The Block Party by Jamie Day

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: July 18th, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary, Adult, Psychological Thriller, Adult Fiction

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

This summer, meet your neighbors.

The residents of the exclusive cul-de-sac on Alton Road are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal utterly unknown to the outside world, and even to each other.

On the night of the annual Summer block party, there has been a murder.

But, who did it and why takes readers back one year earlier, as rivalries and betrayals unfold—discovering that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems.

First Line:

Alexandra Fox meant to have only a couple of drinks at the block party.

The Block Party by Jamie Day

Every summer, the residents of Alton Road throw a block party exclusive to their cul-de-sac. Usually, it runs smoothly. But this year, something tragic happened. Someone was murdered. Who was murdered? Why was that person murdered? Those questions would be tough to answer because Alton Road’s perfect facade has been marred by cheating, drug use, and domestic violence since the last block party. When the killer is revealed, it will change the lives of the remaining residents.

I was hyped to read The Block Party. Growing up in northeastern coastal Massachusetts and an upper-middle-class neighborhood, I know how close those neighborhoods can be. And how cliquey they are. But that isn’t what attracted me to the book. That was just a bonus content that I enjoyed reading. No, I initially accepted the invite because this book was getting great reviews and was in one of my favorite genres. I am glad that I did read this book because, oh man, it took me for a ride and a half. Put it this way, I couldn’t figure out who the killer was and was shocked when it was revealed.

The Block Party is a fast-paced book set in the fictional city of Meadowbrook, Massachusetts. I was pleasantly surprised that the author could keep the fast pace up. Why? The plotline was split between past and present with dual POVs of Alex and Lettie (also in 3rd person for Alex and 1st for Lettie). Having all that going on usually results in one or both storylines going on track. But, the author kept the storylines on track and the momentum going. I loved it!! I also liked the online forum that the author included when switching before past and present. Usually, it foreshadowed what was going to happen. I also love that she got the different types of people on those boards down pat.

The main storyline of The Block Party is the murder that happened during the present-day block party. The author then backs it up to last year’s block party and shows the events that led up to the murder. The author did a fantastic job of casting doubt on everyone involved in the storyline. I was astonished when everything came together at the end of the book. The murderer was the last person I thought it would be.

The secondary storylines added extra depth and intrigue to the main one. The author didn’t hold back on how dysfunctional these people are. Everything from adult/minor relationships to stalking to drug/alcohol abuse to mental illness is featured. These secondary storylines fed into the main one and gave me a list of suspects.

I didn’t exactly like Alex. Growing up around people like her made it difficult for me to form an attachment to her. But I did feel bad. She was under a lot of stress and had a lot of things on her plate. But, the book primarily focused on her and how she was directly connected to everything happening. Her issues were more of her own making than what Lettie was dealing with, which was more profound.

I liked Lettie, and I was rooting for her the entire book. She was passionate about different causes. She was passionate to the point where she vandalized a school and was turned in by her ex-best friend. The author formed Lettie’s storyline around that incident and the revenge she wanted. Once she took her revenge, Lettie was eaten up by guilt. There was a point in the book where I wanted to hug her and tell her to talk to her parents. I am going to stop right here because of spoilers.

The mystery angle of The Block Party was wild. I had zero clue who the killer was or who was killed. I did try to guess, but I wasn’t even close. The author did a great job throwing out red herrings and keeping that angle so twisty that I couldn’t figure it out.

The end of The Block Party was interesting. I liked how the murderer (and who was murdered) was revealed and the reason why that person did it. I also liked that the community page deleted the thread and had a warning aimed at one of the members (just like in real life). The epilogue was just as interesting as the rest of the book. The author gave updates on where the main characters were with their lives and how they dealt with the aftermath of everything.

I would recommend The Block Party to anyone over 21. There is language, violence, and nongraphic sexual situations.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Block Party. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

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4 thoughts on “The Block Party by Jamie Day

  1. I’m so thrilled to read someone else’s review that loved it as much as I did!

  2. Great review, Jolie. I like the sound of this mystery/thriller. I have this on my TBR and I think I will move it up that mountain based on your review.

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