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The Couple Next Door
The Couple Next DoorBereniceMB (6)
Lifetime movie

This book was awful. The story was so predictable and characters were only superficially developed. The plot was cliché and content felt sprinkled in just to make this book seem risqué. The description of the book was the best part. That last line killed me. I could just hear the cheesy "DUN DUN DUN" they would use in the lifetime movie version.

Avery (8)
"Lifetime movie" is a perfect description of this book. You know it's going to be bad, but when you have nothing else to watch you can't help yourself.
SylC (11)
That last line got me as well... I read it and was just like "really???"...
The Couple Next DoorAshleyPoff (6)
I LOVED it!!!

Omg the ending was perfect! I'm hard to please with endings. The whole thing kept me guessing and I loved it! This is my favorite book so far!

The Couple Next Doorcblackburn10 (76)
The Real Danger

The most dangerous person in the world could be sleeping in the bed next to you for years and you'd never know their secrets until your "perfect" world decides to collapse one day. That, friends, is the real danger.

Once we discover that Richard is the mastermind behind Cora's abduction, Marco's part in giving her to Derek Honig isn't a big deal. Marco's part in his daughter's abduction quickly becomes unimportant considering the great lengths Richard went to ensure he'd receive millions of Alice's money and frame Marco, and slip away with Cynthia unnoticed. If Detective Rasbach hadn't tapped Richard's phone lines and found the private detective's GPS tracking device on Richard's car, or believed Marco's side of the story, Richard may have gotten away with it. But he didn't. HA!

Another real danger is Anne's unknown psychological disorder. I write "unknown" because even though the blackouts and violent rampages with memory loss is mentioned in the story by Alice, the disorder has essentially gone undiagnosed and no one, including the reader, knows anything about the disorder. Anne's disorder is so significant that it deserves its own book or a lengthy section in a second book, if there is one. It would've been interesting to know more about her disorder and how/if it correlates to postpartum depression.

I loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to another book from this author, whether or not its related to The Couple Next Door!

The Couple Next Doorcblackburn10 (76)

I knew that bastard was involved from the get go! Richard's maliciousness towards Marco was outrageous, considering how much Richard adored Anne and her happiness. Maybe his obsession with Anne's happiness is why Richard and Alice allowed Anne and Marco to marry in the first place. The real question here is, what triggered Richard's animosity???? I would've liked to have received more information on that part of the story.

The Couple Next DoorStephanyCruz (1)
2nd Part

This was a great book! Seems like there might be a second book. Does anyone know?

cblackburn10 (76)
I loved this book! As for a second book, I don't know, but I think Anne needs her own book to explain her psychological disorder or at least a major section in half of the next book, if there is one!
The Couple Next DoorSamanttttttha (14)
Such a clever title

The couple next-door was a very fast read for me. I was reading that one and another book, and it still took me about three days to read. I feel like during every chapter, the reader uncovered more secrets from the characters. And it was interesting watching the plan unfold. I did not see the ending coming at all. There were plenty of twists, expected and otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Couple Next Doorpaytonalexandra (5)

I got this book as an addition to my BOTM and read after reading Marlena and Exit West. Those two books were more thought-provoking, emotional reads, and so The Couple Next Door was a nice break from that kind of book. It was a refreshing and quick read. From the first page I was hooked and read this page-turner within just a few days ( I work full-time, so that is quick for me.) The story was really well written, suspenseful and just so entertaining. It wasn't the absolute best book I've ever read, but it didn't bore me or leave me feeling like I had wasted my time. I'm a sucker for a good, quick mystery/thriller, and this did not disappoint.

The Couple Next DoorMallory (2)
Too Much

While this book was a quick read, I just felt like the author put every possible plot twist and turn into the book. I didn't like how some of the plot points had no reason for being and didn't tie back into anything at all. For example the couple next door and their "freaky" tendencies,,, ok great, and then that was never revisited or had any reason to be in there. Like i said, it was still a quick read I just felt like I was constantly saying, "oh come on" as I read. Not as advanced as other thriller/murder mysteries i've read recently.

Samanttttttha (14)
The freaky tendencies were that she was sleeping with her father-in-law. I feel as though the writer revisited every odd statement that she made and I never had any questions once I closed the book.
cblackburn10 (76)
I think another freaky tendency was that Cynthia's husband, Graham, enjoyed watching video footage of her seducing and having sex with other men...apparently it was a turn on. Otherwise, I agree with you.
GalGlamorous (12)
I had a similar experience with this book. I felt like it was fun and engaging enough that I did not throw it aside. However I felt like it fell into some stereotypical tropes without it being held together by the characters as well as it could have. And the ending was just hasty and sloppy.
paytonalexandra (5)
I definitely felt this way, the book wasn't amazing, and it did follow some typical stereotypes and tropes, but it wasn't horribly written and was good for some quick, suspenseful entertainment.
aoineko (1)
Yes, I had a similar reaction. I hated it.
Lu042 (1)
I agree. I though the end was unnecessary.
The Couple Next DoorJadeMann (9)

I felt very engaged while reading this book, the plot was interesting, somewhat predictable - but I felt the authors writing pulled me in and I wanted to figure who was behind this. Although I did enjoy this book for the most part, I was annoyed with how the characters developed. It seemed as if pieces were missing, the parents and the couple next door could have used more depth. And spoiler alert. I hated the ending, too much, the author seemed to just give up, just threw in the towel and decided hey, I'm just going to make her a murderer now too...

cblackburn10 (76)
The ending wasn't the first time Anne had been violent. I'd been waiting for the author to revisit her violent blackouts and sure enough, that's what happened. I personally loved the book and felt that the ending was a cliff hanger because Anne tells Marco that she has no idea what has happened. As the reader, I can only assume that Anne killed Cynthia because of her cruel comment in the previous chapter, but we don't know. I view this as a cliff hanger because it potentially leaves room for a second book.
Samanttttttha (14)
I don't feel like it was random considering she mentioned that she does blackouts and she becomes very violent.
JulieSocolow (1)
Yeah same! I felt like they randomly made her super crazy and a murderer and suddenly her father arranges the entire thing? It was a good book but it just felt like they were trying to find as many twists as they could
debschneller (1)
I agree! I did like that it moved quickly, I didn't want to put it down. I did want a more satisfying ending.
The Couple Next DoorAhaggard (1)

So the moment I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I literally was stressing out the whole entire time trying to figure out who did what. I liked the book it was intriguing, mysterious and it was a fast read. If you like mystery this is your book. Although my only complaint was that the ending could have been better.

Heather (2)
I agree! I felt the same way reading it and wanted to find out what happened!
The Couple Next DoorTFish (2)
Quick Read

This was my first BoTM pick. I flew through this book. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop - I had to know what happened! It was nice to pick up a book that was such a quick and enjoyable read.

Kristina (2)
This was one of my first pics as well. I love crime-mystery, but this was just ok for me. It was well written and engaging, the story was good, it kept me going and yet something was missing, it was almost too textbook.
The Couple Next DoorSDingle (1)

I wasn't overly impressed. Being a mom the book caught my attention right away but there should have been some build up so we knew who the characters were. I felt like you just jumped into the middle of the book. There was a point were the plot twist got to be too much and I didn't know where it was all going. The cliff hanger ending made me kind of mad. If the writer was setting it up for another book he should have put more work into developing the characters. You want your readers to fall in love with the characters especially the detective because he will be your main point to grow from and I feel like he was very under developed. If there is a book to follow up on this one I think I would skip it... I was more bothered by the proof reading errors that should have been caught before this book went to print. I wanted to read it with a red pen in hand so I could send it to the publisher and let them know they missed some stuff... All in all it was an ok book...

cblackburn10 (76)
Here I was thinking I was the only person who noticed the grammatical errors in the book {I basically have zero friends because I correct everyone's grammar-haha :)}. I liked the book, but the grammatical errors weren't significant enough to make me put the book down. And there have been plenty of instances in my life where I have stopped reading something because the grammatical errors were incredibly awful! lol
Hungry4Toast (1)
I felt the exact way. I'm not a mother myself, but I did like the tense feeling the whole book gave off. Overall, the ending was EXTREMELY lacking and honestly could have gone in so many ways other than a cliff hanger which most likely will never be resolved. They also started and stopped so many "side quest" ideas within the book and never tied it up at the end. Goes right along with the underdeveloped characters and the overall "Meh, that was something" feeling I had once I finished it. 100 percent "Meh. . ." Rating.
The Couple Next DoorGenelleVinci (1)
Fun Summer Read

I enjoyed this book. I am new to BOTM and like the variety of books that they provide to their audience/readers. I was surprised to read negative comments on this book. I took it as a fun, quick and perfect summer read.

The book got really interesting to me when they talked about the hidden camera that Cynthia and Graham had - and it never developed past that. It was like I almost wanted a bit of history on them. I wanted to know why Graham was only in the beginning and that was it.

I also wished they gave a bit more background on Anne's past mental state. But overall, the book was fun to read. There were points where I found my self unable to put it down, and there were some points I was eager to just see what was going to happen.

JaclynRodriguez (1)
I agree. I enjoyed the book and was immediately drawn in to the tension and drama surrounding Anne & Marco. I felt that many of the characters weren't sufficiently developed: Cynthia & Graham were characters of convenience; I expected to learn more about them, but seems like they were just there to move the story along. Richard and his history with Derek/Bruce: while it may not have been necessary to explain their connection, I wanted to know more about their dynamic. This was my first BOTM selection, and I'm happy with my choice. The story pulled me in and kept me guessing as to how it would ultimately play out.
Terarae07 (4)
I felt the same way about the camera and Graham! I wanted to know more. I enjoyed this book. So many twists and turns
The Couple Next DoorRae90 (6)

I have mixed feelings about this book. I think it had great potential, but I feel it lacked overall. There were too many twists and turns that weren’t fully developed. Much like the characters. Typically we are introduced to characters in the beginning and start learning who they are. I think it was over halfway through the book before we realized Anne had a serious mental health issue, and personally I feel like that was thrown in there to tie up a plot hole. The detective’s perspective drove me nuts. He was very poorly developed. He came off as a hard ass but we never really learned why he came off that way. A hardened cop with no trust left in humanity – WHY?? If you are going to have a character in the story and have him be one of the main ones, let us get to know them! And what was with that ending?! There were way too many things going on in this book. I feel if the author had planned it out better, or even lengthened to book to give time to develop some of the plot twist a little more it would have been much more enjoyable. This was my first book from BOTM. I am a little disappointed at the quality of the writing but am going to give it another shot and hope that this next months books are better quality.

