Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

 Book Review The Couple Next Door {living outside the stacks} #livingoutsidethestacks #bookreview #bookstagram

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TitleThe Couple Next Door

Author: Shari Lapena

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Viking

Release Date: 2016

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 308

ABOUT THE BOOK {from the flap}

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all ~ a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one hot summer night they are invited to a dinner party next door, and a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut.

You can find out more about Shari Lapena by visiting her website.

**CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS**

MY OPINION

I’ll be honest, I picked this book up by accident. The Hubs and I were in the cutest little bookstore ever and I, in all of my nerdy excitement got this book confused with Behind Closed Doors. That’s what I get for relying on my memory and not reading the cover. Anyway, since I purchased it, I figured I’d read it. 

Initially, I was caught up in the story. I was literally sitting on the sofa thinking whaaa? The twists and turns started and then kept on coming. Here are these beautiful people who’ve had their baby kidnapped while they were attending a party. Yes, the conditions under which they attended the party were shady, but you can imagine a young couple in a nice neighborhood doing something similar. I mean, I wouldn’t but you know people are weird and somewhat delusional about the security of their neighborhoods. Initially, they put up a united front, but then the cracks start to surface and they start turning on each other. Totally believable and understandable, given the stress they’re under.

However, by the middle of the book I was frustrated and hoped the baby would never be found; that instead she’d be raised by kind, sensitive, and caring people far away from her biological family. Anne and Marco are both hiding secrets that I would think would be crucial to disclosing prior to and during marriage.  Both are so completely caught up in their own desires that they put their baby at risk. Loving parents just don’t do that. And the grandparents aren’t much better. Nope. None of those people should be walking around free. And they certainly shouldn’t be raising another human.

The end of the book had me sitting on the sofa wishing I could quote Anne: “I don’t know. I don’t remember.” I really wanted to forget what I’d just read. I understand that fiction requires imagination  but the things these people did went beyond. Thriller/suspense novels need to have some level of believability and logic to them. This read more like a script for a Lifetime movie than an actual book:

Beautiful Married Couple live in upscale neighborhood that’s beyond their means thanks to Beautiful Wife’s overbearing/overindulgent parents. Beautiful Couple have Precious Baby who is the apple of everyone’s eye {except for the creepy neighbors’ , who are Beautiful Couple’s BFFs}. Beautiful Husband is really from the wrong side of the tracks but Beautiful Wife married him as an act of rebellion. Now Beautiful Wife is questioning her decision because *OH NO* postpartum depression and the world is not really as rosy as she pretends. Precious Baby is kidnapped because Beautiful Husband doesn’t want to admit that Beautiful Wife’s parents were right and he’s a complete and utter spineless failure. And so on and so on and so on… 

Overall, this was a quick and easy read; it just wasn’t my favorite book.

This book does contain some violence, some of it’s graphic {and sexual in nature}, but given the topic, that is to be expected.

RATING
★★

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss…

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

 

 

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