The New Couple by Alison James
This is one of those books where the tone of the book itself is different from the back cover description. The facts all match up, but instead of reading about the woman who isn't Stephanie Hamlin, we're plunged into the story of her middle-aged neighbor. Jane is a judgmental woman who likes to use big words. She lost me when she saw two neighbors having sex in another neighbor's garden and described it as "animalistic coitus." She's got a lot of opinions about a lot of people, including the couple who just won their house in a fund-raising raffle. Her newest neighbors, Stephanie and Richard Hamlin, aren't who they claim to be, but there's a lot of conflict in the neighborhood even before the new couple moves in.
The first third of the book is all from Jane's point of view and moves slowly until, about a third of the way through, it switches to another character and finally gets more interesting, until we switch to a third character's point of view. The middle of the book had me intrigued, but the ending was a disappointment...and the characters I was most interested in were almost completely left out of the plot.
Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links.