Twilford (1)
Keep an open mind about BOTM, I read this one as well and was definitely disappointed. It was interesting until the end. Some of my favorite books have been from this site though!
Smplyco (4)
I agree that this book was sub par. I couldn't really get into it because of the complete lack of character development. I didn't develop emotion towards any of the characters and wasn't fighting for any of them to come out of it okay. Everything was haphazardly thrown together and there was insufficient background on each character to establish the storyline. And then there was the ending - really? I have so many words I could say but why waste the time. I would hope that with this many dislikes they would credit us a free month because what a waste! Also, I have read half a dozen or more books through BOTM and this is the first one I really didn't like. Keep with it and hopefully you (and the rest of us) will find something better next time!
cblackburn10 (76)
I don't think a few dislikes deserves a free month. There are plenty of other books on here that are worse, but I still don't believe they're bad enough to warrant a free month. This book really wasn't that bad. You all did select this book and each selection provides background information on the stories, as well as comments from literary critics selected by BOTM. Despite the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover," if anyone is mildly intuitive, they'll be able to tell if the story will be worth the read without ever opening the book. And that decision is based primarily on the background and critique provided.
PrimoReads (3)
This book definitely fell far flat in comparison to its potential. But stick with BOTM! August was my first month and the book was "All the Ugly, Wonderful Things" and although it was NOT what I was anticipating at all - the writing quality had me falling in love with the characters that I literally finished it within a week of opening the box... "The Couple Next Door" only took me longer because I couldn't connect...
The Couple Next DoorDanielleHusberg (6)

This book was a fast read...because I just wanted the torture to end. I know I'm in the minority, but this book SUCKED!!! There is next to no character development whatsoever. The plot is all over the place, and though some liked the twists and turns, I felt it was insanely disorganized and just thrown together here and there to make it all come together at the end. I do not feel this writer is very talented and would never consider reading another of her novels. Her writing style, to me, just felt like someone telling me: so this happened, and this happened, and then this happened...and so on and so forth. No real skill or effort to draw the reader deep into the story or fall in love with the characters, or hell even be able to relate to them or sympathize with them. The story and the sequence of events is just so illogical and impractical. It was annoying how you would kinda know what some of the characters were thinking, but then they changed there mind and revealed that's not what they thought all along. Example: the detective. All along the writer indicates that he thinks it's the parents and then zooms in on the husband. And then, in the last 20-30 pages he just miraculously reveals he's suspected the step father all along? Really? At any given point in time, I wanted to slap all of these characters and tell them to get their shit together. Especially Anne. I don't even know how many times I thought "your child is missing and you're still focusing this much on a possible affair your husband may be having?" Really? It became somewhat apparent by the thrown together end why Anne was focusing on that so much, but just made the story seem even more outlandish to me until the neighbors role was revealed at the end. Did anyone else ever wonder where the husband's family was in all of this? They mention that they're close and stuff at the beginning, but they never show up or contact them when their kid goes missing? Pretty unlikely and a huge gap in a kidnapping plot. The only reason I finished this book was because I wanted to know if Cora was alive. That's it. The only thing I semi liked about this book was the wife killing the neighbor in a fugue state at the end. That's it. But then I still hate it because it's been done before, the black outs were another part of the story randomly thrown in somewhere around the middle to pull things together, and I feel a story about her blackouts would probably have been a better one to tell altogether than the all over the place kidnapping. Throughly disappointed. This was my first month with BOTM. Luckily, I also purchased All This Cease To Appear at the same time and read that first. Much better story. Maybe not as intense with plot twists, but it actually has depth and substance to it. Give that one a try instead of this if you can.

BereniceMB (6)
My thoughts exactly! I cannot believe so many people liked this book. It felt like an outline to a book before someone edited it.
cblackburn10 (76)
We have to remember that this is the author's first novel, so it isn't going to be perfect, but the story was decent enough to be published. And good enough to be put on BOTM. I wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree with your assessment. I enjoyed the book. It was fast paced and twisted, and if anything, kind of how I'd picture a real abduction case. I think that child abduction cases (or any abduction cases for that matter) are disorganized, especially in the first few days because people, especially the families, have no idea what to do. Everyone who disliked the story commented on a lack of character development, but how much depth do you need on a character when the author provides a short summary of each in the first few chapters of the book? Some characters aren't going to change : Richard and Alice clearly hate Marco, so their relationship with him isn't going to change. Personally, I don't think readers are supposed to feel connected to characters in a crime novel, especially one involving child abduction. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters, though I liked Detective Rasbach and the novel, but that didn't make me feel any less hooked on the storyline. Despite several grammatical errors, I thought the author did well for her first novel.
PrimoReads (3)
This is so perfectly expressed. All the characters were these awkward half empty shells of people that I just couldn't believe in. The author used the changing of narrative to the various characters perspective which is usually a really cool technique but I found it distracting and confusing to the plotline. The narrative is so dry and your phrase "this happened... this happened... and then that happened." is almost more exciting than her writing. It probably could have been a really excellent book - the plotline itself is genuinely good, the twists and turns were kind of surprising to me but the execution was as if a high schooler had bastardized a classic.
MollyMooney (2)
I agree!
ReneeSchaffer (3)
I haven't read the book yet, but appreciate your honest review! Honestly, I've stopped purchasing thrillers/noir mysteries because I don't feel that many of them are that great anymore. I'll stick to checking them out of the library instead of spending money on personal copies!
JasmineOsley (1)
Thank you so much for this review, you took the words right out of my mouth. The author's writing technique/style or lack there of read like a high school newspaper-- blunt, to the point and poorly developed. I would not recommend this book at all and am very disappointed with my selection. If I hadn't ordered A Gentleman in Moscow as well, which is truly exquisite, I would have likely cancelled my subscription.
DanielleHusberg (6)
Agreed. All Things Ceased To Appear saved my membership this month. If I had just read this one? Would've been a no go for next month for me as well.
The Couple Next DoorAshleyWoodward (1)
A book for the new reader

The Couple Next Door is a basic 'who-done-it?' novel. This low-tide story is easy to digest, provides enough intrigue to move the reader to finish, and points to unanswered questions about what comes next for the characters.

