BOOK REVIEW | The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


2.5/5 stars

From the publisher:
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:
The Couple Next Door is a fast-paced read that’s purpose is simply to entertain. That said, as a mother, this story infuriated me.

This is one of those plot lines in which a single crazy revelation leads to many, many more. Let me just say this – there is no way a mother, especially a first time mother, would leave their baby alone in another house to go to a dinner party. There is just no way! Right off of the bat this was just too much for me. I hated Anne and Marco, and there is never much in the terms of character development that changes this throughout.

I did feel some sympathy for Anne; post-partum depression and mental illness are not to be taken lightly, and I appreciate the light that Lapena shed on this. I have not experienced post-partum depression but am no stranger to regular depression, and I can certainly empathize with many of Anne’s feelings – the exhaustion and pressure created by modern day motherhood, with a side of feeling frumpy. There are moments when being a parent is overwhelming, and this came through as a significant element to the story.

If you love thrillers and are looking for something quick that requires little investment, give this a shot. If you prefer a little more depth to your mysteries, take a pass.


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