Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Following the fantastic Sometimes I Lie, I was very excited to pick up The Couple Next Door.  I think I read them in the wrong order- because there was just no way The Couple Next Door was going to have as many twists and turns as Sometimes I Lie.

It was still pretty good though! Once again, I read it all within one 24 hour period.  I think the structure of thrillers works well for me.  A good thriller should move at a quick pace, and these two books in particular had short punchy chapters, which I love.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Rating:  ★★★

Blurb (from 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.

The author wasted no time getting to the heart of the issue.  Anne and Marco’s babysitter cancels on them at the last minute.  They decide to go to the dinner party anyway, being that it’s right next door, and bring the baby monitor so they can listen for their daughter. Sometime between 12:30 AM and 1:30 AM their daughter is snatched from her crib.  Detective Rasbach immediately suspects that the couple is involved, because that’s how most of these cases go.

That’s as much as I’ll say because I don’t want to spoil anything.  I think a lot of the suspense was lost on me, because somewhere along the line, I read a spoiler for the book.  I thought it was on the book jacket, but looking back I see that it wasn’t.  I’m thinking it must have been in a review and I didn’t realize at the time it was a spoiler.

Anyway- as the secrets start to unravel, there are plenty of them, but I don’t feel like any of them were particularly shocking.  I don’t want to say this story has been told before, but if you’ve ever watched Law & Order you probably won’t have much trouble guessing where it was going.  I had the crux of it pegged early on (and not because I read the spoiler, which wasn’t unrelated, but had nothing to do with the whodunnit).

I did feel that Detective Rasbach’s POV was a little unnecessary.  He doesn’t reveal much that couldn’t have been relayed via dialogue with the other characters, and in fact, most of the relevant aspects of his POV are.  He’s largely absent from the middle of the book, and only makes a brief appearance again at the end.

The writing was fine.  It was a little clunky and awkward in a couple places but not enough to detract from my enjoyment from the book.  I also feel that the title is misleading.  The couple next door plays a very small role in the book, and they didn’t feel entirely relevant.

All in all- not a bad read at all if thrillers are your thing, but I’m also not chomping at the bit to recommend it to anyone.

The Couple Next Door can be found on GoodReads and Amazon.



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

    • I had never heard of that case (I don’t watch the news much because of exactly that, it depresses me).

      I don’t think there was anything wrong with this book, I just think it’s been done before. Many, many times. Probably safe to skip if you don’t love thrillers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know if I could watch it- Missing Children stuff actually really bothers me. I say it has to do with being a mom, but the truth is it’s always bothered me, intense bullying, child abuse, missing children… I can’t even watch or read The Lovely Bones. My father rented it once and I had to walk out halfway through because it got to me.

        If you have any other good documentary recs though let me know- I do love them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Makes sense. For me those kinds of cases are like a train wreck where you can’t look away.

        In a similar vein, the Amanda Knox documentary was really well done and the Fyre festival one was hilarious. Two of the most entertaining hours of my life haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I do get the sense that thrillers these days are starting to blend together. I think the genre is getting over saturated, so finding thrillers that really stand out is harder to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. It was a nice little reprieve from Fantasy for a moment, but I don’t feel like I now need to go out and read a bunch of thrillers. They definitely have to be unique to be exciting any more and that’s rare.


  2. I’m with you about missing / abused children cases being a hard read for me. (I’m not a mom, but old enough to be, and maybe that makes them even harder than when I was younger? I hadn’t really realized that until now.) I’m glad you enjoyed this one, but I think I’ll be skipping it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My sister read this and raved about it. Seeing as how she loves all the drama surrounding the Madeleine McCann case, I can well see why this appealed to her.

    Ouch! Nothing worse than happening across a spoiler for books where the author is trying to keep you guessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up: June 2 – 8 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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