[676]: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

28815474 The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Double Day Canada | August 23rd, 2016
Source: Publisher for review
Adult Fiction | Crime | Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?

People are capable of almost anything. . .
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

No. You can’t pay me a million dollars to leave my 6-month old baby at home just so I can drink wine with people that I don’t even like. And even if we literally share a wall, and that I will be checking on her in half an hour intervals, there’s nothing you can say to me that will convince me otherwise. But then again, I’m not Anne.  And if Anne refused to leave the baby at home, then we wouldn’t have a story now, would we? So yeah. The stuff nightmares are made of happened: the babysitter cancelled at the last minute, the parents of the year then decided the baby will be fine if they check on her every half an hour. They got home only to find a door ajar, an empty crib, and no baby in sight.

Our troubled couple has been having marital problems ever since the baby was born. Anne, suffering a bout of post-partum depression, has had to deal with watching her neighbour shamelessly flirt with her husband on the night of the party. You can say she’s already unstable so the discovery that their baby was taken only pushed her over the edge.

It’s easy to put the burden of the blame to the parents for negligently leaving a baby at home. And even more so when the detectives handling the investigation didn’t find any evidence that shows anyone else was in the house during the baby’s disappearance. But little by little, information would come to light about other possibilities. Unlike other suspense novels I’ve read as of late, this one was pretty transparent. Readers will know the key players and motives of the kidnapping pretty early in the game. However, Ms. Lapena still left a card up her sleeve to make it worth your while.

The Couple Next Door has a different flavour of suspense. Although at times it would seem that Lapena guides her readers through a lit room, little surprises jump at the readers along the way. It’s not entirely predictable but the break-neck pace will lend to a much enjoyable read, nonetheless.

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