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Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Published by Transworld Digital on July 14th 2016
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
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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 feel like I expected more from this book than what it gave me. The blurb lay the foundation for a book that would be truly chilling. A 6 month old child has been kidnapped from its home whilst her parents were next door enjoying a party. The title throwing up the questions: ‘Can we trust the couple next door? Who are they really? How exactly are they involved? What exactly is the story behind the couple next door?’ Ultimately, the story behind the couple next door shocked in parts but not enough to save this book. The twists came too late or weren’t revealed subtly enough.

 

The blurb was accurate in its depiction of this book as a tale of deception, duplicity and unfaithfulness. The final twist was in fact shocking, the last 40 pages the only redeemable aspect of the whole book. If the whole book had been styled the way the last 40 pages were then I am sure I would have enjoyed it so much more.

 

I was not a big fan of how this book was written, it lacked depth in its descriptions and unfolding of events. It was far too distant and factual; I never had the chance to truly engage with the characters or grow to like or dislike them. This book lacked that subtle unfolding of events. Instead, characters spat out exactly why they thought someone was guilty in explicit detail so we never got the chance to assume Character A did this because of Plot Point A or Character B. It took a lot of shock and guess work out of the book in my opinion. Perhaps my distaste for this style is also because in the back of my mind every thriller gets held up to the standard of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train because of how they truly mastered the art of a thriller.

 

Despite that, it was an intriguing story line that just lacked the thrill and suspense I’ve come to enjoy from this genre. It wasn’t a bad book, just not overly interesting enough for me to indulge in one sitting. Calling it the ‘Thriller of the Year’ is probably a bit of a stretch. I imagine this book would come across better as a film.

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