Welcome to the final stop of The Couple Next Door blog tour!
About the book
Published: 14th July 2016 (Bantam Press)
You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.
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.
What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
I kindly received an ARC of The Couple Next Door from the publisher and it arrived beautifully wrapped in a realistic copy of a newspaper article of the abduction – I almost didn’t want to undo it!
Anne and Marco Conti have plans for the evening celebrating with their neighbours for Graham’s birthday however Cynthia makes it very clear that their 6 month old baby, Cora, is not welcome. Anne has a babysitter lined up for the evening however she lets them down at the last minute therefore Marco convinces Anne to leave Cora at home as they have the monitor and they can check on her every half hour (being a parent myself this is chilling in itself!). Anne is uncomfortable with this idea however goes along with the change of plans. The evening itself is not particularly enjoyable as Cynthia is overly flirtatious with Marco who is lapping it up.
When they finally return home at 1:30am, they find that Cora has gone, seemingly abducted within the last hour from her crib. What ensues is an investigation by Detective Rasbach into Cora’s disappearance.
This is a fantastic debut thriller from Lapena, it is full of twists and turns throughout the book with everyone acting suspicious and guilty. Lapena portrays the anguish and torrent of emotions that Anne and Marco are going through fantastically through both their narrative and actions. I couldn’t put it down, I just wanted to keep reading to find out what had happened to poor little Cora.
What is interesting about this book, is the fact that none of the characters are particularly likeable; the neighbours Graham and Cynthia are not really friends to the Conti’s despite how they try and portray themselves – there is no allowance that Anne and Marco have a baby therefore their priorities have changed and Cynthia’s flirtatious behaviour with Marco is disrespectful and completely out of order. Anne frustratingly does not stand up for herself and gets swept along either by Marco or her parents and Marco is one of life’s victims and nothing is ever his fault – together these characters are fabulous and their selfishness adds to the tension as they are all unreliable narrators.
My only disappointment was the swift wrap up at the end of the story, once everything unravelled it personally seemed to end too quickly – maybe I just wanted to drag out this wonderful narrative for a little bit longer or I was in denial that it was actually over!
About the author
Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. The Couple Next Door is her debut thriller.