The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Psychological Thriller
You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.
Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.
What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
What I Liked:
I liked the format of The Couple Next Door. There are no frills of background information, the story jumps right into the crime.
Anne and Marco are at a dinner party next door, frequently checking on their 6-month old, when the baby goes missing. There are a few clues at first: the motion detecting light in the backyard has been unscrewed, the front door is open and a sleepless neighbor saw a car driving down the road with the headlights off around 12:35 am. Other than those measly clues, all they have is hope that the detectives will find who took their baby.
The detectives immediately turn to the parents as their suspects. Everything is a bit fishy and they really have no other leads. They investigate the parents stories, whereabouts, financials, basically everything about their life. By the end of the first half of the book, the reader thinks that they have solved the crime.
As I started the second half of the book I thought to myself ‘What else is there to say? We know what happened to the baby.’ Boy was I wrong, there was a big plot twist to come.
There’s a quote from People Magazine on the cover of the book that describes the book well: “The twists come as fast as you can turn the pages.”
What I Didn’t Like:
Although I genuinely enjoyed this read, it would be a nice change of pace to read a thriller that doesn’t make the main female character appear mentally unstable. It’s beginning to get on my nerves.
This book has a lot of twists and turns, which keep it interesting, but none of them were entirely unpredictable. Once there was a tidbit of a clue of what might have happened, the reader can predict what will happen until the next twist. It was a good read but certainly not mind-blowing.
I will say, however, that I did NOT see the ending coming.
I flew through The Couple Next Door and will pass it on to others to read but it’s not going down as one of the best thrillers of the year… there are so many! The main thing this book has going for it is that it grasps your attention from the very beginning. After reading the first chapter, you will already be invested in finishing.
My Next Read:
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff