On a Quiet Street

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A New York Times Book Review Summer Read and Edgar Award nominee! Don’t miss this unputdownable psychological thriller! Perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware!

When you really start to look beyond the airy open floor plans and marble counters, Brighton Hills is filled with secrets. Some big, some little, some deadly. And one by one, they’re about to be revealed… “A writer to watch.” –Publishers Weekly

The perfect neighborhood can be the perfect place to hide…

Who wouldn’t want to live in Brighton Hills? This exclusive community on the Oregon coast is the perfect mix of luxury and natural beauty. Stunning houses nestle beneath mighty Douglas firs, and lush backyards roll down to the lakefront. It’s the kind of place where neighbors look out for one another. Sometimes a little too closely…

Cora thinks her husband, Finn, is cheating–she just needs to catch him in the act. That’s where Paige comes in. Paige lost her son to a hit-and-run last year, and she’s drowning in the kind of grief that makes people do reckless things like spying on the locals, searching for proof that her son’s death was no accident…and agreeing to Cora’s plan to reveal what kind of man Finn really is. All the while, their reclusive new neighbor, Georgia, is acting more strangely every day. But what could such a lovely young mother possibly be hiding?

Don’t miss Seraphina’s upcoming novel, The Vanishing Hour. You won’t be able to put it down! 

Other thrillers from Seraphina to keep you up all night:

  • The Vanishing Hour
  • Such a Good Wife
  • Someone’s Listening





Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marveling at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother's Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they'd plant it in the yard and they'd always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?

She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she's going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She's interrupted by the kid who delivers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.

"Are you a fucking psychopath?" Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.

"What the hell is wrong with you, lady?" he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.

"What's wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don't you watch what the fuck you're doing?"

His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he's out of reach. "Little monster!" she yells after him.

Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn't answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher's head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it's bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.

"I'm not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I'm back here." She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poison oak on their way.

"Morning, Mrs. Moretti," one of the officers says. It's the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?

"We received a complaint," he says.

"Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?" Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.

"You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on."

"Oh, I did no such thing," she snaps.

Hernandez sits across from Paige. "You wanna tell us what did happen, then?"

"Are you planning on arresting me if I don't?" she asks, and the two officers give each other a silent look she can't read.

"His parents don't want to press charges, so..."

Paige doesn't say anything. They don't have to tell her it's because they pity her.

"But, Paige," Miller says, "we can't keep coming out here for this sort of thing."

"Good," Paige says firmly. "Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who killed my son." Hernandez stands.

"Again, you know we aren't the detectives on the—" But before Hernandez can finish, Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.

"And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?"

Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble something to one another and make their way out. She can't restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it's as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can't be her real life. She still can't accept that.

The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma'am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn't know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn't let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.

She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he'd fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it's life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.

She didn't stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn't watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more normal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should she have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?

And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn't know? Did he have friends she didn't know about? He'd told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren't they?

As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.

He doesn't mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.

He doesn't speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, "Who wants a pocket cookie?" and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.

This is how it's been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.

Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn't respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn't stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti's, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.

Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she's taking care of herself and the house isn't falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn't make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.

She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn't need to lie and say she's bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She's sure of it. It's a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don't live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn't an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb's body, but it wasn't fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the police won't prove homicide, she's going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.

She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.

"What's the latest?" is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don't really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, "Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn't driven his Mercedes in months." She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn't appear to be following.

"Okay," he says, filling in the word ostrich.

"So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there's a dent in his bumper."

"You broke in?" he asks, concerned. She knows the Howells have five vehicles, and the dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won't let it go.

"Yes, and it's a good thing I did. I'm gonna go back and take photos. See if the police can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person." She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. "You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell."

"It's worth a shot," he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won't waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.

"I'm looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too," he says, and Paige knows it's a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn't bite.

"Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone," she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.

"The ivy is looking robust," he comments after a few minutes of silence.

"You think it's hurting the foundation?" she asks.

"Nah," he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.

When Paige hears the sound of Grant's motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she'll come to Moretti's with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she'll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they'll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They'll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.

Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.



Nobody will eat the chocolate chip pancakes, but they complete the breakfast table. If I take the yolks out of the egg bake, then it will make up for pancake calories. Nobody will drink the orange juice either, but it looks nice in tiny glass cups next to the coffee, and it's Sunday, damn it, so everything should look nice, even if it's just the three of us and I'm the only one who cares. It's the same thing as making your bed in the morning. You don't leave it messy like a slob just because it will only get used again that night. You make it so when you pass by the room, everything looks tidy and put together and right.

When Mia trudges into the kitchen wearing flannel pajama pants, she grabs a piece of toast and keeps walking toward the door.

"Where are you going?" I ask. I didn't expect fanfare over the breakfast spread, but maybe at least a Good morning.


"In that?" I ask, and she looks down at her pajamas but clearly doesn't see a problem. "Yeah. Can I take the car?"

