Mystery · Shari Lapena · Suspense

Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

29426188Author: Shari Lapena
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Series:  
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 320
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  
People are capable of almost anything. . . 
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.

REVIEW

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena is an engrossing mystery read that’ll keep you engaged for the entire length of the book.

This book has a great plot and I enjoyed reading it because it was really engrossing. I liked the characterization and the plot progression and pacing was really good. In fact, I believe that the pacing and tension are the two things that made this book such a huge hit.

I liked the idea behind the novel and the execution of that idea was impressive. The writing style was simple and effective and the overall flow of the story felt very smooth. I read this book in one sitting as I really wanted to get to the end to see if I guessed the mystery right. And right I was, so this book was indeed quite predictable. You can guess the culprit before even reaching the 50% mark if you really focus on the mannerisms of the characters.

Though I liked this book, and I really liked it, I, for the life of me, can’t seem to understand why the hell is this book named as ‘The Couple Next Door.” I don’t want to reveal too much, but the couple really only comes in the picture at the very end and that too only the female mainly, so I felt betrayed as the title is misleading. Had it had some other title (a title which wouldn’t have focused entirely on the couple that wasn’t even involved in the case until the very end and that too quite indirectly) then I would have given this book a much higher rating because, for the entire story, I was trying to make the connection that was basically non-existent.

Other than the title, I don’t have any other complaint and overall it was a nice mystery read. But if you really look at it, it wasn’t a thriller as such, so the genre categorization was misleading too, but that didn’t matter much. Still, it is something that has to be mentioned here.

I’d recommend this book to mystery lovers and I’m sure that cozy mystery lovers would love it as much. But if you’re  a hardcore thriller fan then you might want to skip this one as it is NOT a thriller read.


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