Book Review | Love Thy Neighbor

Title: Love Thy Neighbor

Author: Mark Gilleo

About the Book:

Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother’s diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn’t possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of a terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell – which happens to be across the street – is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark’s quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become o! ne of the most deadly places on the planet, and it’s up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation’s capital.

Fast, acerbic, wise and endlessly exciting, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR marks the unforgettable debut of a startling new voice in suspense fiction.

My Review:

Awesome. Chilling. At first, I thought “not another 9/11 thriller”… Not so. Yes, the events of 9/11 are referenced but only in passing. This terrorist novel will leave you wondering how many people managed to slip through the cracks of the American immigration system. Clark Hayden is moving home from college to take care of his mother, who is spiraling into dementia. Then everything starts to fall apart around him. The IRS shows up, auditing his deceased father’s business. The agent happens to be good looking, too.

Then his mother calls the CIA and tells them about the terrorists that knocked on the door in the middle of the night. They refer the case to the FBI and an agent comes calling. At first, Clark doesn’t believe it. Then his Muslim neighbours and their young daughter disappear and others die mysteriously. A terrorist cell has been activated in the home of one of them. Clark gets a quick education about being misdirected, threatened and becomes a target. As Clark digs deeper, he starts to believe that his mother might be on to something.

I learned more than I cared to about the availability of controlled substances and potential weapons of mass destruction. I’ll admit that I found it a little hard to get into, but that just might have been the fact that most thrillers that are about terrorism these days all seem to use extremist Muslims as a scapegoat. After I got over my initial misgivings, I found it to be fast-paced and imaginative. The forward of this book relates the very interesting fact that the author’s mother called the CIA in 1999 to report possible terrorists living across the street. She gave detailed descriptions of their appearances and their odd behavior. They disregarded her call and it turns out that two of the men living in that house were on the planes that hit the twin towers. The CIA claimed to have no record of her call.

About the Author:

Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, has lived and worked in Asia, and speaks fluent Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His two most recent novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative writing competition. The Story Plant will publish his next novel, SWEAT in 2012.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book. Thanks to Partners in Crime Tours for the opportunity.*


Myla is a life-long resident of Nova Scotia, Canada. She is married with two sons. A self-described bookworm, her hobbies also include knitting, painting, photography and music.

more by Myla »