The Couple Next Door

Karen Guo

Do you like solving puzzles? Do you like finding clues throughout a movie or book while having a feeling of suspense rising in you? Are you one of those people who are thrilled to see a mystery is finally solved? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then The Couple Next Door is the right book for you, which is available as a paperback and hardcover on Amazon, and online on Kindle and Apple Book app.

The Couple Next Door is a novel by Shari Lapena. The author is a writer from Canada. She is best known for The Couple Next Door that she published in 2016. When writing this book, Shari Lanpena thought she needed to plan ahead of time on the plot of the story. Consequently, she was surprised to see that her work that came out from her subconscious mind was a success. After seeing that her work was successful, Shari Lanpena published several other books similar to The Couple Next Door, such as A Stranger in the House and Someone We Know.

The book started with two protagonists who are a couple, Anne and Marco, leaving their six-month-old baby in the house to attend a party next door. It was getting late, so Anne wanted to leave. But getting Macro to leave the party was difficult. Thereby, Anne stayed reluctantly and watched Marco “play” with their next-door neighbor, Cynthia. The more Anne watched, the more restless she got. Finally, when it was past one o’clock, Anne couldn’t stand it anymore and decided to leave the party by herself, whether or not Marco would want to or not.

That was when Marco expressed his change of heart: he agreed with Anne and left the party. At the movement when the couple arrived home, they discovered that their beautiful, plump newborn was gone! Anne, filled with agony and distress, called the police. 

That is when the mystery began. The search for Anne and Marco’s baby girl is on. Who had taken her? By what means? As the readers read on, going deeper and deeper to finding the kidnapper, they begin to feel the twists and turns of this thrilling story. The author focuses on the “what could be” element as a style to establish the sense of the mystery, making the development of the story keep contradicting the “clues and evidence” the readers think they have grasped.

Some people say that there are many repetitions throughout the story, causing the overall plot to be too simple and easily predictable what might happen next. They say that the twists and turns are too much, which makes the pace of the overall story slow. 

The one component in the story that a lot of people criticize about is the ending. In my opinion, I think the ending is unexpected and non-related to the overall story; it makes the reader wonder why the author decides to include this cliff-hanging scene in the story.

Overall, I think The Couple Next Door is truly a great thrill and mystery-related book that was very well written. This book really captures your attention and interests. It is one of those books you pick up and can’t put down. With all the twists and turns, The Couple Next Door raises your anticipation of what might happen next as you read. The overall plot may feel slow in the beginning, like most books. But, once you go deeper into the conflict and the mystery, it is like you are at the top of a rollercoaster, waiting for the sudden drop of the steep slope to come. 

In summary, The Couple Next Door is an eloquent, intriguing book that has an intricate plot and a captivating, unexpected ending. It is also easy to read. The language is easy to understand and not complex. I recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy suspense and mysteries. Hence, if you like suspense or anything related to finding clues and predicting possibilities, then grab your detective mindset and consider reading this book!

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