The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
I love a good thriller especially when the story takes place in a very common setting like row houses. The Couple Next Door has a plot that will remind you of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as good as these bestsellers. The plot moves and twists and holds your interest so that you want to finish quickly and find out what happens, but the writing is not as engaging and the characters are pretty flat. I also felt like the ending was wrapped up a bit too abruptly and inconsistently with the pace of the novel.
The story is about two couples living next door to one another and while they are having dinner together, one of the couples’ baby (who was in her crib sleeping at the time) is abducted. Let me pause here and say that if you have a baby at home you will not want to read this right now. It’s like when my kids were little I could not watch Law and Order: SVU because it hit too close to home in many episodes. So, the baby goes missing and the investigation into the lives of those around the couple ensues. There are several surprises as you go along and although they kept my interest, when I stopped to think about their reality, these turns did not feel realistic.
The title of the book was a problem for me to because if you read the novel, you will discover that the couple next door is not as relevant as you assume it will be. In fact, I don’t know where it came if not a clue into the story.
I gave the book 3 starts on Goodreads. If you want a quick, easy and suspenseful read this is a good one. If you want elevated writing with a strong plot, not so much. It mirrors the feeling of our beloved Gone Girl, but falls short.
Want to read what I’m reading next? Check out The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney