I hadn’t intended to write book reviews when I set up this blog, but I figured why not? I read a lot, and I love to share my experiences and thoughts. So, here is my first one . . .
‘The Couple Next Door’ by Shari Lapena
Marco and Anne Conti go to a dinner party at their next door neighbour’s house, leaving their six month old daughter at home, alone, in her crib. They tell themselves it will be okay; they’re only next door. They even take a monitor with them and take it in turns to check on her every half hour. So why, when they return home at 1:30am, is her crib empty?
This book is a thrilling hunt for the truth, in a family that is full of secrets. If I’m honest, there was only one real surprise at the end of the book. The other twists were a little predictable, I felt. Nonetheless, it’s a one-sitting read that is highly entertaining and impossible to put down.
Honestly, I wasn’t keen on Lapena’s writing style. The book is TP omniscient, but it’s not executed brilliantly. The head-hopping shifts aren’t smooth. Also, she used the characters’ names too much, making the story told, not shown, thus keeping a barrier between the reader and the story. She says things like (and this isn’t a direct quote), “Marco looked at Anne on the sofa. It made Marco sad to see her like this. When this is over, Marco would make sure she’s never unhappy again.” You see? That’s how she writes a lot of the time.
Here’s the thing: despite the writing style, and despite the somewhat predictable twists, I really, really enjoyed this book. I devoured it in one go. It’s a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. There are lots of plot twists and, just when you think you know something, you change your mind. It really is an enjoyable read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys to read psychological crime thrillers.