The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


This book is incredibly gripping! Do not read unless you can do so in one sitting. It killed me not to read this book in one go. I absolutely loved it. In this book, Anne and Marco go to a party at their next door neighbours house. Their babysitter canceled so they took the Baby Monitor and checked on their baby girl every 30 minutes. However, when they return home after a disastrous evening baby Cora is gone.


The main thing I liked about this book is the way the story is told. It isn’t from anyone person’s point of view but all of the key characters. It switches easily between perspectives throughout each chapter. This means that we don’t pledge allegiance to one person or have only one person’s thoughts. We get a more current and engaging view of the action as it happens to whoever it happens to. This is a unique way of telling the story but it actually made it more captivating. It played out in my head like a TV show (I really hope they turn this into a TV show!)


This book has a sense of realism throughout. None of the characters are perfect, in fact, their flaws distract the police investigation many times. Nothing is straight forward which is true to life – I’d love to meet the person who had a straightforward life. The characters are realistic and vivid and you become invested in them and their struggle to deal with this tragedy and unpick the lies that surround everyone in this book.


This book doesn’t keep you hanging until the end to find out what happened to Cora which I really liked. We are given pieces of the puzzle early on but we don’t know how they fit together until closer to the end. I liked this as it felt like I was part of the investigation like I had the pieces and was trying to put them together in my head – just like they were on the page. This meant I was completely immersed in the story which is a sign of great writing. The ending of this book is harrowing! There is no happily ever after but it fits with the characters we know and how they would realistically behave so it wasn’t a ridiculous ending – just heartbreaking.


I really enjoyed this book and this is definitely an author I will read again.


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