The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Published August 23, 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books
Genres Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Crime
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 Rashbach 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 guessing until the final shocking twist.
First, I don’t think I would call this book chilling, but I did really like it. We meet Anne and Marco on the night that Cora, their 6 month old daughter goes missing. Don’t worry, all my reviews are spoiler free, but this would be a very vague review if I didn’t at least state what the crime is. They are at a dinner party next door, their babysitter canceled so they decided to take the baby monitor with them and check on Cora every 30 minutes, and when they arrive home around 1:30AM, their daughter is gone and the front door is open. The police immediately suspect the parents but as the Detective gets deeper into the case, he becomes unsure of who is lying and who isn’t. This entire situation also puts a strain on Anne and Marco’s marriage and begins exposing secrets that they would rather keep hidden.
The book is told from a first person perspective, but uses multiple points of view including Anne, Marco, Anne’s mother and father, as well as Detective Rashbach. The point of view switches even within a chapter, but it is well written and easy to follow. The first 40% of the book reads like something from CSI and I was hooked immediately. Then around the half way point, we get one plot twist and the story slows down a bit as we learn more. This book is very well written and in my opinion, a good psychological thriller. At one point near the end, I was slightly disappointed, thinking that they could have been a bit more “shock and awe”, but I must say I was not expecting the ending at all and was fairly impressed. Overall, the book is exciting and it keeps the reader both invested in the characters, as well as the story itself. What I found to be quite amazing, was at the end how we find out how interwoven all the characters and different players in this story are. I would definitely recommend it to fans of similar psychological thrillers, such as Gone Girl or The Girl on The Train. Happy reading!