by Michael Stephenson
Genres: Suspense Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they've done terrible, terrible things.
“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk's dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.
Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.
The Man On The Roof by Michael Stephenson shares a suspenseful murder mystery as we delve into the homes of a small suburban tree-lined street. One of them is a killer. How well do you know your neighbors? Dark, gritty and engaging Stephenson shows us what goes on behind closed doors.
The story opens when an old man informs his neighbors; he saw a man walking on their roof at three am.
- The neighbors on this dead-end suburban block enjoy decorating for the holidays, having street picnics and taking trips to the local theme park together. From outward glances it’s the type of street you’d be envious of, but when a teenage boy is found hanging from their holiday banner, we begin to see cracks in this little utopian setting.
- A young man is found stabbed and hung from their dead-end street. As the police investigate, they discover the young man may have been blackmailing neighbors. Was it enough for one of them to commit murder?
- The neighborhood street is a diverse mix of couples. Most have children, except the first-time homeowners who live at the end of culd-de-sac. Let’s not forget the widowed veteran with the greenest lawn that everyone calls, Old Man. To outsiders, these neighbors appear to be living the America dream. Block parties, trips to Amusement parks, BBQs and wine tastings between neighbors. The ladies shop together and even have the same curtains in their living rooms, albeit different colors.
- Told from different perspectives the author takes us inside these homes. Here we find someone who hacks their way into their neighbor’s wifi to see what they are up to. Someone writes in a journal every morning with planning a multiple murder. Someone takes pills to keep the monsters at bay, another is a secret cross-dresser, there are cheaters, a Dom and thief. Still, another fantasies about the neighbor’s daughter. And one of them is a killer. At times the tale was shocking, dark and gritty. While I honestly, liked none of the characters I found myself pulled into what was happening and perhaps looking at my neighbors a little differently. What goes on behind those closed doors?
- The tale takes us from the night of the murder through outings and holidays as unease settles into this quiet street. As neighbors secretly discuss who committed the murder, some even wondering if it was their spouse. Twisted with reveals, red herrings and shocking revelations the author kept me guessing.
- Sometimes I had difficulty discerning whose perspective I was being given and had to look for context clues to sort it out. While each chapter is labeled with the timeline, I would have liked if it had included names.
- Some things we learn about where rather disturbing and delve into rape, fantasies, secrets, and betrayals.
- The Man on the Roof thread was weird and almost had a supernatural vibe to it. The old man who seemed to be the eyes and ears of the street had a connection whether real or imagined I cannot say. Maybe I missed something, but it left me scratching my head.
- These neighbors have a lot going on, and while I know my neighbors have secrets, there seemed to be a lot of dark secrets for one little street. It did, however, keep me guessing and shocked.
If you are looking for a suspenseful murder-mystery with twists, secrets and diverse characters, The Man On The Roof will keep you guessing.
[bctt tweet=”A quiet little street is upended when a murder is committed in this dark and gritty tale; The Man On The Roof by Michael Stephenson #suspense #thriller” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I’m reading this one right now and am glad that I’m not the only one having problems keeping all the characters straight!
This one is new to me but it is the type of story I usually enjoy. Anne – Books of My Heart
Tyler H. Jolley
That’s the worst when I can’t figure out who’s perspective I’m reading. When it’s a paper book, I do fine. But when I’m on the kindle, I struggle to find the beginning of the chapter and swipe a million times to get back to it and it becomes a whole thing..
Glad you liked it Kim. It’s a turn off for me too, to have to go back and see who’s perspective we’re getting, yes names please
Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts
Ooo this sounds really good and creepy! I might pass though since I get confused easily with different perspectives. There aren’t names? That’s a big turn off for me. ?
Sounds like a decent read even with those flaws. (I hate not being able to tell whose POV I am reading)
interesting, looks dark, a little confusing. Not sure how I would feel about alll the neighbors having dark secrets
This book and author is new to me. I do like a good mystery(the kind with a romance more so than not) but I don;t know about this one. I really don’t like not knowing whose perspective it is either. Can you imagine if you were listening instead of reading? The man on the roof thing is Intriguing to me, but only if you understand it at the end. That street certainly is full of strange people!
I always love a good mystery novel so wy not? It’s the first time I hear about it
Sounds like a good “beach read” mystery. Thanks for the post.
Whew! Sure sounds like a lot is going on with this one, and I love a good mystery. That is a good question – how well do any of know our neighbors, right? Like you, I could do without a rape scene in a book, but the other parts of it sound pretty intriguing. Hugs..and Happy Wednesday! RO