seems these people are living a perfect life in their quiet cul-de-sac. But in the sultry summer heat of July, something bad is about to happen to someone living here. The reader learns quickly that there are problems lurking inside these homes. Single mother Maggie suffers from PTSD from a previous In Cul-de-sac, Fielding has brought us a psychological drama giving us an in-depth look into the lives of five families living in a residential area of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. At first glance it seems these people are living a perfect life in their quiet cul-de-sac. But in the sultry summer heat of July, something bad is about to happen to someone living here. The reader learns quickly that there are problems lurking inside these homes. Single mother Maggie suffers from PTSD from a previous trauma in her life which has chased husband Craig away from his family. Neighbors Nick and Nora are well-off with careers as an oncologist and a dentist. However, behind the façade of their seemingly perfect life lurks something ugly. Then there is the elderly widow Julia whose grandson is living with her. Julia is my favorite character whose wit and sense of humor continually infuriate her only child. He wants to move her to retirement home where she has no intention of going. Olivia and Sean have recently switched roles when Sean lost his prominent position and Olivia went back to work. Sean is now playing househusband and quickly spirally downward into drinking and lies. Newlyweds Alden and Heidi are not living the newlywed dream with Alden’s evil mother running their lives. Alden loves his wife, but Heidi is at her wit’s end and has had enough. The recurring theme in this book is that everyone has a gun, so someone is going to die. Although this story is told in multiple POVs, I had no trouble following along, and in fact, devoured it, wanting to know what was going to happen. What a great, fun read for me living in south Florida to read in July! Many thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I gave it four stars!

  15. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    There are five identical two-story homes on Carlyle Terrace, a small tree-lined cul-de-sac in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Nothing too noteworthy about the street. It isn’t part of one of the many luxurious gated communities located throughout the area. But on a July evening in this quiet place, someone is going to be shot and killed. The specter of death looms throughout Joy Fielding’s latest domestic thriller, Cul-de-sac. No one would ever suspect that this small street is brimming with family There are five identical two-story homes on Carlyle Terrace, a small tree-lined cul-de-sac in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Nothing too noteworthy about the street. It isn’t part of one of the many luxurious gated communities located throughout the area. But on a July evening in this quiet place, someone is going to be shot and killed. The specter of death looms throughout Joy Fielding’s latest domestic thriller, Cul-de-sac. No one would ever suspect that this small street is brimming with family problems. Maggie, with husband Craig and their children, moved to the area to escape a threatening situation in LA. She now carries a gun everywhere she goes. Her husband can no longer handle her paranoia and has left the house. Sean has lost his job while wife Olivia’s career is thriving. He turns to alcohol to drown his frustrations. Nick is a highly respected doctor married to Dani, a successful dentist. The seemingly perfect couple has their own secrets. Eighty-four year old Julia’s son wants to put her in assisted living. When her troubled grandson comes to live with her, he is more interested in stealing from her than anything else. And Heidi is unable to enjoy married life with Aiden as she tries to deal with his meddlesome mother and his PTSD. Each household is troubled. Each household has a gun inside it. Fielding does a fine job telling the stories behind each locked door keeping you guessing as to who will be the one carried off in a stretcher in the end. This is Joy Fielding’s 29th book. She may be one of those author’s you recall your mother reading. (My mother introduced me to her books quite a while ago.) But Fielding has kept current and has written what might just be her best book in years. Many thanks to Ballantine Books / Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this enjoyably suspenseful book in advance of its August 10, 2021 publication. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    This book is about 5 families all living on a middle class cul-de-sac. Someone is shot, and all the neighbors have access to guns. It goes through each neighbor's circumstances as secrets and lies are revealed. As you read along, you get to know all these characters. There's definitely alot of them, but the author handled it so well. Such a juicy, thrilling, and dramatic read. I enjoyed this book so much. There are some triggers in this book such as sexual assault, and domestic violence! Thank you This book is about 5 families all living on a middle class cul-de-sac. Someone is shot, and all the neighbors have access to guns. It goes through each neighbor's circumstances as secrets and lies are revealed. As you read along, you get to know all these characters. There's definitely alot of them, but the author handled it so well. Such a juicy, thrilling, and dramatic read. I enjoyed this book so much. There are some triggers in this book such as sexual assault, and domestic violence! Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the gifted egalley for an honest review, all opinions are my own!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    Hooked from the first page, this incredibly intense story begins with a description of a group of families who all live in houses on a cul-de-sac discussing the shots fired and the death which occurred the night before. The story then moves backwards and explains the varied lives and relationships of the families living on the street and their interactions and secrets with each other up until the sudden gunshot from the early morning hours before. First we have Nick, a highly respected doctor and Hooked from the first page, this incredibly intense story begins with a description of a group of families who all live in houses on a cul-de-sac discussing the shots fired and the death which occurred the night before. The story then moves backwards and explains the varied lives and relationships of the families living on the street and their interactions and secrets with each other up until the sudden gunshot from the early morning hours before. First we have Nick, a highly respected doctor and his wife Dani, a southern belle who is a dentist. Nick has a tendency to pick at his wife’s pronunciation feeling her southern slang is tacky. They have two young children, both boys. From the outside looking in they seem to be the all-American family, but when the doors close, they are anything but. Nick, by the way has a gun collection. Sean and Olivia are next. Sean is a miserable stay at home dad. He was laid off from his executive position over a year ago and has been unable to find work. Olivia, his wife, was fortunately able to get her lucrative job back at the advertising firm she worked at prior to having their children. Sean has become extremely depressed and is secretly drinking and lying to Olivia about finding work. As his anger towards everything and everyone escalates, he considers buying a gun. Julia is an elderly widow whose husband died of cancer. Nick was his doctor. She is incredibly indebted to him. Her relationship with her only son is a bit strained, as is his son’s relationship with his own son, Mark, a man in his early twenties who would rather steal from wallets and pawn jewelry for drugs rather than get a job. Julia takes Mark in as he has nowhere to go. While rifling through old things, Mark finds his late grandfather’s gun. Craig and Maggie found themselves living on the cul-de-sac after an incident occurred with Maggie and the family was being harassed. They were so affected they moved to another state. But Maggie’s personality changed because of what happened. She has become fearful and paranoid of everything and everyone, to the point where Craig has moved out, unable to live with her anymore. They have two children, a rebellious teenager and a young boy. Maggie secretly carries a gun in her purse everywhere she goes and keeps it by her bedside at night. Finally, newlyweds Heidi and Aiden are happily in love, except for the fact that Aiden’s mother dislikes Heidi and is super rich and has basically bought them everything they own, even the house where they are living. This has put incredible pressure on the couple who both work at the mall and without her help could barely make ends meet. To add to their stress, Aiden sees a therapist for PSTD from what he saw during combat in the war. As his stress increases, it seems so do his flashbacks. So here are the cast of characters who live on this beautiful street, some of whom have unbearable deep rooted secrets. As they begin to interact and get to know each other, some of the secrets begin to fall out of the houses and into the streets where others can see. So which of these neighbors will finally snap? And who is the victim? Cul-De-Sac reads like an updated version of Peyton Place or Knot’s Landing, where the dark secrets run deep and the gossip flows like good wine! Quite the page turner! Thank you #NetGalley #BallentineBooks #Cul-De-Sac #JoyFielding for the advanced copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐+ Stars Awww the secrets on Carlyle Terrace a Middle class Florida neighborhood cul-de-sac! It was amazing to me that such unlikeable, nasty mouth people ended up all in the same cul-de-sac!!! (Wondered if the realtor sought them out and put them together.) We have a cul-de-sac at the end of our street and it is great ~ the place for our annual Block Party; typically there is a Halloween Party as well as New Year’s Eve party. No psychos living there ~ well not yet! There are five house and fiv ⭐⭐⭐⭐+ Stars Awww the secrets on Carlyle Terrace a Middle class Florida neighborhood cul-de-sac! It was amazing to me that such unlikeable, nasty mouth people ended up all in the same cul-de-sac!!! (Wondered if the realtor sought them out and put them together.) We have a cul-de-sac at the end of our street and it is great ~ the place for our annual Block Party; typically there is a Halloween Party as well as New Year’s Eve party. No psychos living there ~ well not yet! There are five house and five families in this cul-de-sac, Note: I was thankful for Kindle notes as at first it was a tad difficult keeping track of who is-who! There is ~ • Lisa Young who buys a home for her PTSD son Aiden & his wife Heidi; • Maggie & ex Craig McKay and their two children, Moved from LA as Maggie witnessed a murder and is fearful for her life. Maggie is described as a perfectionist ~ aww yes she is indeed perfect as ‘The Neighborhood Watcher”! • Olivia & Sean Grant, ~ Sean has been out of work and is a drug user. • Dani & Nick Wilson