• Staci

The one book you need to read this fall



I had heard a lot of buzz about The Couple Next Door around social media (I follow a lot of bookish types!) and when I was generously sent a copy for review, I couldn't wait to dive in. From the very first page to the very last word, I was firmly in the grips of this story.

Here's the gist:

Marcus and Anne, a couple with a newborn baby, attend a party at the neighbour's house. While they are next door, they leave their baby at home, sleeping in her crib, while they bring the baby monitor with them and agree to take turns checking on her every half hour. Everything goes as planned until the couple returns home at the end of the night to find they are living every parent's nightmare:

Their baby is gone.

What happened to baby Cora? Although a suspicious eye is immediately turned toward Anne and Marco by the press, the police, and even Anne's parents, the actual story behind the baby girl's disappearance is actually much more sinister than it seems on the surface. The road to that answer is a bumpy one. Strap yourselves in, lovely readers -- you're going on an emotional adventure that will tug at your heart, make your blood run cold, and leave you asking yourself how well you really know the people in your life.

Author Shari Lapena expertly crafts this intricate story. It is a tale of long-held secrets, deception, and about the very many masks we all wear in our lives. Do you truly know the people you marry? What about your parents? Your neighbours? As this story skillfully displays, we never really know what anyone is capable of.

This is one of the best, most satisfying stories I have read in a long time. Too often, I find myself invested in a story only to be let down by the ending, but Lapena keeps the reader in her expert grasp from the first page to the last in this book, proffering up an ending that you won't see coming. It will leave you breathless.

Reading The Couple Next Door is riding a roller coaster blindfolded. As much as you try to anticipate what's coming, the twists, turns, loops and abrupt turns come at you unexpectedly, with no warning whatsoever. Once you're strapped in, you know you're in for the duration. That's exactly how you'll feel when you read this book. To my recollection, I've never read a book more than once. I would read this one again, however, just go to on the wild, suspenseful ride once again.


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