The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door

4.4 22
by Shari Lapena
     
 

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages." --People

"Provocative and shocking.” --Lisa Gardner, New York Times  bestselling author of Find Her

“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the

Overview

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages." --People

"Provocative and shocking.” --Lisa Gardner, New York Times  bestselling author of Find Her

“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline.  The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!” —Sue Grafton, New York Times bestselling author of X

It all started at a dinner party. . . 

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . . 

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/23/2016
At the start of Lapena’s suspenseful, heart-wrenching debut, set in upstate New York, Anne and Marco Conti come home from a party at their neighbors’ house to find their front door open and their infant daughter Cora’s crib empty. They left Cora alone after the sitter cancelled at the last minute. Not a shred of evidence indicates that anyone entered the house after the Contis left for the party, though the police detectives on the case, Rasbach and Jennings, discover that the motion detector on the back door was disabled, the Contis’ garage door was left open, and tire tracks, not from the Contis’ car, were in the garage. Could the couple be covering up a kidnapping? Rasbach and Jennings suspect that they’re withholding something, but they sense the Contis’ anguish is legitimate. The tension grows as the united front that Anne and Marco have presented crumbles. After numerous twists and turns, just when everything appears to be resolved, Lapena delivers one final, deftly crafted surprise. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp.  The Couple Next Door lingers long after you turn the final page.” —Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fool Me Once

"The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages." --People

"Provocative and shocking.  One crime, an entire neighborhood of suspects, secrets and lies.  How well do we ever know those around us?  The Couple Next Door will keep you glued the pages in search of the answer.  Even then, you'll never guess the truth...until it's too late.” --Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Find Her

“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline.  The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!” —Sue Grafton, New York Times bestselling author of X

“Real men read women writers–because of books like this. Trust me.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Make Me

"Shari Lapena has written a stunning debut thriller.  Turn on the night lights and lock all your doors and windows.  The Couple Next Door grabs you with each twist and shocks you with every betrayal." —Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Killer Look

"A twisty, utterly riveting tale that will send readers on a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions. Shocking revelations kept me turning the pages like a madwoman." —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Playing with Fire

“Expertly paced and finely crafted, The Couple Next Door is a gripping thriller of the highest order. I couldn’t put it down.”  —A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor

“Gripped me from the very beginning to the very end!” --Becky Masterman, author of Rage Against The Dying

“Brilliant! This utterly riveting psychological thriller hurtles along at breakneck speed, never giving you the opportunity to catch your breath. Twisty, turny, and unputdownable.” —C. L. Taylor, bestselling  author of The Lie

“Exquisitely torturous tension.” —NPR.org

“The many never-saw-them-coming twists and questionable characters. . . will keep you on the edge of your seat. First-time novelist Lapena’s writing is spare and tense, and it makes The Couple Next Door a compulsive read. The last line is absolutely killer.” –Good Housekeeping

“[A] well-sculpted domestic thriller . . . highly suspenseful . . . Twists are subtly revealed with aplomb, taking the story to increasingly unpredictable levels.” Associated Press

“[A] suspenseful, heart-wrenching debut. . . After numerous twists and turns, Lapena delivers one final, deftly crafted surprise.” Publishers Weekly

“Brisk prose style and character development are almost beside the point in Lapena’s suspense-fiction debut; this is a plot-driven page-turner, and even the most character-focused readers will find it hard to put down.”Booklist 

Kirkus Reviews
2016-06-01
A questionable decision leaves a couple in a situation no parent wants to face: it's the middle of the night and their baby is gone.Anne and Marco Conti seem like the perfect upstate New York family. He runs a successful software development company while she stays home with 6-month-old Cora; maybe soon she'll go back to work at the art gallery she loved. Yet looks are deceiving: his company is floundering, and she's struggling with postpartum depression. A nice night out at a neighbor's birthday party might be just the thing everyone needs. But when the babysitter cancels, Anne and Marco decide to leave Cora alone, taking the baby monitor with them and checking on her every half hour. This ends predictably badly. When they return, drunk, after 1:00 a.m., Cora is gone. What ensues is a paint-by-numbers police investigation, led by the personality-free Detective Rasbach, who seems to cycle through potential theories as to Cora's whereabouts the same way Lapena must have in her early plotting stages, except it all ended up on the page. When it's clear, or at least partially clear, what happened to the child, any remaining tension hisses out like a pricked balloon. Anne's wealthy mother and stepfather seem a too-obvious plot device, and they are, while her issues with the very real problem of postpartum depression are merely glossed over or trotted out during faux-fiery monologues. It's difficult to drum up sympathy for this missing child, swaddled as she is in such a dull and harmless plot.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780735221086
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/23/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
88
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***