and their twin boys. Both the Wilsons are Doctors; Dani a Dentist and Nick-aka the louse- is an oncologist. It is a mystery to the neighbors why they live in this middle class neighborhood as surely they can afford a more upscale area. • Julie Fisher an 84 year Old Grandma who’s 20 year old grandson Mark comes to live with her to escape his father Norman and his fourth wife Poppy. We know someone gets shot; all have guns or access to fire arms. I was curious who and fearful that it would happen to one of the few nice, innocent people. Well! It wasn’t a shock to me who gets shot nor who did the shooting! What is the shock is that I ended up liking this story! This is the perfect case why one needs to finish a book! Another real shock to me about this story is this is my first Joy Fielding. I certainly will read another!! Want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for this early release granted to me for my honest professional opinion. Publishing Release Date scheduled for August 10, 2021.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    This book falls into my top 10 books I’ve read this year. Five families live on a quiet cul-de-sac and the reader becomes acquainted with each family. From the prologue you know someone will die at the end of the story. By the end of the story, you aren’t sure who will die, but there are several possibilities. Favorite characters were Maggie and the older woman, Julie.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review Of CUL-DE-SAC By Author, Joy Fielding Gifted & Published by {Partner} Ballantine Books/ @RandomHouse On Sale: 8/10/21 ***** The Author does an incredible job permeating into the 5 family home Cul-De-Sac and explores each family’s story. Whether it be positive, negative or somewhere in between, there are intense life moments that are lived by people in real life and these characters take on a persona as if they lived right next door to me. You feel joy, you feel pain, anger, hate, love and gr My Review Of CUL-DE-SAC By Author, Joy Fielding Gifted & Published by {Partner} Ballantine Books/ @RandomHouse On Sale: 8/10/21 ***** The Author does an incredible job permeating into the 5 family home Cul-De-Sac and explores each family’s story. Whether it be positive, negative or somewhere in between, there are intense life moments that are lived by people in real life and these characters take on a persona as if they lived right next door to me. You feel joy, you feel pain, anger, hate, love and gratification. The Author is so great at showing human strengths and weaknesses and how one can have a huge affect on the other. I wouldn’t call it a thriller, it’s in a league of its own and saying that I mean it with the highest compliments. There is so much more depth and heart; yet their is a chill you feel throughout the book. It’s full of intense drama and things I think most families don’t speak about and this draws you in and holds your attention for the long haul. This is one book you will definitely want to re-read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    3.5 stars. Five families live on a cul-de-sac in Florida. Guns are a dominant part of the story. I felt like the setting was in Texas where we all have guns. The author is up front with the story - - someone in this neighborhood will get shot. Each of the five families has drama and reasons to take rage out on someone. This is a good domestic drama. It's a solid 3.5 stars and because I was entertained, I'll round up to 4. I like Joy Fielding's writing. 3.5 stars. Five families live on a cul-de-sac in Florida. Guns are a dominant part of the story. I felt like the setting was in Texas where we all have guns. The author is up front with the story - - someone in this neighborhood will get shot. Each of the five families has drama and reasons to take rage out on someone. This is a good domestic drama. It's a solid 3.5 stars and because I was entertained, I'll round up to 4. I like Joy Fielding's writing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    This is my first Joy Fielding book! Can you believe it? I am from Toronto...same as the author...and it is no secret I love supporting Canadian writers. I really liked this book. I wouldn't call it a thriller...it is more of a neighbourhood domestic drama. Fielding provides a clear sense of place, I felt like I was in Florida with the heat and humidity. I also felt like a member of the cul-de-sac, or maybe more like a voyeur into the residents lives. Readers should know that there a This is my first Joy Fielding book! Can you believe it? I am from Toronto...same as the author...and it is no secret I love supporting Canadian writers. I really liked this book. I wouldn't call it a thriller...it is more of a neighbourhood domestic drama. Fielding provides a clear sense of place, I felt like I was in Florida with the heat and humidity. I also felt like a member of the cul-de-sac, or maybe more like a voyeur into the residents lives. Readers should know that there are many triggers here...they include but are not limited to...rape, domestic abuse, gun violence and PTSD. All of it was for plot reasons and felt very real while reading it. Along with the difficult subject matter, the characters are often infuriating. Secrecy is a main point, but WOW these characters are poor communicators, especially the adults. I found their lack of growth and their responses to each other confounding at times. I really hated Nick but LOVED Julia. All in all a great way to spend a rainy afternoon and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Fielding's work. