When I first saw The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena in the store, I debated whether to pick it up or not. The title didn’t seem to offer something different or mind-blowing but I had this craving for reading a fast paced thriller and I ended up going home with it.
Maybe I have become too picky after reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or books by Paula Hawkins but I have yet to come across a story equally unique and amazing as their works.
So what is this story about?
The Couple Next Door begins with a Anne and Marco (who’re new parents) leaving their daughter at home to attend a party next door, hosted by another young couple who’re not only good looking but kids free.
“Who goes to a dinner party next door and leaves her baby alone in the house? What kind of mother does such a thing? She feels the familiar agony set in – she is not a good mother. So what if the sitter canceled? They should have brought Cora with them, put her in her portable playpen. But Cynthia had said no children.”
This leaves Anne – who is already dealing with postpartum issues – to become annoyed by the hot host who happens to be flirting with her husband as well. She is already regretting being here, and goes over how her husband persuaded her not to cancel.
“She knows how judgemental mothers are, how good it feels to sit in judgement of someone else.”
Despite their babysitter being absent for the day, the couple takes turn to check up on their daughter after every half hour.
“They will be judged, by the police and by everybody else. Serves them right, leaving their baby alone. She would think that, too, if it had happened to someone else.”
When Anne leaves for her round, she finds Cora missing.
And mayhem ensues.
The police is called, Anne’s wealthy parents (who hate Marco) come over, the place is turned upside down, the media is on the lookout, and in between this frenzy the Detective Rasbach has his doubts on the parents.
“… when a wife goes missing, the husband is usually the prime suspect, and probably vice versa.”
It doesn’t help that both Anne and Marco are acting suspicious and don’t provide accurate information about Cora before her kidnapping.
“The wife is always the last to know, right?”
You know for a minute I thought it was the mother, I don’t know why I thought so but poor woman!
The plot thickens and the many twists and turns the story takes made me just want to give up.
Every single character (except the detective) is pretty much a jerk and an idiot. The big reveal regarding the kidnapper made me just want to shake my head. I mean who does that? who kidnaps a baby for money? (trying real hard not to spoil it)
But overall, the narration wasn’t difficult, so you fly by. I think a few things were unnecessary like the dynamics between the couple, the many many twists. But I really loved the detective Rasbach.
I would’ve loved a background story on him!
Overall, it was a good one-time read for me. But I think it has potential of becoming a favourite for you guys.
Onto the basics:
- Rating: 3.0/5.0
- Favorite quote: “Everyone is faking it, all of them pretending to be something they’re not. The whole world is built on lies and deceit.”
- Reader level:
- Should you read: Yeah why not.
- Would I read it again: Definitely not!
Till next time,