The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I enjoyed reading ‘The Couple Next Door’, but what I found really interesting was the way in which the plot developed.
This may sound a little odd, but the plot made me think of peeling an onion; layer by layer the it unfolds, each little piece being stripped away until we are left with the conclusion, in this case the big reveal around which the story revolves.
Anne and Marco are the stricken parents at the centre of ‘The Couple Next Door,’ who arrive home from their neighbour’s party to find their beloved daughter’s crib empty. Unable to find a babysitter, against her better judgement, Annie had been persuaded to set up a monitor next door leaving Cora home alone. The unthinkable happens; just after midnight, while her parents partied next door, Cora is taken.
Detective Rasbach takes on the case; experienced, meticulous, suspicious, he pieces together the jigsaw of events feeling that there is something ‘not quite right’ about Anne and Marco’s story.
‘The Couple Next Door’ is not just the story of Anne and Marco however. The neighbours, Cynthia and Graham with whom they were partying when Cora was taken, are also involved in the investigations, with some unexpected and shocking results!
Despite the storyline and intriguing plot development, I found the author, Shari Lapena’s voice a little irritating at times. The sentences were quite short and often abrupt, reading a bit simplistically for such a tight and complicated plot. It felt as if Shari was trying so hard to keep a handle on the different strands of what was going on, that she had to ensure, in her writing, that both she and the reader were able to keep up.
I give this book 3 stars.



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