Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Couple Next Door

Lapena, S. (2016). The Couple Next Door. Pamela Dorman Books.

Adult / Contemporary / Suspense

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Blurb (Goodreads): 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.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: I got hooked on this book via the First Look Book Club, which introduced the first couple of chapters. I had to keep reading! The mystery of the baby's disappearance uncovers even more mysteries, and I was turning pages quickly to see who did what -- and why. Unfortunately, the story and writing didn't stay as strong as the book progressed, and there were more than a few times that I thought things happened a little too conveniently and a bit too much as expected. Lapena does a great job in writing her characters so that readers will feel a certain way. Even when I wanted to be angry/disappointed/hateful towards some characters, I couldn't help but feel sympathetic or even empathetic because they are so very human. It takes skill to write like that.

Was I sorry I spent the time reading it? Absolutely not -- I continued burning through it to find out once and for all what really was going on in all the separate dramas. The ending was satisfactory, and I think the author has real potential for future books. I would definitely try again.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an eBook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. 

Shari Lapena
SHARI LAPENA worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. She has written two critically acclaimed literary novels. The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut. Find out more about her and her book on her WEBSITE


  1. I love reading reviews that actually delve into the reasons for liking a book, and then are honest enough to say what the reader felt was lacking. I read my reviews to find out what people say that might help me write the next book better than the last. Thanks for this review.

    1. That is super interesting to me. If I were an author, I am not sure I could read reviews of my work for constructive criticism! I am not brave enough. I am glad you like my review and approach. Thanks for stopping by!