The author of Our House returns with a tale about Lowland Way, a bourgeois English neighborhood where quiet and upwardly mobile residents get thrown for a loop when loud and crude Darren and Jodie move in, ratcheting up tensions and opening the door to violence.
... highly entertaining ... Candlish forcefully builds the tension in Those People until it reaches a crescendo that is as frightening as it is believable. It’s understandable that these people might crack under the strain of the emotional turmoil that Darren wreaks on his new neighbors ... Those People skillfully avoids plotting cliches as Candlish’s second novel doesn’t take the easy way out. Domestic thrillers have emerged as one of the hottest trends in the mystery genre and, as she did in her debut Our House, Candlish knows how to turn everyday situations sinister.
It’s a premise ripe for suspense and Candlish delivers ... Those People takes Candlish’s usual themes—the hundreds of small things that fracture relationships, the secrets kept between families and friends, the endless pursuit of skyrocketing property values—and applies them to a whole neighborhood ... Candlish keeps the narrative flowing smoothly. Her talent at juggling multiple characters and voices...flourishes here ... There are a few twists and a nice, nasty surprise at the end, but it all feels organic and earned—Candlish lets her characters do the work and seal their own fates, and there’s a certain enjoyment in watching them do so, even when the reader can all too easily see themselves making the same mistakes ... Those People should cement her reputation not just as a master of domestic suspense but as a top-notch thriller writer.
It’s hard to tell who are the victims and who are the perpetrators ... the second half of Those People morphs into a standard issue procedural. It brings surprising twists, but it’s overlong, slowly paced and overshadowed by the author’s sharply etched group portrait of 'those people' ... Candlish exposes the smug, hypocritical, selfish attitudes of...[t]he folks along Lowland Way...about as nasty, as hypocritical and, eventually, as violent as the predatory villagers in Shirley Jackson’s short story 'The Lottery.' An ironic and poignant coda suggests at least one person on the street possesses a few grams of humanity. Otherwise, Lowland Way—as its name suggests—is a dispiriting place.