"It's Sunday," I say, trying to keep the annoyance out of my voice. She knows that's the unspoken rule that even if we miss meals during the week, with Finn's late nights and her volleyball practices, on Sundays we make time. Mia looks past me to the table.

"Oh, but you're doing Weight Watchers again, I thought," she says, matter-of-factly. She's not trying to be hurtful. I am doing the program again, but explaining that you still actually eat meals on it seems pointless. She eyes the stack of chocolate chip pancakes and goes to take one off the top.

I hand her the car keys. It's good to see her getting out of the house and seeing friends, if I'm honest. She's been moping for months since her breakup with Josh or John or whatever his name was. How she can date the guy for too little a time span for me to recall his name but can cry over him for an eternity is beyond me.

"You can have the car, but help me with something."

"What?" she says, hand on one hip, ready to be inconvenienced by whatever it is I have to ask.

"There's that charity dinner next week. It's at Paige and Grant's restaurant in town. Come down and help me with the silent auction or serve tables or something."

"Ugh" is all I get from her.

"I'll take that as a yes. Be home by dinner. We're eating at the table."

When she's gone, I catch a quick look at my reflection in the sliding glass door that leads to the deck. Before I can scrutinize whether Weight Watchers is working, I see past my image and into the backyard of the elusive Georgia Kinney, who is as rare a sight as a snow leopard in the wild. I run out to the edge of the deck and open the camera on my phone, zooming in, to get as close a view as I can. She's lifting her baby into a swing, the plastic kind with the foot holes and safety bar. She pushes her, mindlessly. She doesn't coo at her, and she doesn't scroll on her phone, ignoring her, either. She just stares off, absently.

If I were that freaking gorgeous, I'd be thrilled all the time. I'd live in strappy tops without worrying my back fat would squish through them like a tube of biscuits you whack against the counter to split open. I'd wear my sunshine-colored hair loose down my back and never expose my porcelain skin to the sun, not once. Granted, she is a good fifteen years younger than me, and her husband for that matter—the youngest mom in the neighborhood, I think. She's in her mid-twenties, it looks like.

It might be pathetic, but I don't get why she doesn't want to make friends with any of us. I mean, it's a little snotty. Finn hung out with her husband, Lucas, a couple times, so I know she's from England. Maybe she thinks she's better than us if she's English, and she probably is, calling gasoline petrol, and a cell phone a mobile: they always sound so fancy. But they have been living across the street over a year now, and she hasn't even said more than a quick hello. She didn't even write a thank-you note for the mascarpone pound cake I dropped off when they moved in. It won a prize at the state fair, for God's sake. She could have at least returned the plate. Still, she looks so glamorous, and her husband's a judge, and I will win her over.

"Are you spying on them?" Finn asks, and I jump and clutch my chest. I whip around to see him standing in the open doorframe, smirking at me.

"No! Of course not." I push past him and shut the door, a little annoyed at the interruption.

"Then, what were you doing?" he asks, amused.

"Finn," I say firmly as if that's an answer to his question. I click the lid down on the Keurig and listen to it sputter and drip.

"Look at all this," he says, sitting at the table and filling his plate with egg casserole. I place his coffee in front of him and sit, serving myself a pancake.

"I thought you were doing the Weight Watchers thing again."

I clench my jaw and look at the ceiling, then exhale loudly in annoyance.

"Sorry," he says, flashing his palms in defense. I decide to change the subject so we don't start the day with tension.

"It's just that I find it off-putting that they're so antisocial. The O'Briens lived there eleven years before the Kinneys moved in, and they were over all the time. It feels—I don't know—uncomfortable that they can't be normal. I like to know my neighbors. We should all be friends, look out for each other."

"He seems normal," Finn says. "Well, we only had a beer a couple times, but he seems okay. I think she's a—whatchamacallit—a wallflower."

"What?" I laugh.

"She has that phobia where she's afraid to leave the house, I think," he says.

"Agoraphobia?" I suggest.

"That sounds right," he says, buttering a piece of toast.

"Um. Wait, wait, wait. Are you kidding? He actually told you that?"

"Yeah. Well, I don't think he used that word, no, but something like that," he says, and I smack his arm a few times.

"Why would you not tell me that! Are you serious? Tell me exactly what he said."

"Jeez, Cora. I don't know. She had some trauma happen, and now she has to be within, like, spitting distance of her house or she freaks out and panics." He eats his triangle of toast in two bites, opens his phone, and starts scrolling.

"Finn, oh, my God. That's—He told you this, and you didn't tell me?"

"We were having beers. I forgot. I'm not the one obsessed with her, so it didn't seem like headline news I had to rush and tell you," he says.

"And he just opened up and told you this out of the blue?"

"Uh...no, I don't know. I think I suggested they come over or you two get together, and that was the reason she couldn't."