For an intermediate to advanced reader I submit that this story will land one of two ways upon completion:

  1. Slow, predictable, insufficient character development, and an unsatisfactory ending to make the read worth it -or-
  2. A quick and simple morsel between the more rich flavors of a developed palette

I lean toward the second analysis. I hadn't read a non-fiction book in quite a while so it was refreshing in that way. I was able to paint the picture through the telling. And while The Couple Next Door wasn't a story I held my breath for, or ravenously turned pages over, that isn't what I needed it to be.

We need a variety of intensity to value the masterpiece that is the world of literature. Every book shouldn't keep us on our toes just as every person we meet shouldn't become our best friend.

The Couple Next Door was somewhere in between. I look forward to seeing how Shari Lapeña develops and grows in her craft.

Avery (8)
This is a good point - that sometimes we need just a temporary quick read!
Valerie (3)
I completely agree; thank you for your eloquence!
The Couple Next Doorbrookepipes (1)
The Couple Next Door -Suspenseful, yet a shitty ending.

Although I have considered "The Couple Next Door" as a personal favorite (I am a junkie for suspense novels), I feel as though this book had a rather shitty ending. I was almost... ALMOST satisfied with the ending of this novel. I understand that is significantly hard to come by. I was extremely content with what I thought would be the ending. However, I feel as if a bit more thought could have been put into it. Suspense novels always seem to leave me with a shitty ending. It's almost as if they leave you with information or a statement that is baffling. Something that leaves you craving more. Unfortunately, this spectacular novel has to compare with most others I have read. We all know that there is not going to be a sequel to this novel... if there were, it would be extremely amateur for Lapena. This is the reason I feel as though Chapter 37 alone, could have. even disregarded. At first, I was over-the-top excited about Anne heading over to the Stilwell's to uncover the truth. Keep in mind that the author had many options as far as the ending of this novel goes. Unfortunately, she chose to end it with another crime that none of us will ever uncover. Although this is all fiction, I am quite disappointed with the question and wonder this novel has left me with. I feel as though we simply could have left it as a happy ending; Cynthia being found out and all. But they always have to leave us with more uncertainty. In this sitauation, that uncertainty is more than unnecessary. Keep in mind that I am not a novelist nor author. I am going off of my own rational opinions and I hope that Lapena keeps this next thought in mind: You almost had it. You almost exceeded my expectations for this novel. However, the ending has simply left me feeling the same drag I feel after every suspense novel... Over-doing it. Overall, "The Couple Next Door" was absolutely enchanting and I could not put the book down. I simply felt the familiar feeling of the endings I always come across which neutrally leaves me with "ugh". I truly hope that this statement urges authors to not do the same. It's almost a waste to the art of writing and creativity.

MarianneK (3)
I liked this book except that ending! Dear Lord, what was the author thinking! I felt like the author really wanted to do a twist ending and tried too hard. Ugh. It ruined the whole book for me.
Snug216 (32)
I know a lot of people are really down on this book - and I understand why. To describe it simply I would say it's the voice of the book. It's like reading in present perspective, or told in a second person format as viewed through third person. So and so did this. So and so did that. Awkward voice gave us no connection to the characters at all. And although I did feel like many pieces were "thrown" together, I did find that some of them actually stuck pretty well. I liked Marcos being involved. I liked that Cynthia was involved without fully knowing it (or did she, room for interpretation). But most of all I liked that the ending at least gave Anne's mental state a purpose in the story other than a plot device. Okay so she blacks out a lot and has violent tendencies. And that gave her and us a reason to suspect she harmed the baby. But in the middle of the story it was so random. So I appreciate the tie in at the end that gives it more heft than just a plot device to throw us off. The other reason that last chapter is satisfying to me is that at every twist and turn in this story people were just digging themselves in deeper and deeper. I felt bad for Marcos, but didn't. I felt bad for Anne, but didn't. Etc. These people dug themselves into so many lies and holes and betrayals that the end makes sense - the next thing for these people to figure out how to cover up and get out of. Was the book really well written? No. I could almost imagine this being pitched as a television show though. Give it a week to week flush out of characters, points of view, etc. Especially because it's present perspective would lend well to a script.
alyssabartuch (1)
I felt the same about the ending. I turned the last page and scratched my head. Like you, I really feel that last chapter could have just been omitted because it felt so rushed. Overall a great read though. I polished it off in an afternoon because I couldn't stop reading after the first chapter! Happy reading :)
The Couple Next Doorkristivitale (4)
A Rare Intrigue

Even through the few irks I felt while reading this book, one must agree it's a wild ride, and one that captures you from beginning to end.. at least for me! I do agree with opinions in discussion below but I always appreciate and LOVE to find books that envelop me, intrigue me, and make me want to read them. So thanks BOTM and Author Shari for this. All At Sea was actually my choice for September and I picked up The Couple Next Door at Barnes and am happy to read thoughts for both here.

