The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

There are days when it’s raining or or nights when it’s chilly and you just want to curl up with a bestseller, easy read thriller. You could do a lot worse than this one.

It’s one of those books that gets labelled as the next Girl On The Train. And perhaps that’s about right. I read it in one long sitting, and really enjoyed the little twists and turns, and didn’t guess the ending til pretty close to the end, which is good.

It’s the story of a couple who slip next door to have some drinks with their neighbors, leaving their 6 month old baby upstairs alone. They wouldn’t normally do this, but the babysitter cancelled at the last minute, and they check on little Cora every 30 minutes, so it’s probably fine, right?

Wrong. When they get home, the front door is open and their baby is gone.

How did this happen? Who took their child and why? As the parents slowly unravel, so does their relationship: Anne’s overbearing parents, her family wealth, her husband Marco canoodling with their beautiful neighbour while the child was being taken. And some secrets from Anne’s own past and her mental health start to come to light too. Who’s telling the truth? And what really happened?

Shari Lapena writes in a beautifully accessible way. She reveals things at an even pace, so each chapter has a little piece of the puzzle, but still keeps you guessing. It’s a really fun light read thriller. Those of you who need more depth and substance from your books might want to give this one a miss, since you might guess the end, but it does have some decent characterisation and plotting. I had a good time reading it, and I think fans of other bestseller thriller type books, like Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train, will like this too.

Read It If: you’re looking for a thriller to read on the train or on holiday. Light reading, but an interesting mystery thriller, the the bestseller style mold.

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