‘You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall’
The Couple Next Door is a book I frequently saw mention of on Social Media. Published last August, I spotted it on the shelves of many book stores so I was intrigued as to what it was all about.
Read on to find out my thoughts….
‘What would you be capable of, when pushed to the limit?
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’d have the baby monitor and you’d take it in turns to go back every half-hour.
Your daughter was asleep when you checked her last. But now as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realised. 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….’
Anne and Marco seemed to have it all.
Anne, born into wealth, falls in love with Marco. Marco, the son of Italian immigrants, has worked hard to achieve his success both academically and in the world of business. Between them they have a good life. Anne’s parents, while never happy with her choice of husband, were always there to support them financially and in times of difficulty.
After the birth of their daughter, Cora, Anne suffers from Post Natal Depression and their marriage struggles to survive. Anne is no longer the happy, bubbly girl that Marco married. She is stressed, tired and emotionally not dealing with all the struggles that first time motherhood brings.
Cynthia and Graham, their neighbours, host a dinner party for the four of them to celebrate Graham’s birthday. Anne has absolutely no interest in attending. Unhappy with how she now looks post baby, her confidence is at an all time low.
Then the unthinkable happens…..the babysitter cancels!!
Anne, adamant they cannot now go, is persuaded by Marco that they NEED this night out and as it was only next door they could do regular check ups and bring the baby monitor with them.
Against her better judgement Anne agrees with Marco’s plan. They attend the party but Anne is uneasy. She is very aware that as parents this probably was not a good idea. Every half hour they check, eventually coming home to a life changing event…
‘The front door is ajar; it is open about three inches.’
Anne is ‘inside and running up the staircase and down the hall to the baby’s room, with Marco right at her heels. When she gets to the baby’s room and sees the empty crib, she screams.’
The police arrive on the scene. The house is torn apart. Anne and Marco are traumatized. So begins a police hunt for the missing Cora.
As the story progresses, there are secrets revealed and unexpected information is uncovered. We get to see behind the veneer of lives that are portrayed as perfect.
At times the story takes a few twists and turns that I felt stretched my imagination a little too far. Not one of the characters appealed to me in any way. The lies, the deception, the attempted manipulation, all was a little too contrived for my taste.
The Couple Next Door is a very easy read. If you are looking for a book that reads fast, has no great depth but will keep you guessing, this could be the perfect read for you.
Not one of my top reads but I’m sure as we’re all so different in our reading habits, there will be plenty of you who disagree completely with me.
And isn’t that the joy of reading!!
I would love to hear your thoughts so please do let me know.
SHARI LAPENA worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction.
She has written two award-winning literary novels, and The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut.