I am delighted to be hosting today's leg of the book tour for The Couple Next Door. This review is written with thanks to Random House Transworld Publishers and Netgalley for my copy of the book.
Anne and Marco Conti live in their dream apartment, in an affluent neighbourhood with their 6 month old daughter, Cora. One night, they are invited to a dinner a party at their neighbour's house and are asked not to bring the baby with them. Marco convinces his wife that if they check on her regularly, the baby will be fine. But when they return home, Cora is missing. What has happened to their baby? What secrets will the investigation into her disappearance uncover?
The Couple Next Door is written in present tense, which immediately transports the reader to the environment in which the novel is set. This sets the tone for the whole novel, which is fast-paced and full of twists and turns. I enjoy books with a twist, and the developments in this novel kept me intrigued as to what would happen until the very end.
At the beginning of the novel, I found it difficult to "like" Anne and Marco, as I felt uncomfortable with their decision to leave their baby unattended. However, as The Couple Next Door progresses, the reader discovers more background information about the characters, and this allowed me to connect with them more. In particular, I could relate to Anne's mental health issues and the implications this had on her behaviour and her relationships with others throughout the novel.
The Couple Next Door is a very well researched novel, and Lapena's background as a lawyer helps her to add authenticity to her work. Throughout the novel, I was reminded of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and this heightens its relevance for a modern British audience. In addition, Lapena raises some important issues around mental health, marriage and family relationships, and this helps to make The Couple Next Door a fascinating, enjoyable read.
You can find out more about Shari Lapena on her website, here.
The Couple Next Door is available from Amazon.