Entirely-Sarah: The couple next door - Shari Lapena

Monday, 31 July 2017

The couple next door - Shari Lapena

As a massive fan of thrillers, crime and mystery books, one of my friends at work picked out this book for me as it sounded right up my street. The couple next door. A mysterious title that doesn't give any indication as to what the story may entail without reading the blurb, I instantly wanted to know more. A turbulent story of a missing six month old child after the parents were told there child wasn't invited to a dinner party next door we follow the journey the parents have to take to get their child back. 


The scene is set with the parents of the child and their decision to leave the baby alone in the house while they go next door for a dinner party. We experience the dinner party with the couples with each character having differing views on the dinner party and how enjoyable it is for many different factors. The relationships of the characters begin to form as the dinner party draws to a close and we begin to understand the personalities and opinions of the characters. As the couple go back to their house and discover all is not well, the baby is gone and the police must get involved. This opens up another world for the characters and leaves them exposed to the media and the police with everything about their lives being investigated.

As the story unfolds and twists and turns are revealed, I was gripped to the pages, wanting to know what would happen. For the first fifteen chapters we learn a lot about the main two characters, Anne and Marco the parents of the missing child, there backgrounds and things to build up their character and give clues and hints throughout the twists and turns about who may have taken the baby. When the first ransom note is received it shakes the story and doubt is shed on what could happen and what the best way to approach the kidnappers may be. 

Learning about the neighbours and the secrets they keep, and the compelling evidence against the kidnapper you begin to understand the kidnapping and how it is playing out, only for a twist to sneak up and throw the whole story in the turmoil. From meetings with kidnappers, to family breakdowns and sordid secrets, the plot thickens and what originally seems like an unlikely twist, turns into an extraordinary tale that I was not expecting. 

As the cracks deepen and the plot thickens, family loyalty is put to the test in a tense and shocking way that kept me gripped to the story. The detectives suspicions, and the mounting evidence begins to weigh against the kidnapper and the story that enfolds before the happy ending is a shock to the story and one I never imagined in the beginning. A seemingly happy ending but the last few pages take the final twist of the plot, leaving the cliff hanger of wishing we could know what would follow. 

The book is interestingly written and I would sit and read and tell my self that I would stop after a few chapters but I really did end up gripped to the story, having to tear myself away from the book to do other things. As someone who doesn't have children you sympathise with the characters and it makes you think about how people 'should' or 'would' act in the situation, as well as questioning the actions of the people less directly affected. The story leads you to believe you know what happened and feeling clear on how it will all work out, then throws twists and turns to make you question all the characters and everything you believed about them with the final twist on the last lines of the book having me itching to read on, anxious to know what follows. If you are into crime and thriller books I have really enjoyed this one and think it really does make you question how much you can trust the people you are supposed to love and cherish, as well as what we would be capable of when put under enough pressure! If your still looking for a summer read and this sounds like it might be up your street I recommend picking it up!


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