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An instant New York Times bestseller. Look out for Shari Lapena's next thriller, A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE, coming August 2017.
“The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages.” —People
“Provocative and shocking.” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her
“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline. The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!” —Sue Grafton, New York Times bestselling author of X
It all started at a dinner party. . .
A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .
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.
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204 of 220 people found the following review helpful.
The Couple Next Door
Oh my goodness, this book just blew me away! Just when I thought I'd worked it all out nicely - BAM - all change!
So, with their babysitter cancelling on them, Anne and Marco leave their baby, Cora, at home whilst they "pop" next door for a dinner party. It'll be fine - they have the baby monitor with them and they go to check on her every half hour and they're only next door. What can possibly go wrong?
Quite simply, they arrive home to find the front door open and the baby gone. Anne goes to pieces, Marco freezes, Anne recovers and the police are called. It is then up to Detective Rasbach to try and piece together what actually happened that night. Did the parents cover up, is one or both of them responsible, is it a third party and if so, was it an opportunistic crime or meticulously planned. With most of the suspects being inconsistent with their stories will Rasbach be able to cut through the noise, work out truth from lies, and bring the case to a close?
I loved this book. It grabbed my attention from the very first page, held on tight and wouldn't let me go until the very last. I was completely enthralled by all the twists and turns, secrets and lies and some delicious family dynamics specifically between Marco and his in-laws.
Characters were especially well defined and thus easy to connect to / emote with although, truth be told, apart from Rasbach, I didn't really like any of them! Plotting was excellent and very well executed. As with most books of this genre, it gets a bit convoluted, but it was easy to follow, made sense and so I never got lost.
Pacing was also excellent throughout. The action was high octane most of the way through but there were calmer moments throughout which I was grateful for as they gave me chance to catch my breath before starting off again.
I believe that this is a new genre for this author. If this is the quality for her first effort, I really can't wait to see what she serves up next time.
I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful.
Heavy on recycled plot, light on writing
I've decided from now on I'm going to DNF books that don't make an effort, and I didn't feel this one ever did. It's high on plot, unfortunately, it's a plot taken from "Fargo" and a bunch of other similar movie/books. But what really did me in was the choppy, superficial writing. Here is the paragraph where I gave up: "At home, Marco is restless. He paces the house. He gets on Anne's nerves. They are snapping at each other." Chop, chop, chop. I don't mind that kind of thing if it serves the purpose of selectively speeding up the story, but the whole book is like this. You can tell the author did no research. She finds "financial documents" on her husband's computer that hint his business is in trouble - what are they? We don't know. Descriptions that take place in a police department go like this: "They came in. They sat down. The detectives pulled up some chairs. She was offered some coffee." Okay, anyone can write that. I want to know what the station looks like, smells like, what's on the bulletin board? No need to go overboard, as The Girls does, but pull us into this world with some detailed observations. Also, I did not understand how it is the couple next door were filming sex scenes in the backyard - why would anyone do that in their BACKYARD? Why not upstairs in a bed?
Then there’s the gem of the lead character, Anne, hating the woman next door because of her ‘childlessness.’ Yep, that’s an actual quote. “She hated Cynthia’s childlessness.” REALLY?! Hate her because she hit on your husband, fine, but because she doesn’t have kids? And, oh yes, because she doesn’t have kids, Cynthia must ‘hate children’ and therefore is maybe the one who kidnapped her baby. Because, you know, child-free women hate children and want to kidnap them.
It's demoralizing what's getting published these days.
Update: I went ahead and finished this since I paid for it. I’d give the author a half-star more if I could for the ending, which made me laugh out loud. It’s kind of abrupt, macabre ending with a touch of dark humor (I’m presuming it was meant to be humorous but since nothing else was maybe not) that Hitchcock would have approved of.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
By Ashley Colangelo
1. Sometimes natural flow makes a better story than unbelievable twists. That ending.....ugh.
2. I hated all of the characters.....except the baby.
2.5 Would of been more interesting if it was actually about the couple next door. They were more interesting than the main characters/couple. The more the story went on the more far fetched the characters got.....simply unbelievable.
3. It's a thriller.....jk, it's a lifetime original.
4. The positive - the story started strong and could be the basis of some successful fan fiction.
5. overall 2.5 stars
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