The Couple Next DoorEmilyAureli (1)

Overall the book was good. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. I feel like it was easily predictable because by the fist few chapters I immediately knew who took Cora out of the home. I feel like the author did her best to add twists and turns to keep you interested but I felt the details and the desire to figure out those twists and turns were lacking. I wish the author would have spent more time weaving her web so I could be more involved. It was a little lack luster as I was expecting something a little more sinister and haunting. The ending was by far the worst part of the book for me. I don't even know why it was included, unless, perhaps she hopes to make another book out of it.

The Couple Next DoorDeanna (2)
Am I the only one that did not enjoy this as much as I thought I would?

I felt the story was extremely underdeveloped. There was no character development at all. It did not even focus on the important things. The ending was the worst of all. The story just dragged on. I forces myself to finish. I agree that it was a quick read. I finished it in 3 hours or so, but I definitely will not be reading it again. I was not pleased overall. The writing was just not there.

MollyMooney (2)
I agree. There was no character development at all. I couldn't even be shocked at the ending because I felt like I didn't even know Anne. At least it was a quick read so we didn't waste too much time reading it!
AshleySaville (3)
I agree with you Deanna. I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought I would, and I tend to look for books that Liberty reviews because I have similar taste, but I definitely disappointed this month. It was easy to predict who took Cora and why, within a few chapters and then the author gave it away about half way through the story. It seemed like she was trying to keep the story going so she talked more about some of the supporting characters, all without really developing each of them. The ending caused me to roll my eyes because you could tell throughout the whole story that the author was trying to give you just a little insight into Cora's mother's mental health background (can't remember her name right now) so that she could try to use it as a twist at some point, but it was just too predictable. Even the writing seemed to be for lower literacy levels. Normally, I will keep a book and re-read it down the road, or pass it along to someone for them to enjoy but this book I want to either toss or give to someone I don't really know that well, for a backup Christmas present, just so I don't have to keep it at my house...
JeannyRoa (1)
I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would but I still thought it was a bit over the top. Very convoluted. The premise could have been better executed if there was less of a need to add so many spins. Felt to me the author wanted more twists and turns than more developed character and story line.
The Couple Next DoorDanielle (3)
Unanswered questions

I was left with some unanswered questions about Cynthia. Did she know about the kid napping from the beginning? Was it a coincidence that she tried to seduce Marco or was that really for her husband’s enjoyment? She seemed surprised when she saw Marco on the tape but then again she was just trying to get more money out of him. I think that more time should have been spent on her rather just the last few chapters finally showing her true colors.

AshleySaville (3)
I agree. Cynthia was underdeveloped as was the whole "videotape her having sex with them for her and Graham's enjoyment" thing. It seemed like the author had a plan for the story at the beginning, couldn't keep the story going, and changed gears a bit to make the book long enough. Graham seemed like he would've been a key supporting character at the beginning, and then he was removed from the story completely. I didn't love the writing style either. The whole book just seemed like a good attempt by an amateur writer, and I'm kind of surprised it made it all the way to publishing... I wish I had picked a different book last month, rather than wasted time and money on this one :-/
Avery (8)
I wish there was more to the secret video camera story line too, the author just said a paragraph about it but then we didn't get anymore details from what could have been a juicy story line.
Danielle (3)
Right they should have just made it that Graham had security cameras outside to spy on Cynthia. I mean she isn't very trust worthy. That way he could have been trying to blackmail Richard and Cynthia and maybe even Marco too I mean he did mess around with his wife. I just feel like they had a big role in the book for being either written out after the first few chapters or tossed in at the end to sum up the story
cblackburn10 (76)
That would've made Cynthia and Graham's characters a bit more exciting if Graham had placed the camera to spy on his cheating wife!
amerson218 (2)
I agree! She was one of those characters that got swept under the rug. She could have played a bigger part in the whole story line. For all we know, she could have been the one to give Richard the idea in the first place to set Marco up, and after all she did really hate children so it would make sense why should would not care about the outcome of what happened to Cora, especially as the plans changed.
Danielle (3)
And I never once suspected Anne. Even when they brought up the whole loss of time and anger thing. I feel like it would have been good to bring up in the first few chapters but then we should have had more info about Cynthia and maybe even Marco. I just am not satisfied with how little was revealed until the last few chapters. The cops should have been looking into everyone from the start and actually dug up the information. I mean Marco and Anne figuring out what happened before anyone else seems a bit too easy. overall I like the book I just feel like it was summed up in a neat little package to end it not to develop the story.
amerson218 (2)
I enjoyed the book too! I will say it did a good job keeping you drawn in, but I definitely agree though th story didn't really seem to have much character development. I actually kind of wish they had gone into more detail about Anne's parents. I always had this idea that there was something going on with them and was surprised they didn't have them as suspects until closer to the end of the book.
The Couple Next DoorSydneyHayes (2)
Good, but the ending!

