Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

28815474The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Mystery

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How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 
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.


A baby is kidnapped while the parents are next door.

Mayhem ensues.

It’s a captivating story, I’ll admit. At first, at least. Then, it becomes too convoluted to keep its realisticity.

So the story isn’t bad per se. If you don’t mind crazy, nefarious scenarios with outcomes that lead to more crazy, nefarious scenarios, you might just love this.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t because it didn’t sound right to me. Especially not the ending. What a stupid one. The character would never have done such a thing. Not after what happened. But then again, I’m not the author. What do I know?

I also couldn’t because the writing is horribly amateurish. It literally feels like a thirteen-year-old wrote this. Seriously, maybe middle grade mystery books would fit this author better.

And then there’s the narration. Because the writing isn’t enjoyable, the narration, in consequence, isn’t either. Plus, I felt extremely disconnected from the characters. I didn’t even care about their circumstances.

Sure, I wanted the baby found and brought back but, at some point, as the story becomes more and more convoluted, the focus sharpens on who is the kidnapper instead of where the baby girl is.

The two are, of course, linked but the blame is put on so many people, while the baby remains unfound, that it starts to become ridiculous after a while.

Can I just say it again? What a stupid ending. We all know what’s going to happen now. Who invented open endings, though? Curse them.

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9 thoughts on “Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

  1. The first part of your review made me want to read this but the mid to latter, I am not so sure if I still would…i dont want to stop reading in the middle, ive already got too much of that!


  2. I doubt I would enjoy this book. The blurb did catch my attention, but it sounds horribly executed from what you described. Oh well. Great review! 🙂


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