The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
What I drank prior: only one bottle of ahem Italian Red Blend and guys I’m like really feelin it
Spoiler-free Overview: SO enter couple recently post-baby and not really loving it. At party with their neighbors without baby and when they return, she’s missing! Then twists for dayz.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I could just be drinking but I loveeees it! Action. Secrets. Twists! So many twists. Idk I just really like quick totally crazy mysteries. Sue me.
Characters: Anne and Marco were not my faves and kinda crazy people who make bad choices, but the side characters we Ah. Maze. Ing. Decteive R was very skeptical all along but I was like it’s clearly the couple next door right? #itsinthetitle Talk to them! But no. Then the mom and dad seemed normal rich white parents but also no! No one is what they seem muhahaha
Side note: big fan of wine. And autocorrect.
Plot: Basically you follow the couple as they deal with the fact that their BABY IS MISSING #sadface then per ya know mysteries things start to bubble up from their past and current lives. Meanwhile detective R is suspicious of the whole kit and kaboodle (phrasing?) so you get some of that throughout too. And eventually you find out what *really* happened and it’s good. So good.
Writing Style: Pretty typical of the recent trend in mystery novels where you get snippets of the story the whole time. Something that San frustrate me a lot since i am all about that knowledge, but I get it for storytelling purposes. Sometimes. In this case it worked because it was such a fast read. I am not a such a fan of twists for the sake of twists and I feel like this avoids that trap.
Spoilers!!! Skip if you’re going to read (or don’t, still not your mom)
So. Many. Twists! First, that Marco took the baby. Then that Anne had these blackout episodes (not drinking related lol). Then Cynthia. Then Marco again! Then other stuff, other stuff BAM Richard answers the phone! Whaaaa? Then Anne sides with the family and Rochard seems the good guy. AND THEN
I thought the first (few) twists were good but oh man you guys what a twist when you hear from Alice!! I was 100% team Richard the whole time then turns out he was just gaslighting everyone. And Cynthia!? I didn’t get how The Couple Next Door was relevant then dayum. Then turns out he did it all for the money!? Freaking out. I was #teamrichard the whole time so talk about betrayal … gaslighting for what.
Thought honestly should Marco really got off Scott free? Like he still did something really really terrible and ‘someone talked me into it’ is pretty lame, but I guess it was (luckily) not murder.
Also hildariously after all the twists, I wasn’t even surprised whe Anne murdered Cynthia… that’s the only one I saw coming 🤷🏻♀️
Rating: 4.5/5 shots.
Drink pairing: A scandalous-feeling dry riesling because this book is delicious but also super easy to get down
Cheers until next time!