The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Published by Bantam Press
14th July 2016
You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.
Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.
You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.
What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
Situated in New York City, Anne and Marco have been invited for dinner next door by their neighbours Cynthia and Graham. There is however one catch - no children allowed. That being the case, Anne and Marco employ a babysitter to watch Cora whilst they go out. During the night however, baby Cora disappears and no one knows where she has gone, or more to the point, who has taken her. What the reader does need to be aware of is that Cora's babysitter called in sick, and the seemingly devoted parents decide to go to the party equipped with a baby monitor and a 30 minute rota of popping back to their house to check on their daughter.
Whilst there may be a smidgen of the Madeleine Mccann to this synopsis, I do think that is possibly the only parallel here. Anne certainly doesn't seem to be having as much fun as Marco is at the dinner party and her shock on discovering Cora has vanished seems to be genuine. However once the police are involved their stories become less believable and reliable as the evening turns into day and we get other narratives entwined.
Anne's parents are incredibly rich so could Cora's disappearance be a kidnapping but then who would have known that she was in the house alone that evening? Why was the security light by their house off and just what was Cora wearing when she disappeared? Suddenly things aren't quite as clear-cut as they initially seemed, and it's not just Anne and Marco who are under suspicion but their neighbours motives are questionable too. Just how well do we know those around us?
Suspend disbelief at times, and The Couple Next Door is a good thriller to lose yourself in for a few hours. As for me, I'd never to go a party and leave my baby home alone.
Miss Chapter x