Wendy Darling's Reviews > The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
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really liked it
bookshelves: adult, thriller-suspense, 2016-publication, audio, read-2016, psychological-thriller

3.5 stars

The first 75% of the book was terrific--lots of twists and turns, well-paced, interesting character development and relationships, I was eager to return to my audiobook every time I was away from it. I also loved that contrary to most thrillers that save the big reveal for the end, in this book, you find out who kidnapped the baby halfway through the book--so you get to watch everyone scramble and unravel from there on out. I liked it so much that I was mentally composing my 4-star review while I listened.

Towards the end, things get a little messy, however, and there were a few too many convenient connections and red herrings to make it as satisfying as it should have been. The story and plotting was so good, but the impulse to make it "and THEN there's THIS part to make you even MORE surprised!" kind of ruined it. Okay, not ruined it, but it took some of the joy out of it.

I really did like the first three quarters of the book, though. In a year of mostly disappointing thrillers, this is one of the best of the bunch. It's a shame that it got a bit too convoluted towards the end, but I'll still look forward to her next thriller.

I'll come back to finish off this review with audiobook notes later, but floating it for GoodReads Choice Awards since I don't think I ever published this to the feed. It's still among the better of the thrillers published this year--I'm side-eyeing some of those other picks. But what else is new, hah.

An audiobook review copy was provided by the publisher.
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Reading Progress

July 13, 2016 – Shelved
August 5, 2016 – Started Reading
August 7, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Kay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kay I felt the same way about the last quarter of the book too, but especially with the last 1 or 2 chapters. I felt like the story had enough "wow" moments without adding this last one!


Leigh-Ayn I'm listening to it and I'm getting near the end and I find myself yelling at the characters!!! Not sure if that is normal behaviour for anyone else lol
Where the hell is the baby already!!!


Wendy Darling Totally agree, Kay! It's like the author did the exact opposite thing Coco Chanel advised--instead of taking one item off veggies leaving the house, this book threw on another strand of necklaces and a fake fur coat.

Leigh-Ayn--hah hah, I know what you mean. I guess it says something that we all three still rated it pretty highly. But those would have been even better if she hadn't gone that far for no reason.


Anna James I enjoyed this book for the most part too. I did feel like some of the end, was too peflrfrctly wound together, but it was mostly suspenseful. I think I suspected every character in this book for awhile.


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Maule I just finished this one, and I completely agree with your assessment... I thought it was great until the end, and then it was just one twist too many. Still an enjoyable read until that point though.


message 6: by Pam (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pam I agree. Enjoyed the book. Couldn’t really put it down. In the end, I just thought the author went one step too far.


Dawn Exactly how I felt about it! It was so good until the last quarter of the book!


Sherrie McCarthy yes yes yes, I was ready for the 4 and I was still willing even until the last chapter, as I had read it in one sitting and even the less than perfect parts did not ruin it. Until the last chapter. And those last couple of lines. I wanted to scream and throw the book! So fantastic then just NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I felt the same as if she had written "and then I woke up and it was all a dream"


Lisa Sherrie, I agree completely! I was ready to give the book a 4, as well, and then the last chapter ruined it. Completely unnecessary and disappointing!


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