The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena; 2016
Anne and Marco leave their six-month-old baby, Cora, alone one night when they attend a dinner party at their next-door-neighbors’ house. They live in a townhouse and share a wall with their dinner party hosts. When their babysitter cancels at the last moment, they decide to bring the baby monitor with them with the arrangement that the parents will take turns checking on Cora every half hour. Okay, GREAT. Lo and behold, when Anne and Marco return home a little after 1 a.m., Cora is gone.
Cora was safe and sound when Marco checked on her at 12:30, which only leaves a small window of time for the kidnapping to have taken place. There is also no other sign that anyone besides Anne and Marco had been in the house, and how could anyone have known that Cora would be left alone in the house except for the two couples? Granted, things got a little shady at the dinner party. Anne watched her neighbor, Cynthia, outrageously flirt with Marco. They’d all had a little bit too much to drink. And why can’t Anne remember what happened the last time she checked on Cora?
What unfolds is, predictably, a whole untangling of secrets and lies. The catchphrase for many books these days is that ‘every marriage has its secrets,’ but like, hard pass if the average marriage has deception to this level.
Pros: extremely fast-paced and never a dull moment, a few unexpected twists, and overall a fun read.
Cons: the writing style of this book was so bizarre that it completely distracted me from the plot. A fairly outlandish premise and I truly didn’t agree with the ending.