Sunday, January 1, 2017

(1)The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena


Anne and Marco Conti had a perfectly normal evening.  They went to their neighbor's house for a dinner party, but because of a last minute cancellation by their babysitter they left their six-month-old, Cora, home in her crib.  They had the baby monitor with them and checked on her every thirty minutes, so what was the harm?  When Anne and Marco go home well after midnight and full of wine they are shocked to discover the front door is open and Cora is gone.  They are absolutely destroyed by her disappearance and cannot imagine who would take their baby.  As the investigation goes on, it becomes apparent that things are not what they seem.  Not with Anne, not with Marco, and not with The Couple Next Door.  Will the Conti's find out what happened to their daughter and will their marriage survive it?

The Couple Next Door had some great elements of surprise, but it also had some serious plot flaws that left me shaking my head.  Why would police investigating the abduction case seek out former classmates of Anne - from fifteen years ago? It just isn't plausible.  The author did it to introduce possible mental illness issues, but it left me scratching my head.  There were a lot of twists and turns to the story and it was almost hard to keep up.  Like the creepy neighbors, with their camera. They hint that their camera caught something important, but you don't know what it is until almost half-way through the book. Then there are Anne's wealthy parents that can't stand Marco.  Then there are Marco's business failings. It is a lot.  Some of the plot twists were pure brilliance, but it was still a lot to keep up with.   The end was just another plot twist and kind of sad, but not in the way you are thinking. CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS. 

Bottom line - while you may need a flow chart to keep all of the twists and turns straight, The Couple Next Door is one of those mystery novels that will keep you guessing until the very end.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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