What would be the meaning of neck in the last sentence? Thanks in advance!I opened my eyes and saw that he was staring at the burning slaughterhouse. The place was nothing more than a giant, twisted, flaming wreck. Black smoke billowed up and drifted out over the Hudson. I wondered why the fire department hadn't shown up yet. My guess was they were afraid to come down to this neck of the woods.
The whole phrase is "this neck of the woods" and it means a particular area, sometimes remote.
"What are you doing out here in this neck of the woods?" you may say to a coworker, when you run into him in your local grocery store but know he lives 20 miles away.
"I haven't been to these gardens in ages. I don't get to this neck of the woods very often. We should come more frequently."
neck of the woods - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.