Date finished: January 10, 2019

Rating: ★★★

The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena

While this book is admittedly interesting and I finished it quickly, I felt the same way about it that I felt about Gone Girl: I didn’t like a single one of the characters and I was annoyed the entire time I was reading it.

Anne and Marco, the novel’s protagonists and the poor married couple whose baby is kidnapped in the book’s first pages, are not good people. They lie, cheat, keep secrets, and harbor awful thoughts about many (most) of the people in their lives. Like Gone Girl‘s Nick, I felt that Marco especially was a bad guy who puts on the good husband mask for his wife and the press. While Gillian Flynn’s Amy is at least smart and calculating, Anne is sad, helpless, and oblivious to everything going on around her.

In regards to the plot, most of it is eyebrow-raisingly convenient and unrealistic. I enjoy thrillers most when the plot is something that could be going down in my next-door neighbor’s house right now. But The Couple Next Door relies on everything from amnesia and secret affairs to blackmail and hidden cameras to make its plot work, and I was frankly unimpressed.

A quick read with an interesting premise, but I’d recommend anything by Ruth Ware over this one.

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