Review by Ryder Islington
High praise for the plot of Love Thy Neighbor. Clark Hayden is a graduate student who returns home to stay with his mother, Maria, a victim of dementia. Strange things start happening in the neighborhood, including a visit to Maria’s house in the middle of the night by three Middle-Eastern looking men. Enter the FBI. Followed by the DC Police. And the CIA. And then there is the IRS agent who is auditing Maria and her deceased husbands’ taxes for several years.
Mr. Gilleo is very good at planting seeds of information in the beginning that make sense and become important later. The characters and dialogue are strong and real. Overall, the book is good, filled with mystery and believable circumstances of the modern world, feeling so true it gives the reader the willies. This is a fascinating look at our American culture. I hope it doesn’t scare good people so much that they become cynical and suspicious of good, G-d fearing American Muslims.
Now for the unfortunate news. Despite Mr. Gilleo’s talent, his habit of head-hopping with different points-of-view is disruptive. There are several incidences of improper point-of-view construction that allows one character to enter the head of another. Without this problem, I would give the book five stars, and readers who aren’t bothered by this kind of issue will really enjoy it. For me it was as much work as enjoyment. I truly hope Mr. Gilleo finds a good editor who will help him hone his next book into something spectacular.