The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena | Book Review

The Couple Next Door book cover

Anne and Marco have been invited to a dinner party at their next door neighbour’s house. They’ve been told not to take their baby. The babysitter cancelled at the last minute, so they tuck their daughter up in bed and take the baby monitor with them to dinner. They check on the child every half an hour, but somehow it all goes wrong. They arrive home after 1 AM to find the crib empty. Was she kidnapped? Was she murdered? Will they ever find out who is to blame, and will they ever get their baby back?

Oof, this is a cracking thriller. CRACKING. It’s incredibly difficult to discuss it without giving away essential spoilers, so all I’ll say is this: there is twist after twist after twist and it is incredible. I gasped audibly multiple times as the rug was pulled out from under me.

I think what’s so effective about The Couple Next Door is the way the author allows us to see the inner workings of the minds of both parents, as well as that of Detective Rasbach who is leading the police investigation. It forces you to constantly question what you know about each character, and it leads you down several different potential paths before revealing who is to blame for the kidnapping. And even when this essential detail is revealed, it soon becomes apparent that there’s even more to the story when everything goes from bad to worse.

There’s lie upon lie upon lie to cope with, and all the while mother Anne spirals into despair and insanity. And then, right at the end when you think that things might just be okay, there’s a twist to end all twists that left me absolutely appalled in the best kind of way.

The Couple Next Door is completely riveting and I can’t recommend it highly enough for those who love a good thriller. Just be sure put a full day aside for it because once you start reading you won’t want to stop.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. She has published two short story collections - 'Merry Bloody Christmas' and 'Come What May Day'. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition. She can often be found loitering on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott).

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