Let me start off by saying that I did enjoy this book overall. It was a wild ride from the very beginning. The amount of shocking revelations blew my mind; there is definitely no getting bored reading this book! Towards the end, however, it got a little outlandish and..well, predictable. It seemed too easy for me that Anne just "happened" to see her father walking off into the woods, on the same night that her and her husband had accused him of being in on the plot to kidnap her daughter. All of the dialogue from that moment on seemed very forced to me. The story had been flowing really organically up until that point, for the most part, but the dialogue and characters from that point until the end of the book seemed really forced. Also, the ending! Ugh! How more cliche can you get?! Anne's illness was written in a way that made it seem like the author needed a loophole to kind of pull more attention to her. There wasn't really much hinting at the illness until about halfway through the book, and at that point I just got the feeling that it was hastily thrown in. So the wife just so happens to have temporary amnesia and has a history of violence when losing time..how convenient! I feel that the author should have brought more attention to the illness earlier on and made it a bigger piece of the overall storyline than she did. It wouldn't have made it seem like she was using it as a loophole that way. The worst part of the book to me was the very end. I actually cringed reading the last 2 pages. The cliches! That said, overall I give the book about a 3.5 out of 5 stars, because the author did such a good job with all the twists and turns while still making sure the storyline didn't get too jumbled to keep up with.

The Couple Next DoorSamanthaEtchandy (2)
I really liked this book!

For this being my first book with BOTM, I was pleasantly surprised! I really did enjoy all the ups/downs of this book. I very rarely audibly gasp when reading a book (mostly in my mind!) and this book forced a few "Oh my goodnesses!" unprompted by me when reading. I was also a little thrown off by the ending though, however.

Did anyone think that Anne's father just had the baby outside the entire time? When he retrieved her that final time-where had she been? How long was she gone from the cabin? Was she ever there?

I thought the book was great & I love when books are very character trait heavy (how can we enjoy a book filled with such terrible people?)

Looking forward to next month's read!

JolynneWoodcock (2)
Also my first BOTM and I did enjoy it. The ending for me was great.
ChristineDuane (58)
I just read this book while on vacation, and I also liked it. Some of the newer thrillers coming out are so bad that it made this look good!
MeganBellucci (2)
This was my first BOTM and I loved it too! I agree with mostly everything that you said.
The Couple Next Doorkagreene (3)
Too Similar to "The Girl on the Train"

I love a good thrilling book but for some reason this felt like it was drug out longer than it should have been. It also probably didn't help that I had just finished "The Girl on the Train". Two very similar story lines. I would have liked to have known more about who was helping with the kidnapping as well as the couple next door. After all, the book is named after them.

CourtneyJustus (1)
I also read The Girl on the Train then read this a few days later. Now I took my time reading The Girl on the Train. A couple weeks in the evening before bed. I read The Couple Next Door in 2 days. I wondered if Marco and Anne were "The Couple Next Door" I thought the same as you but then again maybe it's referring to Marco and Anne. Good book, but I didn't even consider a similar story line, interesting point! This was a good quick read for me as I'd been looking forward to reading it.
janinemeaghan (1)
I just finished "The Girl on the Train" too - totally agree. Felt slightly repetitive - not necessarily the plot but the blacking out. Does anyone else feel like blacking out/temporary amnesia is too easy of a way to create mystery? I'd rather an unreliable, lying narrator than one that is aware of their own memory lapses. Again, this complaint might only be because I just read The Girl on the Train, and I thoroughly enjoyed both books.
The Couple Next Doorjmallen7 (2)
Cynthia and Graham

Did anyone want to learn more about this couple? I feel like bits and pieces of some of their lives were shared, but I wanted to learn more about them.

Do you think Cynthia knew about the kidnapping without seeing the tape since she was having an affair with Anne's father?

Snug216 (32)
Yeah. The story is LITERALLY called "The Couple Next Door". Where the hell was Graham? Why was Cynthia relevant in the beginning for the opening sequence, and then occasionally referenced throughout, and then revealed to be involved with Richard in the end? Also, if the Couple Next Door was in reference to Marcos and Anne, there should have been more voice from Cynthia and Graham. Random observation.
Rae90 (6)
I really wish they would have been more involved with the story line. I hated how Graham was basically written right out of it.
SamanthaEtchandy (2)
I completely agree! Why were they so distant? What went on in their past? I do think that Cynthia knew about the kidnapping without seeing the tape-you should have heard me gasp when we found that Anne's father was also having an affair with Cynthia!
Liberty Hardy (82)
Oooo, intriguing thought! I wouldn't have put it past her.
The Couple Next DoorLillian (2)
Good Start / Bad Ending

This was my first book that I read as part of the Book of the Month club. Overall I am happy I joined but this wasn't the best book I have ever read.

In the beginning I was in love with it. The set up of the dinner party and the beginning of the investigation were written really well. I was in love all the way up until you find out who kidnapped the baby (no spoilers here :) ). After this point in the book for me it all started to go down hill, not because I didn't like who the author choose to write into that part but because of the pace that the rest of the book took.

In the beginning it was slow going and the author really took time to tell us a background story that kept me, and many others, happily reading the find out what happened next. After that breaking point though I feel as though the book started to feel rushed, the conversations between characters changed from normal investigation / interview questions to seeming very scripted. Especially in the conversations between Richard and Marco. My other issue was how fast the second half of the book moved. This book could've been longer with more content and more explanation in the second half and I would've been a lot happier.

Overall the book was okay, I would give it 3 1/2 stars. I did pass it along to a co-worker to read so we will see what she thinks of it.

