Monday, 10 October 2016

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher:  Bantam Press
Pages: 304
Genres: Psychological Thriller


You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
After reading a couple of sub par horror reads this month,The Couple Next Door was a brilliant palette cleanser. It is a fast paced, plot driven thriller with so many unpredictable twists and turns.

Anne and Marco decide to leave their baby alone whilst they attend a dinner party next door. Anne has been suffering with a bit of the baby blues and so Marco thinks that getting her out the house for an evening will help perk her up a bit. They have been checking on the baby every half hour or so and they had a baby monitor with them but of course, when they return home at around 1 am, baby Cora is nowhere to be found. Where is she? Who did this? Will they ever see their baby again? It's every parents worst nightmare, and I was riveted almost all of the way through.

I was relieved that the plot was extremely fast moving, no time is wasted telling every character's life story which can often get tedious. There aren't fifty side characters to keep track of either, which I appreciated. Saying that, if you are a reader who prefers more character driven plots, this book may not tickle your fancy. 

I was thoroughly impressed at how well my attention was captured by Shari Lapena's writing, it was descriptive but not overly so. I think the balance between focusing on the characters versus moving the plot forward was perfect. The ending was shocking yet satisfying. Highly recommend.

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