"Oh. My. God," I say, picking up my phone.

"Cor, don't." He stops me.


"Don't tell Paige. Just—"

"I'm not," I lie and put my phone back down. "At least it's a good reason. I just thought she was a bitch."

"Maybe she is. She could be an agoraphobic bitch. Why do you care so much?" he asks.

"Are you gonna hang out with Lucas again? Our house is within 'spitting distance' of hers, right? Maybe she'd be comfortable coming here. Maybe it's in the comfort zone, y'know?"

"I don't know how it works, but he didn't make it sound like that was an option."

"Just—do you have plans with him again?"

"We mentioned golf in a couple weeks. The club is having an amateur tournament. I said he should come."

"Oooh. When is it? I could invite her over. It would be a way to start the conversation. 'Since the guys are abandoning us for golf, you should come over for a glass of wine' sort of thing. Perfect. When, when, when?" I push, and he shrugs, mumbling through a mouthful of food that he's not sure.

"Can you check?" I ask.

"Now?" He looks at me with a mix of amusement and annoyance.

"Yes, please."

"You're obsessed," he says but places his napkin on his now-empty plate and goes to grab his day planner. He's the sort who needs to write everything down in neat, blocky ink letters into a physical datebook, says his phone can be unreliable and a successful man always has a backup. He comes back and sits down again, sipping his coffee and paging through it.

"The thing at the club is on the nineteenth. But, Cor, maybe take a hint if she doesn't wanna be buddies."

"Um, for your information," I say, "she would be very lucky to know me. I still know every teacher at the elementary school, my book club has a waiting list, and I can tell her who all the good parents are in the neighborhood and which ones to avoid—"

"I think she wants to avoid all of them, right?" he interrupts. I look at him a moment, then stand and start to clear the table.

"You know what your problem is?" I ask.

"I do not. Please, do tell." He smirks, but I'm getting genuinely annoyed with him.

"You give up too easy when things get...challenging," I say.

"Since when do you think that?" he says, but he's only half listening. He's back looking at work emails on his phone. He's not someone easily rattled.

"Since, I don't know, always."

"Example?" he asks, looking at me now.

"You want an example?"

"I would like an example, yes." He crosses one leg over the other and folds his arms, amused, but also challenging me to come up with something. I stop scraping plates into the disposal and give him my full attention.

"The dog we got that you returned after he peed in the house a few times," I say.

"It was a foster dog for a reason. You see if it's a good fit. And there was more than peeing, he was—"

"Fine. The basketball team you joined at the Y and quit after your first practice."

"I don't need a concussion, Cor."

"Okay," I say. "Spanish lessons, tennis lessons, building the shed in the backyard, the downstairs bathroom reno—"

"Okay." He stops me, and I stop rattling off my list, although I could have gone on. I wanted to end my list with and us. You gave up on us when you did what you did, but he still denies it, and I pretend to believe him.

"Fine, you wanna stalk Georgia Kinney from across the street, enjoy yourself. I'll stay out of it."

"Thank you." I smile. "It's not stalking, it's called making an effort." But my smile quickly fades when I put down my tea towel and walk over to kiss the back of his head. I see what's written in his planner for tonight: Drinks with C.

He said he'd be out tonight because Benny Waller was retiring and everyone from the office was getting together for a send-off. I asked him why on a Sunday, and he said that's just how it worked out for everyone's schedule. And then he went on to say it's weird that going out on a Sunday seems odd but not a Thursday. You still have to get up for work the next day. I let it go.

Who is C? It's not Cora because I wasn't invited, of course. Carrie, Cheryl, Claire, Chloe. Do I know anyone with a C name? One of his assistants is Celine, I think. Or Chelsea? I feel my face flush and heat prick up my spine.

"You okay?" Finn asks, picking up his coffee, about to head up to his office.

"Fine," I say, and he smiles and heads upstairs. I can't do this to myself. C is probably for coworkers. Yes. It's probably colleagues. Yes, yes. It's a weird way to write it, though; it seems like a name. Short for Drinks with Connie or something, right? It's weird. Wouldn't he write Work party or Benny's retirement? It doesn't sound right.

If I knew where the event was, I would go and find out myself, but he's careful not to tell me these details anymore after I showed up that time and humiliated him, causing irrevocable damage to his reputation. I can't ask either. I won't ask because we cannot go back down the road we were on a couple years ago. I almost ruined everything once, accusing him, and I was wrong. I was obsessed with catching him. Maybe that was a dig just now, when he said I was obsessed with Georgia.

It almost ended us the last time I started thinking like this. I take a deep breath. It's nothing. I stare at his planner on the table. I won't open it. I take a step closer, though. I think maybe I could open it quickly. I sit at his place at the table and stare down at it. I lift my hand tentatively...and just then Finn appears out of nowhere.

On Sale
May 17, 2022
Page Count
320 pages