SherryPatterson (6)
This was my first book as part of the Book of the Month club too and I agree with you completely. I felt the book ended a little flat, I would have liked to have known if they recovered the money ... I felt that the husband (no spoilers here :) ) had a part in this as well given his weird need. Perhaps they set the whole plot in motion. I'm passing it along as well but wasn't in love with this book either.
SherryPatterson (6)
This was my first book as part of the Book of the Month club too and I agree with you completely. I felt the book ended a little flat, I would have liked to have known if they recovered the money ... I felt that the husband (no spoilers here :) ) had a part in this as well given his weird need. Perhaps they set the whole plot in motion. I'm passing it along as well but wasn't in love with this book either.
SherryPatterson (6)
This was my first book as part of the Book of the Month club too and I agree with you completely. I felt the book ended a little flat, I would have liked to have known if they recovered the money ... I felt that the husband (no spoilers here :) ) had a part in this as well given his weird need. Perhaps they set the whole plot in motion. I'm passing it along as well but wasn't in love with this book either.
The Couple Next DoorElizabethBaldwin (1)
Loved it!

I enjoyed the book with all it's twists and turns. The only thing that really threw me was the ending. But despite the ending I still loved the book. Every character had major flaws. I was really thrown when Anne admitted to slapping her baby. Wow. That is really out there.

The Couple Next DoorRamyGorkowski (3)
Disappointed Overall

This was my first book as a Book of the Month member and I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed with it. I understand some of this is my fault and I will have to choose more wisely next time, but this book was filled with so many literary 101s that I was frankly a bit bored. I expected more out of an author that used to be an English teacher (even if it was her debut novel). This was like a dumbed down version of Girl on the Train, which was a dumbed down version of Gone Girl. Everyone is trying to copy that fire again instead of striving for something more unique.

For me, the biggest issue was that there was a lot of unnecessary repetition throughout the book- there was a lot of 'let's have a conversation between two characters and then have that exact same conversation with one of those characters and another character AND THEN have it again with two more'. We're not idiots- we get it. It felt like it was becoming a space filler at a certain point just to make the book longer.

I also don't like books (or movies or TV shows) that use dissociative identity disorders as an explanation for a character's behavior. It's an easy scapegoat and a tired cliche at this point and about as lazy as 'it was all a dream' type of writing. I also didn't really care about any of these characters and I think a good writer, regardless of genre, does a better job at really connecting you to them and making you invested in knowing more about them. The ending was perhaps the best part- where the author actually ventured away from stereotypical guidelines and left us without a perfect ending.

In the end, I would probably never read anything by this author again, nor would I really recommend this to anyone. But that's my opinion. To each their own.

The Couple Next DoorJess (5)
Two Thoughts

So I have noticed two things in reading the comments shared about this book.

First, many people seem to not like the very end. I personally loved it. It makes for a good think on whether she really didn't remember or if she knew she could say that and be believed. Are there others out there that liked it too?

Second, some people were saying that the title was misleading/didn't fit because it didn't focus overly much on Cynthia/Graham. I saw the title as a reflection of what the whole book drove home - you don't really know anyone the way you think you might. You don't know what "the couple next door" to you right now is capable of or what they are going through or what secrets they hold. This book showed that this applies to immediate family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, even YOURSELF sometimes, as Anne unfortunately discovered. Seeing it like this can be dark - don't trust anyone because you never know...or it can be healthy - don't assume you know what someone is going through/dealing with and be too quick to jump to conclusions/judge, because we all have secrets and things we deal with in life.

kimberly0225 (1)
I agree with you....I loved the ending. While I always love a good "happily ever after," I don't think that would have been very appropriate for this book. Too many mistakes were made, too many lies, families devastated. I don't think many people could come back from that with a 'nice house, man & wife and beautiful baby' to only say "one day at a time, maybe I can forgive you?!"
MeganBellucci (2)
I too enjoyed the ending! I think it created an interesting twist- and kind of focused on Anne's family kind of being the not so good ones in the book.
jmallen7 (2)
I agree completely. I loved the ending as well. I think if there was a "happily ever after" it wouldn't have fit with the rest of the book and I would have been disappointed.
Jess (5)
Yeah, and she had gone way over the edge throughout the whole ordeal. Without major therapy (which she refused bc her doc was away) this ending was very realistic.
JolynneWoodcock (2)
Great take on this book! I also liked the ending.
skinnerbox (4)
I for one never thought the title was referring to Cynthia and Graham. I thought of "the couple next door" as referring to an outsider's perspective of Anne and Marco, as they would be "the couple next door". It's interesting to me that others thought otherwise but I can see how that would make the title very misleading if interpreted in that way. Loved the book overall though. Nothing lifechanging but it was a good 4 hours spent racing through the twists and turns.
SydneyHayes (2)
I was about to say, that's the way I began to see the title as well. I do think the title was referring to Anne and Marco, not Cynthia and Graham, as a kind of "you never really know a person" type of nod. Like, The Couple Next Door, the seemingly happy and financially stable married couple with the 6 month old, who are hiding really dark secrets. Good observation!
Liberty Hardy (82)
My favorite part of the book was definitely how it kept me racing through it!
marybostwick525 (2)
I actually read this book outside of the Book of the Month selections- I was definitely disappointed with the book as a whole, but there were some moments that shocked/surprised me. I enjoyed the fact that Anne as a narrator was unreliable so you weren't really sure whether or not she committed the crime. I went back and forth over deciding whether or not to believe her. In regards to the title, I also agree- I wasn't taking the title literal in that it would be about Cynthia/Graham. I also believed that the title might be in reference to the fact that when the murder in fact happened, they were next door and that sparked the whole plot etc.
Liberty Hardy (82)
I think she had a pretty good idea what she was doing...
Liberty Hardy (82)
I am so glad some people viewed the title differently! My brain immediately assumed Cynthia and Graham, so I missed out on more surprises.
crumplindsey (2)
I was pretty disapointed with the ending. I had a feeling that ending was coming, but I wanted so badly for Marco and Anne to have a happily ever after (even if most of their troubles were self-manufactured in the first place). I agree though that it leaves us with the awesome question of whether or not Anne really had a dissociative break when she killed Cynthia.
Lillian (2)
I had a feeling that this wasn't really a dissociative break. Towards the end of the book when she was saying she hasn't "left" reality since she has met Marco makes me think that she was just using the police's knowledge of her mental status as an excuse to cover up what she did to Cynthia .
ktjota (3)
I was a person who wasn't a huge fan of the title and I noted that I knew it didn't necessarily mean it had to be in the literal sense, but I guess the book didn't exactly meet what I originally thought. I guess before reading the book I thought there was going to be more involving secrets of the neighbors at this dinner party, but that really was just the intro. I still liked the book, I guess I just wasn't a huge fan of the title, but I do see what you are saying and I agree with your point of view in how the author probably meant the title to be.
The Couple Next Doorktjota (3)
Overall Good Book

