Love Thy Neighbor

“It belongs between Ludlum and Forsyth on your shelf.”
~Jeff Stein, Columnist

Love thy Neighbor is available at your local bookstore, as well as the following booksellers:



Awards for Love thy Neighbor:

  • Winner – National Indie Excellence Award
  • Gold Medalist – Readers’ Favorite Award

Additional Reviews:

“A riveting story, filled with suspense, Love Thy Neighbor will stay with you long after the last page has been read.”
~ Single Titles

“This story is fun, fast paced, exhilarating, and exciting. You won’t want to put it down, because you’ll be too excited to see what is coming next in the story.”
~ Practical Frugality

“An exciting read from start to finish. Mark Gilleo shows a talent for creating suspense as he unfolds a story all too relevant to events that have taken place in the real world over recent years. I highly recommend this book and I’ll definitely be on the look out for more titles by this author.”
~ Writers and Authors

“If you like suspense, then you must read Love thy Neighbor!”
~ Books and Needlepoint

“If you love thrillers you need to check this book out! This is a book that will have you still questioning things well after you are done reading it!”
~ Purple Penguin Reviews

“Right up to the last page I was kept guessing …!”
~ Read 2 Review

“This is one of those cleverly written books that will keep readers awake beyond their normal bed time.”
~ Jean Booknerd


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 the 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 one 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 is the unforgettable debut novel by Mark Gilleo.

Author’s Note for Love Thy Neighbor:

The following is 100% true and was the inspiration for writing Love Thy Neighbor.   As they say, fact is sometimes stranger than fiction….

In late 1999 a woman from Vienna, Virginia, a suburb ten miles from the White House as the crow flies, called the CIA. The woman, a fifty-something mother of three, phoned to report what she referred to as potential terrorists living across the street from her middle-class home. She went on to explain what she had been seeing in her otherwise quiet neighborhood: Strange men of seemingly Middle-Eastern descent using their cell phones in the yard. Meetings in the middle of the night with bumper-to-bumper curbside parking, expensive cars rubbing ends with vans and common Japanese imports. A constant flow of young men, some who seemed to stay for long periods of time without introducing themselves to anyone in the neighborhood. The construction of a six-foot wooden fence to hide the backyard from the street only made the property more suspicious.

Upon hearing a layperson’s description of suspicious behavior, the CIA promptly dismissed the woman and her phone call. (Ironically, the woman lived less than a quarter of a mile from a CIA installation, though it was not CIA headquarters as was later reported.)

In the days and weeks following 9/11, the intelligence community in the U.S. began to learn the identities of the nineteen hijackers who had flown the planes into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. In the process of their investigation they discovered that two of the hijackers, one on each of the planes that hit the World Trade Towers, had listed a particular house in Vienna, Virginia as a place of residence. The FBI and various other agencies swooped in on the unassuming neighborhood and began knocking on doors. When they reached the house of a certain mother of three, she stopped them dead in their tracks. She was purported to have said, “I called the CIA two years ago to report that terrorists were living across the street and no one did anything.”

The CIA claimed to have no record of a phone call.

The news networks set up cameras and began broadcasting from the residential street. ABC, NBC, FOX. The FBI followed up with further inquiries. The woman’s story was later bounced around the various post 9/11 committees and intelligence hearings on Capitol Hill. (Incidentally, after 9/11, the CIA closed its multi-story facility in the neighborhood where the terrorist reportedly lived. In 2006 the empty building was finally torn down and, in 2011, was replaced with another office building later identified, in the ironies of all ironies, as the National Terrorist Screening Center).

There has been much speculation about what the government should have or could have known prior to 9/11. The answer is not simple. There have been anecdotal stories of people in Florida and elsewhere who claimed to have reported similar “terrorist” type activities by suspicious people prior to 9/11. None of these stories have been proven.

What we do know is that with the exception of the flight school instructor in Minnesota who questioned the motive of a student who was interested in flying an aircraft without learning how to land, and an unheeded warning from actor James Woods who was on a plane from Boston with several of the purported terrorists while they were doing a trial run, the woman from Vienna, Virginia was the country’s best chance to prevent 9/11. To date, there has been no verification of any other pre-9/11 warnings from the general public so far in advance of that fateful day in September.

For me, there is no doubt as to the validity of the claims of the woman in Vienna.

She lived in the house where I grew up.

She is my mother.

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