Monday, August 22, 2016

Not Who I Want For Neighbors (review)

TITLE: The Couple Next Door
AUTHOR: Shari Lapena
PUBLISHER: Pamela Dorman Books
PUBLISHING DATE: August 23, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 
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.

MY THOUGHTS:  Wow, I almost don't know how to review this book because I have some mixed emotions going on but I'm going to give it a go. "The Couple Next Door" starts with the disappearance of Anne and Marco's infant daughter Cora one night while they are at a next door neighbors' dinner party. They have left the child alone because the babysitter canceled, thinking it was OK as long as they had the baby monitor with them and as long as they checked on her every half hour. When they return home after 1am, they are shocked to find Cora missing and very few clues about what happened to her. The remainder of the story is a mix between trying to get Cora back and what happened that led to her loss in the first place.

I will say one of the positive things about this book is its fast pace. Big events immediately start happening in the book and overall, it is a decent enough read. I am sure many people will enjoy it because it is full of action as well as lots of twists and turns. However, I found those twists to be too predictable. In fact, I can't think of anything in this book that didn't play out the way I had anticipated. I was never surprised at anything that happened. Also, I never really GREW ATTACHED to any of the characters. Strike that, I just pretty much didn't LIKE any of the characters. I didn't even get the chance to really like Cora because you don't even get to meet her before she disappears. Also, there is something about the author's writing style that irks me, and I can't quite pinpoint what it is. It may be related to a lot of the book being told in first person and present time and that it was done in a confusing manner. PLUS, for some reason, when the book had wrapped up, the author had to go and throw ANOTHER twist at the end which I felt was pretty much uncalled for because for me, the book had already ended. Of course, following this twist the book finally does end abruptly which left me with a "WTF" look on my face.

Like I mentioned, I'm sure lots of people will enjoy "The Couple Next Door." It's a decent enough read but I don't feel I would have missed much had I passed on it. If you love thrillers and wait for it......if you liked "Gone Girl" then you might want to give this one a go. I think it's pretty much getting mixed reviews so you will just have to decide for yourself.

I received an ARC of this book from the Penguin First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.



  1. This sounds interesting but I hate when I can guess all the twist and turns and nothing surprises me. Might put it on my maybe list. :)

  2. Yes!!!!! This review is spot on. Fantastic review. I agree with you and you're right it does have a fast pace, it's just so predictable.

  3. I had a lot of mixed emotions toward Gone Girl, so I'd probably feel the same.

  4. This is another one that I've been of two minds about. From what you've said though, I think I might give this one a miss...jsut doesn't sit right with me.