The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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Married couple Anne and Marcos leave their house one night to go to a dinner party next door. Their baby sitter cancelled last minute, so they decided to leave their 6 month old daughter Cora home alone, and they’d bring the baby monitor to the dinner party and check on her every half hour. They come home at about 1:30am to find their front door ajar and their baby missing. From there, we fly through a number of ransom attempts, police interviews, and leads, until the kidnapper is finally revealed.

This book moved quickly, in sort of a weird way. Almost nothing physically was happening in regards to finding the baby, but there were constant twists and turns and discoveries, and I loved all of them! I knew the person I was suspicious of, but could quite figure out how or why, so I loved when everything was revealed and everything clicked into place. Almost every character in the book was deeply flawed in some way, and I enjoyed uncovering those parts of them, because it gave me as a reader reason to suspect many of them in relation to Cora’s kidnapping.

I have to say, I loved the ending of the book. I think my jaw literally dropped and I let out a “whatttttt?!” That said, I can see why other readers could hate it. It’s a polarizing ending, but I thought it worked, especially given what we already knew about the characters and their flaws.

The one thing I didn’t love was the narration. It jumped around a LOT in no particular order and with no warning. You’d read a chapter narrated by Anne, then one by Marcos, and then one by the detective, with a few other random one offs, and it sometimes was hard to keep up with who the current narrator was. In addition, it also gave us insight earlier on to certain things than it otherwise would have. In that, I mean there were things revealed based on whose POV you were reading, that with one narrator wouldn’t have come out until much later in the story, so that took away some of the suspense.

Despite the narration, I’d still recommend the book. Was it the best thriller I’ve ever read? No. Was it an engaging read? Yes. I finished it in a day.

Have you read The Couple Next Door? What did you think?

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16 thoughts on “The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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