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The Couple Next Door Bets On...

The Couple Next Door

August 2016

In her debut thriller, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Shari Lapena took me on a ride where every turn brought a twist that propelled the story into a new direction. Some were more subtle than others, but each time I thought Just keep reading. I was 100 pages in one night before I looked up, devoured another 200 pages the following morning, and then raced home to finish it. Most chapters had cliffhanger endings that made me turn the page and say “More!”

The story starts with a quick turn that sets it all up. Anne and Marco Conti are invited to a dinner party by their neighbors, Cynthia and Graham, who live in an adjacent house. When the babysitter cancels at the last moment, Cynthia, who wants an “adult” dinner, asks them not to bring the baby. It is decided that Anne and Marco will put six-month-old Cora down for the night, plug in their baby monitor and head next door. What could go wrong? Every hour they check the baby. All is well until they arrive home at around 1am, and Cora is gone. Who took her, when and why? 

From there, the story races away. It takes readers along for the ride, with each chapter presenting a new idea of what very well may have happened, until that idea too is tossed away or adds another clue. Detective Rasbach, who is the investigating officer, seems to instinctively know that there is more to this story, but it’s not something that will be solved in a snap. I kept thinking of “Broadchurch,” the BBC version, as I read.

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is brisk and tightly edited, which I really liked; nothing dragged the story down. I already am looking forward to seeing what Shari does next!

The Couple Next Door
by Shari Lapena