The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Mystery/Thriller, 308 pages, published in 2016

After leaving their daughter at home while attending their next-door neighbor’s dinner party, Anne and Marco come home to discover that their baby is missing.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Content Warnings: postpartum depression, cheating, non-consensual filming of sexual acts

I picked this book up at a used book sale because it looked like a pretty standard mystery/thriller and I didn’t read any reviews before going into it.

I was immediately underwhelmed by the writing. It was so straight-forward and awkward at times.

I like being able to figure out who the culprit is or what the twist is, but I called one part of it very early on. I thought that maybe I called it wrong, because it seemed too obvious, but I was right. I felt that this was kind of just…disappointing, even though there was more to the story than just that.

I thought that all the characters in this book were particularly stupid. The police, the main couple, the family, everyone was just so unbearably stupid. The investigation could have ended so much sooner if everyone had been truthful from the start. I get that people had reasons for keeping secrets, but it just felt petty and stupid.

The handling of mental health just felt gross in this book. Anne deals with postpartum depression and this is just handled so poorly throughout the book.

This book…just didn’t do it for me. Nothing about it really had any value to me and the ending was just fine.

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