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Joy Fielding and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #Culdesac #NetGalley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    There's something to be said about name recognition; when I was approved for a Joy Fielding book, I downloaded it right away, before the long list of others. Fielding has 25 or so books already published, many of which have made it to my to-read list, although this is the first to have made it onto my Kindle. Points for originality - normally in a whodunit, the dunit part - the action - comes first. Here, we know there will be a death by shooting - but when? As it turns out, it comes after we hav There's something to be said about name recognition; when I was approved for a Joy Fielding book, I downloaded it right away, before the long list of others. Fielding has 25 or so books already published, many of which have made it to my to-read list, although this is the first to have made it onto my Kindle. Points for originality - normally in a whodunit, the dunit part - the action - comes first. Here, we know there will be a death by shooting - but when? As it turns out, it comes after we have plenty of time to get to know the characters - and the suspects. First of all, everyone in this novel has a gun - because, Florida. But who in our sleepy cul-de-sac deserves to be shot the most? And is that the person that takes the bullet? I enjoyed getting to know and like or loathe some of the characters, rooting for some to make it - and hoping certain ones do not. Overall, I was happy with my first Fielding and can see why she has dozens published - while I may not race to read them all, I would definitely recommend adding a few to your to-read list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda McHugh

    I've read many of Fielding's books in the past, so I was really looking forward to Cul-de-sac, especially with that eerie cover and excellent summary. Told in multiple POVs, Cul-de-sac follows a group of neighbors as they navigate their personal hurdles before the upcoming Fourth of July BBQ. Struggling with separate issues, their lives will overlap on one fateful night as a shot rings out, changing everything in their quiet cul-de-sac forever. I liked this book. To start, I'm a big fan of multip I've read many of Fielding's books in the past, so I was really looking forward to Cul-de-sac, especially with that eerie cover and excellent summary. Told in multiple POVs, Cul-de-sac follows a group of neighbors as they navigate their personal hurdles before the upcoming Fourth of July BBQ. Struggling with separate issues, their lives will overlap on one fateful night as a shot rings out, changing everything in their quiet cul-de-sac forever. I liked this book. To start, I'm a big fan of multiple narrators. Done well, it has the ability to heighten the tension in a story or provide complementary details that add insight or intrigue. Fielding navigated the voices well, and I didn't think there was much overlap between mannerisms, turns-of-speech, or characterization. That kept the narrative interesting and well-paced, even with many working parts. I had a difficult time with the overall rhetoric of the book, though, a detail I couldn't quite get past to call this one a home run for me. At times, the characters felt a bit like exaggerated tropes, falling solely in their stereotypical zones. A trope exists for a reason, so that in itself wasn't a dealbreaker for me, but I wanted more depth and layers. The morals were a little heavy-handed, with clear rhetoric involving gun violence, domestic abuse, mental health, and drug use. If these had been nuanced, I think it would've worked better for me, and I can still see many readers enjoying the straight-to-the-point, on-the-nose trajectory; but for me, it was a bit of a miss. Overall, Cul-de-sac is a slow-burning suburban drama that tackles relevant social issues over the backdrop of a Florida community. I'd recommend to readers looking for a light mystery with dramatic elements, character-driven narratives, or a beach read. I think Aiden and Heidi were the most interesting relationship, but I really would've loved to see these characters fleshed out a bit more beyond their expected traits. Thank you to Ballantine and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Bailey

    Set within an upscale neighborhood brimming with dark secrets, this captivating thriller thrums with delicious foreboding on every page. I was entranced by the gifted storytelling and magnetic characters, whose twisted paths converge in a shocking, explosive climax. CUL-DE-SAC proves once again that Joy Fielding is an ingenious master of domestic suspense.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    We are introduced to the residents of a neighborhood in Florida who live side by side and initially neither know one another in depth nor give any sign of wanting to delve deeper, but in the prologue we are made aware of something horrible happening, and as the roofs are ripped off and we are privy to their secrets and shortcomings, we don't know which bomb is going to go off until the end. If anything, this novel reminded me more of Desperate Housewives (which I gobbled up during its run), and We are introduced to the residents of a neighborhood in Florida who live side by side and initially neither know one another in depth nor give any sign of wanting to delve deeper, but in the prologue we are made aware of something horrible happening, and as the roofs are ripped off and we are privy to their secrets and shortcomings, we don't know which bomb is going to go off until the end. If anything, this novel reminded me more of Desperate Housewives (which I gobbled up during its run), and the inhabitants of Carlyle Court and their problems are more like those families on Wisteria Lane than in any printed version. The book is engaging, a perfect sorbet so to speak. My only quibble being that the characters are "types," not much coloration here. But a fun ride nonetheless.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Review to come

