Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

◊ Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Audible Audio Edition
◊ Listening Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes
◊ Program Type: Audiobook
◊ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Version: Unabridged
◊ Publisher: Penguin Audio
◊ Scheduled Release Date: August 23, 2016
◊ Language: English


How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even yourself?
People are capable of almost anything....
A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors - a twisty roller-coaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives.
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all - a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.
Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets - secrets they've kept for years.
What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family, a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

The premise is simple: a young married couple decide when their sitter cancels that instead of skipping the dinner party they’ve been committed to—just next door at the neighbors’—they will just bring the baby monitor and check on their young daughter every thirty minutes. In the short time between their shifts the baby is snatched without a trace or a clue to the culprit. Every parent’s worst nightmare.

In the days that follow the police investigation begins, and the mother Anne’s internal dialogue moves from heartbreaking self-blame, to suspicion of her spouse, to desperate theories. Through Anne’s inner dialogue you get such a clear sense of the unbelievable pressure she and many mothers (even ones who aren’t subjected to the plot horrors of the crime thriller demands) put on themselves; the thousands of articles she would have read to stay on top of the latest threats to her baby’s health or post-baby diet; the message board surfing; the sizing up of herself against other women; the body shaming and paranoia of being labeled sexually undesirable and abandoned by her partner—all of this buzzing in the background as she struggles through postpartum depression, trying to connect with and protect what has been sold to her as the most fulfilling experience she will ever have.

  • ·        I was fortunate to have the opportunity to begin reading this thriller in print and then finishing it by listening to the audio version. I highly recommend either or better yet, both!

Author Shari Lapena takes the ‘tangled web we weave’ scenario to a whole new level in her latest release, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR.

You practically have to tie a sting at the beginning to find your way back as there are so many twists, turns and unexpected moves. It’s wonderful and keeps you guessing until the shocking end. Even if you can figure out who the real villain is, the motive may surprise you.

Narrator Kirsten Potter does a superb job giving distinct voices to the various characters. Her timing and mannerisms are spot on. She delivers the range of emotions with great zeal. Her vocals enhance the suspense and drama felt throughout the story.

Lapena has created such intricate characters you find yourself disliking and pulling for them at the same time. The secondary characters add another layer of intrigue to this thriller.

The setting quickly pulls you in. There’s a good mix of joy, heartache, suspense and disbelief for a well-balanced tale. The story is filled with a seesaw-effect of emotions. Just as you catch your breath, the story takes another turn.

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is a heart-pounding story that will seize your emotions as you contemplate the agony of a missing child and the fallout from bad parenting. A captivating thriller you will feel to your core.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, Narrated by Kirsten Potter, Penguin Audio, @2016, ASIN: B01IIABQYC, Unabridged, Digital Download, Run Time: 8 Hours and 40 Minutes. (*This book is also available in hardback, paperback, eBook, and Audio CD.)

FTC Full Disclosure – Copies of this book were sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review them. However, receiving the complimentary copies did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Do you think that the way people parent has changed over the generations? What are your thoughts on going next door (with the baby monitor) and leaving the baby (for any length of time)?


  1. It does sound intense. And the 'not knowing' is something I often think about.

  2. I keep hearing good things about this one, Mason! It does sound like a very solid thriller. Thanks for reminding me of it; I ought to look into it.

  3. Admire the twists and turns.
    Yes, parenting has changed. For the worse.

  4. Parenting has changed and I don't like some of the changes. I would NEVER leave my baby alone in the house while I went next door!

  5. I love lots of twists and turns but I'm not so fond of being confused--especially on audiobook. Seems like it's harder to keep up when reading that way because I'm usually doing other things, like driving, and my mind drifts!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.