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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Despite Intriguing Premise, This One Gets A Meh From Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After her babysitter cancels at the last minute, Anne Conti reluctantly decides to leave her 6-month-old daughter at home and join her husband, Marco, at a dinner party next door.  Plagued by guilt and anxiety, Anne can't relax, even though she checks on the infant repeatedly.  During one of these drop-ins, the couple make a horrifying discovery—Cora is gone.  Who would kidnap a baby right out of its crib?  And why?  

With no real evidence of a break-in, police suspect the Contis of abducting their own child.  Anne suffers from post-partum depression and Marco's software design business is in trouble.  Did one of them snap under the added pressure of new parenthood?  As Detective Rasbach investigates, he uncovers a whole web of lies weaved between the Contis and their enigmatic next door neighbors, the Stillwells.  No one is telling the entire truth, so what really happened to Cora?  Can Rasbach wade through all the deceit and find out? 

I dig psychological thrillers with intriguing premises, so The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena seemed like a right-up-my-alley kind of novel.  While the story is intriguing enough that I wanted to keep reading, the characters in this story are a total turn-off.  The cast is almost wholly unlikable.  They're a desperate, selfish, cruel, and greedy lot, which made it impossible to care about them.  Add to this irritant a predictable plot and a depressing-as-all-get-out vibe, and The Couple Next Door becomes only a so-so read.  While I definitely wanted to know what happened to the baby, all in all this one didn't do a lot for me.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Our House by Louise Candlish)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, sexual content, violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. A cast of unlikeable characters would be too much for me as well. With so many good thrillers out there right now, unstellar (probably not even a word) ones are so disappointing.


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