Hi guys! I am back with another review. This one a highly anticipated read for me. It was one of those books that had been on my TBR for so long, and I kept forgetting about it. I alway found myself picking it up in a book store but never buying it. Then my parents bought me a copy for my birthday, I finally read it. I have seen it everywhere over the past couple of months. So many people have been talking about it on their instagrams and I was quite excited to give it a go. It is The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.
The Couple Next Door is a mystery thriller published August 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books. It spans just over 300 pages and was a nominee for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller. As usual, here is the synopsis:
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.
The Couple Next Door has a lot of similarities in the start to the Madeline McCann case, where the parents are only a short distance away from the lone child. They check on her every half an hour before returning to the party, but when they return home, she’s gone. I don’t know if this inspired the idea of the novel for Shari Lapena, but the similarities in how the child is initially reported missing are undeniable. Throughout the story after Cora’s disappearance, we start to learn of a trail of betrayals and lies that the couple have been hiding from each other. Some of those secrets are many years old. As these secrets unravel, Detective Rasbach starts to realise that these two bereaved parents aren’t all that they seem. But what are they hiding? And who is innocent?
I’m not going to lie, when I read the synopsis for this book, way back when, I instantly thought this is the kind of book that I like. I was convinced I’d love it and I had heard from other readers that it was amazing, but I was a little let down by it. I enjoyed reading it, but it was a little predictable and I felt the suspense was a little lacking. But it was also well written and interesting to read. I just felt like it was lacking that little bit of extra suspense and the plot twists needed to be a bit more surprising. I feel like that was all that was missing to stop me from loving this book instead of just liking it.
Aspects that I really appreciated in this book was the different view points we got from each of the key characters. I felt like in a story like this which is very “who-did-it” and very mysterious the different view points really did add to the story. It made the uncovering of secrets and unravelling the case a lot more interesting while adding a nice depth to the characters. It enabled you to get to know them a bit more and a tad easier as well. I feel that’s very important, if you can’t get to know the characters, the story will not have the intended impact. But they developed in a lovely manner throughout the book and we very well presented for each characters purpose to the main and sub plots.
All in all, I enjoyed The Couple Next Door. It was interesting with great characters. The writing was clear and concise. The story was very easy to follow I just felt in some places it was lacking in suspense and I felt like I needed more surprise in the plot twists. Overall, it was an enjoyable read despite that. Would I recommend it? Definitely, I was never bored reading it. It is definitely easy to read and I feel like people who like the mystery genre would like this book too.
Star Rating /5