The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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Book Description

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realised She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

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When I read the description for The Couple Next Door it certainly piqued my interest and I just knew I had to read it. After a couple leave their six month daughter alone to attend a dinner party next door, the baby is taken, and what follows is a taut and at times a gripping read. I know a lot of people have been raving about this book, but I hold my hands up and admit I struggled with this one at times. I found the style of writing irritating, it was simple and lacking in description and written in a very matter of fact way, at times I felt it read like I was reading a script for a play.

I found it really difficult to feel any real sympathy for any of the characters, they were selfish, self centred and very manipulative, and appeared very one dimensional, and the dialogue between the characters felt very stilted. A baby going missing is every parents worse nightmare, but I felt the author didn’t manage to convey fully the emotions the parents would have felt. On the positive side the plot is well executed with so many twist and turns, it was difficult to second guess where the plot was leading, and this is what kept me reading The Couple Next Door.

I can see why some readers are writing such glowing reviews for The Couple Next Door as it certainly is an intriguing tale, which highlights the uglier side of people’s nature greed, self preservation and manipulation to name but a few, which did make for an uncomfortable read at times as the characters lies and dirty dealings become apparent. I think because I struggled with both the writing style and making a connection to the characters, this made The Couple Next Door a challenge for me to read, but as I mentioned earlier the actual plot was very good, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I’m sure many readers will disagree with me whole heartedly and hey whose to say my opinion really counts,  but as a blogger I do feel I need to be totally honest in my opinion.

3.5  ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

Print Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Transworld Digital (14 July 2016)

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19 thoughts on “The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

    1. lollyrugs Post author

      Hi Jo I had misgivings about this review, after all authors spend God knows how long on putting their book together, but I can’t rave about a book that I struggled with and thanks for your kind words I don’t feel so bad now X

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      1. jorobertson2015

        This is exactly what I love about reviewing though and why I trust certain people’s reviews more than others. I’m one of the ones who loved this book but I can totally understand why you didn’t! I had this with another book recently that everyone loved and I HATED it!! x

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Emma

    I have missed the hype around this and was excited by the blurb. However your review has already made me think twice. One I’d maybe pick up at the library vs. Buy as there are obviously good points but it doesn’t sound brilliant.

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  2. lollyrugs Post author

    Hi Emma from the reviews I’ve seen loads of people loved this book, unfortunately I wasn’t one of them, jo above loved it, so it just goes to show how varied our opinions regarding a book can be X

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  3. Donna

    You being honest is one of the reasons your reviews are so good 🙂 I really liked the blurb, but your review makes me think twice about reading in this summer. I might keep it for a less busy reading time later this year. I am a sucker for a good balance between interesting characters and a well-crafted plot. I feel twists need the right support from the protagonist to really have an impact on me.

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  4. lollyrugs Post author

    Thanks Donna and I agree I think that’s why I struggled with this book, but again loads of bloggers have raved about it, so don’t be put off by my review X

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  5. FictionFan

    Well, I’m glad of your honest review! I see no point in reading reviews that don’t tell me what the reviewer really thought and criticism is always useful so long as the reasons are explained. That way I can decide whether the things that bothered the reviewer are likely to bother me too, or not. Don’t think this one’s for me – I’ve read more than enough books about missing/murdered/abused children recently to last me for a long while… 🙂

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    1. lollyrugs Post author

      Many thanks for your comments, I do try find positives to balance the review but I’m afraid I’ve read much better books this year. There has certainly been an influx of the book subjects you mentioned this year X

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Abbie at Bloomin' Brilliant Books

    I haven’t got review of this up on my blog yet with it only just being set up but totally agree with your review. Thought I was the only person it did nothing for. I couldnt get away with the writing style, found it difficult to empathise with the characters and found it fairly predictable. I know others have loved it – the joy of us all being different xxx

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    1. lollyrugs Post author

      Hi Abbie thanks for your comments and I will take a look at your blog, I really struggled with this book for the very reasons you mentioned and I’m glad someone else feels the same about it as me.
      Have a good weekend x

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  7. Ursula Serle

    I just read the book in one day. I totally agree about the writing style and stilted dialogue. Obviously though, I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. The plot was very good and had me intrigued from the beginning to end. I Googled the Authors name and writing style to find this blog and am very satisfied to find out my impression was the same as many others and not just me. Have just read 40 of the JD Robb death series and thought it was maybe that I had just gotten so used to her style that this seemed so odd to me. Thanks for confirming my opinion.

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