Friday, 16 September 2016

Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Book: The Couple Next Door

Author: Shari Lapena

Pages: 304

Read: The paperback edition; you can read the first few pages of the book by clicking on 'Preview' below.

Read in: 3 hours

Plot Summary: 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.

Things I Liked: 

1. This book is a super quick and fast read. At 304 pages and with a storyline that delivers multiple twists and turns, this book is quite thrilling and fairly unputdownable. 

2. This is yet another of those books that take a peak inside the dynamics of a seemingly normal marriage and family. Everything looks so kosher on the surface but there are way too many red herrings and undercurrents and dynamics that become apparent if one looks closely. I always find books that dwell on family dynamics really interesting because that's something all of us, in some capacity, can relate to. In this book, Marco and Anne seem like a happy young couple with a new baby, but that's so far away from the truth as we find out as the book delves deeper into their lives and their past. 

3. It is also interesting how involved Anne's parents- Alice and Richard- were in their lives. I am always wary when anyone's parents are too involved in their married kids' lives! In this case, Anne and Marco had taken a lot of handouts from Alice and Richard, which gave the parents a bit much of a say in every aspect of Anne and Marco's lives. 

4. There are multiple twists and reveals in the book! Like, m u l t i p l e. You think you've been told who Cora's kidnapper is, when BAM! there is a new twist in the tale. This book is not very predictable, so kudos for that! 

Things I Didn't Like:

1. The characters were not very well fleshed out. We got to see some aspects of Anne's past but we don't really get to know her outside of this tiny window of events. As a mom whose child has been kidnapped, Anne is mostly hysterical, filled with self-hate and loathing.. so, not too many dimensions to her personality are revealed. Marco just seems greedy and a mega opportunist! No other characters are that prominent! 

2. I wish the detectives, at least, were interesting! We don't get to know them at all and not much signs of genius are displayed. Slightly disappointing! 

3. The ending was, er, interesting... but.. it left me wondering what next? Don't want to discuss anything anymore on the ending.. don't want to spoil the book. 

Rating: 3.5/5 
The Couple Next Door is a decent thriller. If you like reading about messy families and a mystery with multiple reveals and twists, then is a good book to pick up. 

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