The Couple Next Door
By Shari Lapena
Rating 4/5 Stairs
I had no idea what to expect from this book. All I had was this description from First to Read:
A chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.
So I figured it would be something about an affair going on between two couples who lived next door to each other. I was wrong on that score.
The book opens with Anne and Marco are next door at Cynthia and Graham’s for a birthday dinner party, while Anne and Marco’s six-month-old baby is left unattended in their house. OK, they were right next door and they had the baby monitor, and they were checking on the baby every 30 minutes. And I do know people who have done this before. So I tried not to parent-shame as I read this part. But right away I new this was not going to end well.
Anne and Marco arrive home very drunk to an empty house. The baby is missing. Panic ensues. And then the secrets start coming out.
Ms. Lapena weaves an interesting, page turning tale. Told in third person, the narrators shift primarily between Anne, Marco, and Detective Rasbach’s perspectives. As I read, my theory kept changing. Anne killed the baby and got rid of the body. No. Anne killed the baby and then Marco found her and removed the body. No, Anne loves her baby. She really was kidnapped. Wait, it had to have been one of the parents, didn’t it? Round and round I went. The more I read, the more my theory shifted and changed.
This was a fun thriller to read. I had no idea what turn Ms. Lapena would throw in next. She gives just enough information to twist the story along another path, but not necessarily towards the end point. As soon as you think you know what’s going on, she tosses another wrench in the works. I definitely recommend this one if you enjoy the suspense/thriller genre.
Many thanks to First to Read for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
2 thoughts on “The Couple Next Door”
This is a good review: I like the premise, too, although anything about babies or small children tends to upset me a little.
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