Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Couple Next Door/ Shari Lapena / 308 pgs

I'd heard a lot about this book and since I love suspense, decided to give it a try. Now I wish I hadn't. My first complaint is that the book is written in 3rd person present tense. Ugh. This is a terrible way to read a story. It never stopped irritating me.

So, on to the story and characters. Marco and Anna are parents to 6 month baby girl Cora. They are invited to an adults-only dinner party at their next door neighbors. They do the responsible thing and get a babysitter. Only she cancels at the last minute. Deciding that their snotty neighbor Cynthia won't allow them to bring the baby after all, they leave her in her crib, bring the baby monitor (audio only), and check on her every 30 minutes. Despite all these precautions, baby Cora goes missing while her parents are getting drunk and her father makes out with the neighbor.

There is a lot going on in this story and I didn't like any of it. The characters are all horrible people. The only one who might be able to garner some sympathy is the mother, Anna, but even she ends up being not very likable. These characters spend too much time wallowing in their own poor decision-making. And the ruminations--each character goes over the same information again and again, trying to decide if this person or that person could have done this or that. There were plenty of twists, but all of them left a bad taste in my mouth. Not to mention I spent the whole book worrying about poor little Cora's well-being:(

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