Daily Archives: September 25, 2016

The Couple Next Door: A Novel by Shari Lapena

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Couple Next DoorSo many of my favorite authors were recommending this book by a first time published author I decided to give it a shot. Wow, that was a good move. She has written one of the best mysteries that I have read in some time.

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It all starts with a couple who are having dinner at their neighbor’s house which abuts their own. Anne who is in fact the lead in the story has had a bit too much to drink but she is not too concerned about that but she is concerned about other things.

Her husband, Marco, is with her and Anne does feel that Cynthia, the neighbor is getting overly friendly with Marco. However she keeps that to herself as she is more concerned about the fact that she and Marco have left their eight month old daughter Cora alone in her crib. Marco has told her there is nothing to worry about as they have the monitor on right next to her crib so that if she cries or anything they will go immediately to her side. Also they take turns watching her every half hour to further instill the feeling of safety.

However after she finally convinces Marco to leave and they return home they find that the crib is empty! The front door is slightly ajar but there appears to be nothing else unusual in the house. They immediately call the police and basically that is where the story really begins to gather momentum.

The detective in charge of the investigation feels that there is something definitely wrong with the whole setup but he cannot put his finger on it. As he begins digging deeper and deeper he finds some unusual things in Anne’s life. He also feels that Marco is keeping things to himself and not fully talking about their situation.

Also about this time Anne’s mother and step-father that have been exceedingly generous to Anne and Marco come into the picture.
They have plenty of money that belongs to the mother and they want to put out the word that a generous reward will be given to anyone who comes forward with any information about the abduction.

Anne appears about ready to have a nervous breakdown while Marco works hard to keep her steady while he also worries about his floundering business and his father-in-law’s demeanor toward him.

The detective works harder and harder while Marco, Anne, and the parents fret about the missing baby and whether or not she is alive and if she is well.

More and more pieces come together and then pull apart as Lapena intricately weaves this mysterious tale. It is truly a great read and especially a “can’t put it down” type of book. Give this one a try!