Copyright © 2016 Shari Lapena

One

Anne can feel the acid churning in her stomach and creeping up her throat; her head is swimming. She's had too much to drink. Cynthia has been topping her up all night. Anne had meant to keep herself to a limit, but she'd let things slide-she didn't know how else she was supposed to get through the evening. Now she has no idea how much wine she's drunk over the course of this interminable dinner party. She'll have to pump and dump her breast milk in the morning.

Anne wilts in the heat of the summer night and watches her hostess with narrowed eyes. Cynthia is flirting openly with Anne's husband, Marco. Why does Anne put up with it? Why does Cynthia's husband, Graham, allow it? Anne is angry but powerless; she doesn't know how to put a stop to it without looking pathetic and ridiculous. They are all a little tanked. So she ignores it, quietly seething, and sips at the chilled wine. Anne wasn't brought up to create a scene, isn't one to draw attention to herself.

Cynthia, on the other hand . . .

All three of them-Anne, Marco, and Cynthia's mild-mannered husband, Graham-are watching her, as if fascinated. Marco in particular can't seem to take his eyes off Cynthia. She leans in a little too close to Marco as she bends over and fills his glass, her clingy top cut so low that Marco's practically rubbing his nose in her cleavage.

Anne reminds herself that Cynthia flirts with everyone. Cynthia has such outrageous good looks that she can't seem to help herself.

But the longer Anne watches, the more she wonders if there could actually be something going on between Marco and Cynthia. Anne has never had such suspicions before. Perhaps the alcohol is making her paranoid.

No, she decides-they wouldn't be carrying on like this if they had anything to hide. Cynthia is flirting more than Marco is; he is the flattered recipient of her attentions. Marco is almost too good-looking himself-with his tousled dark hair, hazel eyes, and charming smile, he's always attracted attention. They make a striking couple, Cynthia and Marco. Anne tells herself to stop it. Tells herself that of course Marco is faithful to her. She knows he is completely committed to his family. She and the baby are everything to him. He will stand by her no matter what-she takes another gulp of wine-no matter how bad things get.

But watching Cynthia drape herself over Marco, Anne is becoming more and more anxious and upset. She is still more than twenty pounds overweight from her pregnancy, six months after having the baby. She thought she'd be back to her pre-pregnancy figure by now, but apparently it takes at least a year. She must stop looking at the tabloids at the grocery-store checkout and comparing herself to all those celebrity moms with their personal trainers who look terrific after mere weeks.

But even at her best, Anne could never compete with the likes of Cynthia, her taller, shapelier neighbor-with her long legs, nipped-in waist, and big breasts, her porcelain skin and tumbling jet-black hair. And Cynthia always dressed to kill, in high heels and sexy clothes-even for a dinner party at home with one other couple.

Anne can't focus on the conversation around her. She tunes it out and stares at the carved marble fireplace, exactly like the one in her own living-dining room, on the other side of the common wall that Anne and Marco share with Cynthia and Graham; they live in attached brick row houses, typical of this city in upstate New York, solidly built in the late nineteenth century. All the houses in the row are similar-Italianate, restored, expensive-except that Anne and Marco's is at the end of the row and each reflects slight differences in decoration and taste; each one is a small masterpiece.

