The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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?
I read this in one day from start to finish - I am glad that I chose to do this as it helped the flow of the book.
After their baby sitter calls to cancel the couple Marco and Anne made a decision to leave their 6 month old baby alone while they go next door to a dinner party. They take the baby monitor and religiously go in to check her every half an hour throughout the evening. On returning home after the party they discover that the baby is missing. Racked with guilt at leaving the child the story proceeds to uncover what happened that night. It was well paced and had enough intrigue to make the reader want to find out what had happened to the missing baby.
I did however find the characters a bit flat and it was hard to like any of them. The mother was suffering post partum depression but we later learn she has some history of mental illness; the father Marco has money worries as having over extended his business he is now in financial trouble; Anne's mother Alice didn't really seem to have much personality until the latter half of the book and her step father Richard was a very nasty and manipulative character. The writer also didn't really allow the reader imagination as everything was neatly laid out - I felt it was more 'tell' than 'show' and because of this it was easy to predict.
I did guess the outcome but the twist at the end was somewhat unexpected so this saved it from being totally predictable. It was well rounded off and all ends tied up nicely but I did think it lacked a certain something that would have made it great for me, having said that it was still a good read, not the best psychological thriller but a passable read. I would give this a 4 star rating, not quite up there with the best but not a bad effort for a debut thriller.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.