Would you leave your baby at home alone while you attended a dinner party next door? That’s exactly what Anne and Marco decide to do with their six month old daughter when their babysitter cancels at short notice.
When they return home from dinner their front door is open and Cora is missing. How could this have happened? They had the baby monitor with them and checked on Cora every half hour.
Why does Anne doubt her own account of what happened? What is Marco hiding? Is Detective Rashbach correct in his assumption that Anne and Marco are responsible for their daughter’s disappearance? How well do Anne and Marco really know their neighbours?
Told from multiple points of view, The Couple Next Door makes you question everything. This aspect worked well because as the story unravelled my loyalties to characters switched depending on whose eyes I was seeing them through.
The not so good
This is difficult to discuss without wandering into spoiler territory, but I couldn’t let the often problematic portrayal of mental health issues pass without comment. While the tone was necessary, to a degree, there are times when it’s so over the top it borders on caricature. I don’t know whether this was Shari Lapena’s intention, but it didn’t sit well with me.
The Couple Next Door is full of unreliable narrators and characters that all seem to have something to hide. Lapena’s concise style ensures that this web of intrigue remains tense until the final page.
The Couple Next Door is published by Bantam Press an imprint of Transworld Publishers and is available in hardback and ebook format.