Anne reaches clumsily for her cell phone on the dining table and checks the time. It is almost one o'clock in the morning. She'd checked on the baby at midnight. Marco had gone to check on her at twelve thirty. Then he'd gone out for a cigarette on the back patio with Cynthia, while Anne and Graham sat rather awkwardly at the littered dining table, making stilted conversation. She should have gone out to the backyard with them; there might have been a breeze. But she hadn't, because Graham didn't like to be around cigarette smoke, and it would have been rude, or at least inconsiderate, to leave Graham there all alone at his own dinner party. So for reasons of propriety, she had stayed. Graham, a WASP like herself, is impeccably polite. Why he married a tart like Cynthia is a mystery. Cynthia and Marco had come back in from the patio a few minutes ago, and Anne desperately wants to leave, even if everyone else is still having fun.

She glances at the baby monitor sitting at the end of the table, its small red light glowing like the tip of a cigarette. The video screen is smashed-she'd dropped it a couple of days ago and Marco hadn't gotten around to replacing it yet-but the audio is still working. Suddenly she has doubts, feels the wrongness of it all. 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. It was to be an adult evening, for Graham's birthday. Which is another reason Anne has come to dislike Cynthia, who was once a good friend-Cynthia is not baby-friendly. Who says that a six-month-old baby isn't welcome at a dinner party? How had Anne ever let Marco persuade her that it was okay? It was irresponsible. She wonders what the other mothers in her moms' group would think if she ever told them. We left our six-month-old baby home alone and went to a party next door. She imagines all their jaws dropping in shock, the uncomfortable silence. But she will never tell them. She'd be shunned.

She and Marco had argued about it before the party. When the sitter called and canceled, Anne had offered to stay home with the baby-she hadn't wanted to go to the dinner anyway. But Marco was having none of it.

"You can't just stay home," he insisted when they argued about it in their kitchen.

"I'm fine staying home," she said, her voice lowered. She didn't want Cynthia to hear them through the shared wall, arguing about going to her party.

"It will be good for you to get out," Marco countered, lowering his own voice. And then he'd added, "You know what the doctor said."

All night long she's been trying to decide whether that last comment was mean-spirited or self-interested or whether he was simply trying to help. Finally she'd given in. Marco persuaded her that with the monitor on next door they could hear the baby anytime she stirred or woke. They would check on her every half hour. Nothing bad would happen.

It is one o'clock. Should she check on Cora now or just try to get Marco to leave? She wants to go home to bed. She wants this night to end.

She pulls her husband's arm. "Marco," she urges, "we should leave. It's one o'clock."

"Oh, don't go yet," Cynthia says. "It's not that late!" She obviously doesn't want the party to be over. She doesn't want Marco to leave. She wouldn't mind at all if Anne left, though, Anne is pretty sure.

"Maybe not for you," Anne says, and she manages to sound a little stiff, even though she's drunk, "but I have to be up early to feed the baby."

"Poor you," Cynthia says, and for some reason this infuriates Anne. Cynthia has no children, nor has she ever wanted any. She and Graham are childless by choice.

Getting Marco to leave the party is difficult. He seems determined to stay. He's having too much fun, but Anne is growing anxious.

"Just one more," Marco says to Cynthia, holding up his glass, avoiding his wife's eyes.

He is in a strangely boisterous mood tonight-it seems almost forced. Anne wonders why. He's been quiet lately, at home. Distracted, even moody. But tonight, with Cynthia, he's the life of the party. For some time now, Anne has sensed that something is wrong, if only he would tell her what it is. He isn't telling her much of anything these days. He's shutting her out. Or maybe he's withdrawing from her because of her depression, her "baby blues." He's disappointed in her. Who isn't? Tonight he clearly prefers the beautiful, bubbly, sparkly Cynthia.

Anne notices the time and loses all patience. "I'm going to go. I was supposed to check on the baby at one." She looks at Marco. "You stay as late as you like," she adds, her voice tight. Marco looks sharply at her, his eyes glittering. Suddenly Anne thinks he doesn't seem that drunk at all, but she feels dizzy. Are they going to argue about this? In front of the neighbors? Really? Anne begins to glance around for her purse, gathers up the baby monitor, realizes then that it's plugged into the wall, and bends over to unplug it, aware of everyone at the table silently staring at her fat ass. Well, let them. She feels like they're ganging up on her, seeing her as a spoilsport. Tears start to burn, and she fights them back. She does not want to burst into tears in front of everyone. Cynthia and Graham don't know about her postpartum depression. They wouldn't understand. Anne and Marco haven't told anyone, with the exception of Anne's mother. Anne has recently confided in her. She knows that her mother won't tell anyone, not even her father. Anne doesn't want anyone else to know, and she suspects Marco doesn't either, although he hasn't said as much. But pretending all the time is exhausting.

