Title: The Girl on the Porch
Author: Richard Chizmar
Publisher:Subterranean
Release Date: August 31, 2019
Pages: 152
Book Source:NetGalley

“When the Tuckers’ next door neighbor mentions someone rang their doorbell late the previous night, Sarah and Kenny Tucker check their home’s security camera and discover something shocking: the doorbell ringer also visited their house and it wasn’t a teenager playing a prank, but instead a terrified young woman with a shackle hanging from her right wrist. She anxiously pressed the doorbell again and again, glancing over her shoulder as if someone was coming for her, before giving up and taking off into the dark. 

Almost overnight, she becomes known as The Girl on the Porch—and she’s everywhere. There are updates on all the local networks, national coverage on CNN and Fox News, and the video goes viral on social media. Before long, everyone has seen the harrowing security camera footage. Kenny and Sarah figure it’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes the woman. 

But as the days pass and no one comes forward, odd things begin to transpire around the Tucker family…” – Amazon

Jessica’s Review

This book comes in a whopping 152 pages. It is definitely one of the shortest books I have read if not the shortest (excluding books made up of several short stories). 

Initially, I didn’t really like this book simply because I felt I was left with so many unanswered questions. 

My friend and co-creator, Kim and I, have a podcast called Books Don’t Review Themselves. We both got a copy of this book on Netgalley with the intent of reviewing it an episode of our podcast. After we sat down and had a conversation about this book, I slowly felt my 2 stars turn into 3 stars, with me landing on 4 stars.

The abbreviated synopsis, taken from Amazon:

“When the Tuckers; next-door neighbor mentions someone rang their doorbell late the previous night, Sarah and Kenny Tucker check their Home’s security camera and discover something shocking: the doorbell ringer also visited their house and it wasn’t a teenager playing a prank, but instead a terrified young woman with a shackle hanging from her right wrist. She anxiously pressed the doorbell again and again, glancing over her shoulder as if someone was coming for her, before giving up and taking off into the dark.“  

Interesting stuff right? Sucks you right in like an episode of Criminal Minds. I left the story wanting more, however the more my friend and I talked about it, the more I realized that could very well be the author’s intention. 

Today we live in a world of instant gratification. We always want to know what is going on, why, how it happened, and who is involved. However, the sad reality is… do we really know our neighbors? I don’t know about you, but when I bought my house, I didn’t receive any ‘welcome to the neighborhood pies’ nor did I introduce myself. 

That being said, you learn just enough about each couple and their family to get through the story, but not enough to play the game of ‘guess who’ that we all usually play while reading a thriller/suspense/horror.

Unfortunately, I can’t say too much without giving away important details. What I will say is that this book is a quick, enjoyable read that left me feeling unsettled. Unsettled in the way of wanting answers, but also how much we think we know about the world that surrounds us when in actuality we know so little.

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