The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Imagine you decide to leave your baby sleeping alone in their crib and go next door to have drinks with neighbours you don’t even really like…
What’s that? No, you couldn’t imagine doing that? Well no, because no one in their damn mind should imagine doing that after what happened with Maddie McCann. And as you can guess, that sets the premise for what is yet another incredibly stupid thriller probably written in the space of three weeks on a subway.
The book doesn’t get much better.
So now you know. The two main characters (I can’t even remember their names, that’s how unremarkable the book was) decide to go have drinks with their neighbours and leave their baby at home. Bringing the monitor will be just fine (no it won’t, don’t even do it), so off they go.
Naturally HE gets White Girl Wasted and makes out with the wife of the neighbour. Meanwhile, SHE, sits politely and thinks about how much she doesn’t want to be there. Eventually they return home and tada! Baby has disappeared.
Thus ensues the usual trite thriller ridiculousness. SHE punches a mirror, cuts her hand, vomits, forgets what happened that night, HE is obviously caught in something somehow.
Slowly the family starts to unravel (naturally) and things begin to catch on fire (not literally though obvi).
Here’s the biggest problem with this book.
The most likeable character is the missing baby.
That’s right. The cute six month old baby girl who doesn’t make a sound or say a word the entire novel is the best character there. HE and SHE are horrible annoying people who are self-involved and legitimately crazy (won’t say who and I’m not mental health shaming here).
Not only that, the surprise moment or whatever you call that in these types of novels was predictable. I could write all the spoilers here, but honestly, you’ll probably already have guessed them if you’re reading this book at the moment.
There are many better thrillers out there with more interesting characters. This was like a Gillian Flynn novel, which I utterly despise. Where are all the good writers in the world anymore?
2/5 stars. Never again RIP.