While her back is turned, she hears Marco's change of heart in the tone of his voice.

"You're right. It's late, we should go," he says. She hears him set his wineglass on the table behind her.

Anne turns around, brushing the hair out of her eyes with the back of her hand. She desperately needs a haircut. She gives a fake smile and says, "Next time it's our turn to host." And adds silently, You can come to our house, where our child lives with us, and I hope she cries all night and spoils your evening. I'll be sure to invite you when she's teething.

They leave quickly after that. They have no baby gear to gather up, just themselves, Anne's purse, and the baby monitor, which she shoves into it. Cynthia looks annoyed at their swift departure-Graham is neutral-and they make their way out the impressively heavy front door and down the steps. Anne grabs hold of the elaborately carved handrail to help her keep her balance. It is just a few short paces along the sidewalk until they are at their own front stairs, with a similar handrail and an equally impressive front door. Anne is walking slightly ahead of Marco, not speaking. She may not speak to him for the rest of the night. She marches up the steps and stops dead.

"What?" Marco says, coming up behind her, his voice tense.

Anne is staring. The front door is ajar; it is open about three inches.

"I know I locked it!" Anne says, her voice shrill.

Marco says tersely, "Maybe you forgot. You've had a lot to drink."

But Anne isn't listening. She's inside and running up the staircase and down the hall to the baby's room, with Marco right at her heels.

When she gets to the baby's room and sees the empty crib, she screams.

Two

Anne feels her scream inside her own head and reverberating off the walls-her scream is everywhere. Then she falls silent and stands in front of the empty crib, rigid, her hand to her mouth. Marco fumbles with the light switch. They both stare at the empty crib where their baby should be. It is impossible that she not be there. There is no way Cora could have gotten out of the crib by herself. She is barely six months old.

"Call the police," Anne whispers, then throws up, the vomit cascading over her fingers and onto the hardwood floor as she bends over. The baby's room, painted a soft butter yellow with stencils of baby lambs frolicking on the walls, immediately fills with the smell of bile and panic.

Marco doesn't move. Anne looks up at him. He is paralyzed, in shock, staring at the empty crib, as if he can't believe it. Anne sees the fear and guilt in his eyes and starts to wail-a horrible, keening sound, like an animal in pain.

Marco still doesn't budge. Anne bolts across the hall to their bedroom, grabs the phone off the bedside table, and dials 911, her hands shaking, getting vomit all over the phone. Marco finally snaps out of it. She can hear him walking rapidly around the second floor of the house while she stares across the hall at the empty crib. He checks the bathroom, at the top of the stairs, then passes quickly by her on his way to search the spare bedroom and then the last room down the hall, the one they have turned into an office. But even as he does, Anne wonders in a detached way why he is looking there. It's as if part of her mind has split off and is thinking logically. It's not like their baby is mobile on her own. She is not in the bathroom, or the spare bedroom, or the office.

Someone has taken her.

When the emergency operator answers, Anne cries, "Someone has taken our baby!" She is barely able to calm herself enough to answer the operator's questions.

"I understand, ma'am. Try to stay calm. The police are on their way," the operator assures her.

Anne hangs up the phone. Her whole body is trembling. She feels like she is going to be sick again. It occurs to her how it will look. They'd left the baby alone in the house. Was that illegal? It must be. How will they explain it?

Marco appears at the bedroom door, pale and sick-looking.

"This is your fault!" Anne screams, wild-eyed, and pushes past him. She rushes into the bathroom at the top of the stairs and throws up again, this time into the pedestal sink, then washes the mess from her shaking hands and rinses her mouth. She catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Marco is standing right behind her. Their eyes meet in the mirror.

