Suspenseful ride, twists and turns, a story travels at incredible speeds. Except…

In this book, a baby is kidnapped while the parents are next door at a dinner party. From the beginning, the story has the perfect set up for a kidnapping  – the party is for adults only, the babysitter cancels at the last minute, the husband convinces his wife they should go because they’re literally a wall away in the attached townhouse next door… too easy. I’ll admit getting caught up in the premise of the story, but the more I read, the less I liked it. One outlandish possibility after another that resulted in more outlandish possibilities made it difficult to enjoy.

The characters were terribly unlikable. Maybe it was due to the emotionally detached narration or just my own perception. Whatever the case may be, too many times the characters made poor or reckless decisions, all of which had negative consequences. The character descriptions, such as the seemingly perfect married couple that had dark secrets to hide and the police force that shouldn’t be allowed to serve and protect because of their sheer incompetence, were straight from a how-to guide on writing predictable characters. My guess is the writer wanted us to think that any one of the characters in the story could have been the kidnapper? Big guess.

I won’t go on bashing this book. It wasn’t horrible and I didn’t put it down after the first few chapters. In fact, it started off very well and catapulted us right into the drama. Though it started off strong, the progression became confusing and less interesting. The ending wasn’t my cup of tea, either. There are loads of other psychological thrillers that I could recommend. Not this one.

Rating: 3 stars

Reviewer: Jules

Title: The Couple Next Door

Author: Shari Lapena

Release Date: July 14, 2016

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