The Couple Next Door
"Anne is staring. The front door is ajar; it is open about
'I know I locked it!' Anne says, her voice shrill.
Marco says tersely, 'Maybe you forgot. You've had a lot to
But Anne isn't listening. She's inside and running up the
staircase and down the hall to the baby's room, with Marco right at
When she gets to the baby's room and sees the empty crib, she
Here we are less than a week away from Halloween. Did you think
I'd neglect to recommend a seasonaly scary piece of fiction? Think
again. Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door is truly spine chilling.
Anne Conti did not want to go to a private dinner next door.
She's struggled with postpartum blues bordering on depression. The
baby sitter has cancelled at the last minute. Even when Marco says
things will be fine if they take the baby monitor (the infant herself
was not included in the invitation), she's not eager to be next door...
...especially when she sees the hostess, a former friend, openly
flirting with Marco who seems to be responding to her unsubtle
charms. When Anne finally persuades Marco to leave the party, they
stumble into every parent's worst nightmare.
Will the baby be discovered dead or alive?
Anne, in addition to being on meds for depression, has had
disassociative episodes where she loses blocks of time. In one of
them she sent a bully to the hospital.
Anne's parents are the kind of rich that might tempt a
kidnapping for ransom of their only grandchild.
If Anne had hurt or killed little Cora, Marco might have faked a
kidnapping to cover up.
There's the fact that, unbeknownst to Anne, Marco's business is
Underneath the middle class veneer of respectability there is a
lot of rot. And meanwhile the clock is ticking for Cora's safe
return. Read this fine thriller...
...if you dare!
This is Lapena's quite propitious suspense debut. I can't wait
to see what she comes up with next.
On a personal note, my daughter Amber put on a fantastically frightful
early Halloween party. Decorations from the graveyard outside to the
eerie fake family portraits were elaborate and creepy. Refreshments
were delish. Amber was the hostess with the mostest. She sure didn't
learn that from me.
A great big shout out (and thanks) go out to Amber and Brian from
perfectly executing this family tradition at a very busy time of the
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