Meet the Author

SHARI LAPENA worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. She has written two award-winning literary novels, and The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut.

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The Couple Next Door 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I rarely give books a 5 star rating, but this was a really good book! It's about a couple whose baby is kidnapped. There's a surprising twist near the end.
Anonymous 28 days ago
Great read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Kept you on edge until the last page!!
Anonymous 18 days ago
Worth reading
Anonymous 19 days ago
This is who done it that wa obvious. I could have waited for the book to go on sale. Disappointed!
Anonymous 20 days ago
Crazy good, couldn't stop reading. Shocking ending.
Anonymous 21 days ago
This book will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat the whole time
Anonymous 30 days ago
Different story, kept me guessing. I found it was hard to put down, had to keep reading to find out what happened.
SheTreadsSoftly 3 months ago
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena is a recommended novel of suspense. Anne and Marco Conti are attending a dinner party at their next door neighbors. Their sitter cancelled on them at the last minute and they know Cynthia and Graham don't like children, so they have left 6 month old Cora asleep next door, in their attached home. They have the baby monitor with them and are taking turns checking on her every half hour. As the party drones on, Anne is drunk and bothered by how much Cynthia is shamelessly flirting with Marco. When Anne finally persuades Marco to leave after 1 AM, they return home to find their front door open and baby Cora gone. Detective Rasbach knows there is more going on than the couple is telling him and he works to slowly uncover hidden secrets and potential theories regarding what happened to Cora. It doesn't appear that anyone else has been in their home. However, the back door motion sensor light has been unscrewed and the Conti's garage door, which opens to the alley, was left open. There are tire tracks not from the Conti's car in the garage. It seems that someone went out the back door with Cora, but why was the front door open? Could the Cont's be covering up something more sinister? This is a riveting, suspenseful debut novel that had me glued to the pages, overlooking, but noting, all the many flaws while I read. The chapters alternate between narrators so you can follow what each character is thinking as the search progresses. There are plenty of secrets which mean there are plot twists and reveals of secrets along the way. And, let's face it, in any case, real or fiction, with a missing baby the parents are the main suspects. I kept reading wanting to know what happened next, as Lapena throws one surprise after another at the reader. Many of these twists I saw coming so they just confirmed my predictions, which is sometimes a motivation for reading a mystery. Some of the plot elements are also just a tad bit too convenient. Now the flaws are numerous. The characters seemed very much all convenient cliches: the doubting detective, extremely wealthy parents, disappointing son-in-law, poor first time mother with postpartum depression and other issues (and postpartum depression is real, but somehow marginalized here), the sexy next-door-neighbor, a difficult fussy baby. Add to that the lack of real character development, and it's hard to like or truly care about these people. In the end this was a hard one for me to rate. The ending almost led me to a two star rating. It is not an outstanding-must-read-book-of-the-summer. The writing is okay and the plot is pedestrian, BUT I did read it wanting to know what happened next, which is sometimes the whole reason to read a mystery. This is worthy of airplane book status. It's going to keep your attention, provide entertainment, and will be easy to jump back into during your trip. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
Myndia 3 months ago
The Couple Next Door is riveting! Truly. The pace is relatively quick with a lot happening in a very short span of time. Towards the end, you don’t know which end is up! The story follows a couple whose baby has disappeared from her crib in the middle of the night. Who did it and why? How did they manage it? Was it planned in advance or did the kidnappers see an opportunity and run with it? Will the baby be found…alive? What I think I loved most about this book (aside from the fact that it was actually suspenseful when so many of the thrillers and suspense novels I’ve read lately haven’t been) is the exploration of motive because it raises a lot of questions and highlights our human failings. Do we really know what our loved ones are capable of? How far will a person go when they are desperate? Is there a limit to forgiveness and understanding? My singular complaint is the ending. Of course, I can’t be specific, so I’ll just say, I don’t understand why it was necessary (I have thoughts about why, but again…spoilers). For me, it in no way enhanced the story and felt a little disjointed. Despite the ending, it was smartly written and such an engrossing story, that I have to put it in the must read category. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Great