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Feinen

    Maggie is the driving force of this book. After an even eluded to throughout the book, Maggie withdrew from her family, the outside world, her marriage, and certainly from herself. Her husband, Craig, walks out, telling Maggie she has lost her spark. Maggie agrees - consciously making an effort. Using her energy to recover, to reconnect, to herself. And so Maggie starts to connect with her neighbors. Julia lives alone - much to the concern of her son. They never seemed to connect - but Julia ado Maggie is the driving force of this book. After an even eluded to throughout the book, Maggie withdrew from her family, the outside world, her marriage, and certainly from herself. Her husband, Craig, walks out, telling Maggie she has lost her spark. Maggie agrees - consciously making an effort. Using her energy to recover, to reconnect, to herself. And so Maggie starts to connect with her neighbors. Julia lives alone - much to the concern of her son. They never seemed to connect - but Julia adores her grandson, Mark. He moves in - after yet another argument with his father. Together Julia and Mark figure out their futures. Heidi and Aiden are newlyweds after a whirlwind romance. Aiden suffers from PTSD - Heidi lending her support. But Aiden's mother is the real issue. Aiden agrees with every recommendation - and Heidi wonders when Aiden will take his wife's side. Dani and Nick seem to have the best life and relationship. Both professionals with thriving practices, raising two sons - no one can see the darkness consuming their lives. Sean has been out of work for months. Finally an interview - that is a total fail. But he tells his wife, Olivia, things went well. The lies continue. Great book - what do we really know about those who leave so close?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Denton

    Joy Fielding's Cul-De-Sac is a great story about 5 families living on a quiet Florida street. Of course, each family has an issue. My favorite character is Maggie, who evolves from a recently separated, very paranoid woman who has "lost her spark" to a strong, supportive friend ready to take on the world again. Other families on the street are out-of-work Sean who is hiding secrets from his wife Olivia, Heidi and her new hubby Aiden who is really, REALLY attached to his mom and is also dealing w Joy Fielding's Cul-De-Sac is a great story about 5 families living on a quiet Florida street. Of course, each family has an issue. My favorite character is Maggie, who evolves from a recently separated, very paranoid woman who has "lost her spark" to a strong, supportive friend ready to take on the world again. Other families on the street are out-of-work Sean who is hiding secrets from his wife Olivia, Heidi and her new hubby Aiden who is really, REALLY attached to his mom and is also dealing with flashbacks from his military service, Nick and Dani the doctor/dentist power couple who are hiding things behind closed doors, and Julia, whose son thinks she needs to move out of her home and into a senior living facility. I loved getting to know the characters in this book and watching their relationships with each other develop, and I loved the different points of view from which the story is told. Something that nagged at me, though, was the subtle yet constant allusion to gun ownership in a negative light. A huge negative for me, and the reason for 3 stars, was an abusive relationship throughout the book as well as sexual assault. Readers, beware; this may not be the right book for some readers. I wish I had been aware of this content ahead of time. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding is a slow burn of a thriller that had me hooked from the very start. I will read anything by this author, and I was ecstatic to get my hands on her latest. I was not disappointed. On a quiet cul-de-sac in an upscale Florida neighbourhood, five families co-exist, their lives intersecting only rarely as they go about their daily lives. Our picture of the harmonious dynamic shifts, however, when someone on the cul-de-sac is shot and, as each domestic scenario is revealed, Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding is a slow burn of a thriller that had me hooked from the very start. I will read anything by this author, and I was ecstatic to get my hands on her latest. I was not disappointed. On a quiet cul-de-sac in an upscale Florida neighbourhood, five families co-exist, their lives intersecting only rarely as they go about their daily lives. Our picture of the harmonious dynamic shifts, however, when someone on the cul-de-sac is shot and, as each domestic scenario is revealed, it becomes evident that circumstances behind each closed door are not what they seem, and in fact each house on the street harbours not only a gun, but the simmering potential and motive for murder. Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors? This is Joy Fielding at her very best. 4.5 stars Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an ARC.

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