The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door

Book - 2016
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May and Nico 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, their daughter goes missing. They'd left her at home with the baby monitor on and had been checking on her every half hour, yet sometime between their last check and the time they get home, the baby disappears without a trace. Suspicion immediately focuses on the devastated parents, then on May, the shattered mother who has been suffering from post-partum depression. But the truth is a much more complicated story, and inside the curtained house, an unsettling, nerve-wracking account of what actually happened and of what may have happened to baby Cora unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something; May and Nico soon learn that each is keeping secrets, some of which they've kept for years; and baby Cora is still missing. A chilling tale of deception, duplicity and unfaithfulness.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, [2016]
ISBN: 9780385686945
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Anne and Marco leave their 6-month-old home alone while they have dinner with the couple next door. When they return home their daughter is no longer in her crib. Plot twists ensue, revealing a myriad of secrets and lies.

From the critics

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Jul 14, 2018

I finished this book moments ago. Thank God.

Points to the author for a good premise. There's that. But the writing is jerky and amateurish, the dialogue (and the characters' inner dialogue) unrealistic and repetitive and the characters one-dimensional. The whole, unbelievable scenario disintegrates quickly into implausibility. And then there's the ending... The entire book is pretty much a big eye roll.

Jul 04, 2018

Quick Read - I couldn't put it down. There were several things I suspected throughout, but definitely a plot twist in the end. And as a previous review states - is Anne for real?

Jun 24, 2018

At the half way point the disappearance of Cora is disclosed, only to have that plan change, turning her into a truly kidnapped child.

Figuring out who did what, who set-up-who, why people did what they did - or didn't do, made this a book that I couldn't put down.

The characters are strong and easy to bond with, the plot twists are dramatic cliff-hangers, the cop is one very smart man.

I loved the ending - is Anne for real?

Jun 20, 2018

January 05 2017
You will not be able to put this book down once you start reading. It's a crime story that takes unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing. This debut novel by Shari Lapena is well written and well crafted. NC

Jun 16, 2018

If this is the author's first effort I give it a C+. The pace of the book is in line with what I imagine a kidnapping experience must be like, periods of high intensity/lots of activity followed by moments of quiet inactivity. All of the characters are awful. It's hard to find a book where not one character has any redeeming qualities. I couldn't even muster the sympathy to feel bad for the mother because - really. In any case, this would make a great movie of the week for Lifetime.

Jun 11, 2018

I liked this book, even if it was a bit slow at times. A lot of twists and unexpected "bad guys" in the plot. Easy to read and I was able to finish it quickly. I wasn't so sure about the ending though because it felt a bit too obvious--a lot of us saw it coming. I think it could've ended in a stronger way with a different ending. But overall, I liked it for this kind of suspense thriller genre.

JenniferG_OshLib May 23, 2018

I seem to be going against the grain with this one. Although I liked the idea, the approach didn't work for me at all. The writing was very repetitive and dull--it felt very amateurish. I also disliked the way the author flip-flopped among characters; she just seemed to constantly repeat herself, but in another character's POV. Not worth it for me but I can see the appeal for some.

May 07, 2018

It isn't easy to write a top notch suspense thriller. There are more moving parts here than in most other genres, and all of them have to mesh perfectly for the book to work. Ms. LaPena has an interesting concept, a multi-layered plot, reveals secrets gradually to keep the reader interested, and develops her main characters beyond the two-dimensional. But this is a debut effort, and she has more growing to do as an author. I think she will continue to get better as she continues to write and look forward to reading her future efforts.

May 05, 2018


Intriguing plot premise which moved the story along quickly. Briefly: A twisted tale of twisted characters. Think 'Fargo' meets 'Girl on a Train' without the brilliance of the first or the competence of the second.

May 04, 2018

Waste of time even as a quick read.

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Add Notices

Jul 23, 2017

Sexual Content: A flirtatious scene

Jul 23, 2017

Violence: Murder

Jul 23, 2017

Coarse Language: Cussing

Age Suitability

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Jul 23, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 21, 2017

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jul 01, 2018

What the heck was up with that ending?

Jul 23, 2017

A couple's baby is kidnapped while the parents are at their neighbors' party.


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Jul 23, 2017

"He's very agitated. He wipes his sweaty hands on his pants."

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