Anonymous 9 days ago
loved it
Anonymous 9 days ago
Anonymous 18 days ago
dirtlane 21 days ago
Excellent read.
Kaits_Bookshelf 24 days ago
If you thought The Girl on the Train kept you on your toes, wait til you meet The Couple Next Door!! THIS is the thriller I’ve been seeking all summer! Anne and Marco are just a normal couple with a new baby girl on a nice street in a nice neighborhood. Everything about them screams stereotypical middle class family. Except not everything or everyone is always as they seem, are they? That’s all I will say about the plot of this book because there were so many surprises and twists that I am really afraid to give away any little detail that might spoil a surprise for you while you’re reading it. That’s how good and full of surprises this book was! Read full review at: KaitsBookshelf.com
Virginiaw 25 days ago
This was a fantastic book. There were many twists and turns and I could not put this down. How could you handle your daughter being kidnapped from your home while you are partying next door at neighbors. How does this couple survive? Great read. I received an ebook copy of this from Firsttoread for a fair and honest opinion.
cdjCA 26 days ago
I did not find this book to be anywhere as good as the reviews indicated. It was not terrible, but had trouble holding my interest.
Saph1re 27 days ago
This is a great psychological mystery thriller that keeps you guessing from the moment a couple return home from an evening at their next door neighbour's house, to discover their baby has gone missing. Tense beginning, and even though I was sure I knew who took the baby, this story taught me that people aren’t always what they seem, and threw me off track on more than one occasion. In fact, I think I suspected nearly every character at one point of another. Sometimes I can be disappointed by endings of books that are so good throughout that story, but I loved this ending. If I’m honest, it left me feeling rather shocked and a little bit sick. I was going to go to sleep once I finished this book last night, but had to start another book to take my mind off the ending. I would like to thank Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Twink 3 months ago
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena has just released. And for those of you who love psychological twisty tales like me, you're going to want to pick this one up. Yes, you've seen those stories in the newspaper. A couple who slip out for just a bit, leaving their sleeping child in the house or room. Close by of course.... That's what Marco and Anne do. They go next door for dinner with their neighbours. They even take the baby monitor with them. And run back to their own home every 1/2 hour to check on little Cora. It will be fine......right? Yep, you've got it - Cora goes missing. As the search for Cora mounts and the investigation progresses, so do the lies, omissions and secrets. Every character in the book has something to hide. Lapena carefully doles out those secrets, adding a change to the direction of the plot - and to the reader's suspicions with every new revelation. I had my suspicions - and they did indeed change with every new exposed secret. As the book drew close to the final chapters, I was pretty sure I had it figured out - and I was right. But that in no way detracted from my frantic page turning. I really could not put the book down! And then Lapena hit me with one last gotcha on the final page. Well done Ms. Lapena! Lapena's previous two books have been of the literary bent. This is a new direction for Lapena - and I really hope to see another in this genre from her.
TammyL63 3 months ago
Finally a book that I couldn't put down! Finished it in one day, loved it.
MasonCanyon 3 months ago
Author Shari Lapena takes the ‘tangled web we weave’ scenario to a whole new level in her latest release, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR. You practically have to tie a sting at the beginning to find your way back as there are so many twists, turns and unexpected moves. It’s wonderful and keeps you guessing until the shocking end. Even if you can figure out who the real villain is, the motive may surprise you. Narrator Kirsten Potter does a superb job giving distinct voices to the various characters. Her timing and mannerisms are spot on. She delivers the range of emotions with great zeal. Her vocals enhance the suspense and drama felt throughout the story. Lapena has created such intricate characters you find yourself disliking and pulling for them at the same time. The secondary characters add another layer of intrigue to this thriller. The setting quickly pulls you in. There’s a good mix of joy, heartache, suspense and disbelief for a well-balanced tale. The story is filled with a seesaw-effect of emotions. Just as you catch your breath, the story takes another turn. THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is a heart-pounding story that will seize your emotions as you contemplate the agony of a missing child and the fallout from bad parenting. A captivating thriller you will feel to your core. FTC Full Disclosure – Copies of this book were sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review them. However, receiving the complimentary copies did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.