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The beginning really hooked me in learning the dynamics of the couples and trying to predict the end. I immediately was thinking about all the press about Madeleine McCann who disappeared years ago when her parents left her in a hotel room while they enjoyed dinner with friends. So, in the beginning I was wondering if there was going to be some interesting twist related to that, but then it became clear that it was the husband who was involved which is highly predictable. I've seen it done in numerous books where there is the parent who is financially distressed and stages a fake kidnapping (i.e. man on fire). I felt like there were so many little aspects where it seemed like the author was about to go in a very interesting direction and then it wasn't fully explored or it just stopped..

The final ending was a twist that I didn't see and while I applaud it for being interesting and you wonder what next? I also felt a little sad for the family, even though highly dysfunctional, that once it seemed like things would work out for the core characters that then that happened.

In the end, it kept me reading as I tried to read it as quick as I could to see how it would resolve itself.

The Couple Next DoorAnaAcosta (2)
The End

From the beginning I wasn't too sure where this story was going. Learning a bit about each character made me suspicious and thinking for moment that each person had something to do with Cora's kidnapping. I love the twist at the end but at the same time I felt like I was left hanging. Too much happend at once and left me wanting more.

Jess (5)
I liked how it ended. It makes for a good think on whether she really didn't remember or if she knew she could say that and be believed. I agree with you about how each character was made to look like a viable suspect at times. It was very well written.
AnaAcosta (2)
The ending kind of reminded me of the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in a way. If you've seen the movie? I enjoyed the book as well the ending was very emotional it left me saying O-M-G, I haven't read a thriller in a while!
Jess (5)
Haven't seen that, but want to now! :-)
The Couple Next DoorIndiana (2)
Great book!!!

The book was a great read, it kept me on my toes from beginning. Both Anne and Marco shouldn't be together, its not a healthy relationship. To be completely honest I am not 100% sure Anne had nothing to do with the disappearance of Cora. For crying out loud the women don't remember half the things she does. I felt no empathy for her character especially since her parents help her out way too much and are constantly involved in her life.

The Couple Next DoorJenn (3)
Quick Read

From the beginning, this book had me hooked. I read it in just a few days. I thought it was well-written and I loved that the author let the characters tell their own stories throughout the book. The only thing that threw me off was toward the middle where everyone was making their own hypotheses on what happened to Cora because I felt like I already knew how it would end (I was wrong). Great book though!

BrendaElliott (3)
I totally agree. Loved this book and found it very entertaining. Just when you thought you had it figured out another twist. I do think Anna was spoiled and had mental health issues that she had never dealt with. I would read another book by this author.
BrendaElliott (3)
I totally agree. Loved this book and found it very entertaining. Just when you thought you had it figured out another twist. I do think Anna was spoiled and had mental health issues that she had never dealt with. I would read another book by this author.
The Couple Next DoorAriel (3)
The end felt rushed

Generally I liked the book, but I felt like towards the end the author realized that she had a lot of plots to close and she just bunched some conclusions into a few pages. I thought the story was still pretty good, but the end was lackluster.

norabollhagen (1)
I agree. I felt like the ending was rushed and left too many questions unanswered. Like, why did Cynthia ask for 200k when she was involved with the father? What was Graham's role in any of this, because other than a few references to him, he was really not a character that needed to be included in the book...he had no importance at all. And the fact that the author would have us believe that after what Marco did there could be any chance of their marriage surviving is ridiculous.
Liberty Hardy (82)
The fact that Graham was away on business while all this was going on had me thinking he was responsible!
SherryPatterson (6)
I think the book was about a 100 pages too long and could have had a much more interesting plot turning ending including Graham and Cynthia and where the money ended up. Seven million dollars and no mention of a recovery. I didn't like the ending.
Jess (5)
I liked how it ended. It makes for a good think on whether she really didn't remember or if she knew she could say that and be believed.
Ariel (3)
The last chapter was good. I meant how the author closed everything up felt rushed. Without spoiling anything it's hard for me to explain, but I'm talking about 30 pages before the end when everything starts to make sense and you find out who did what. I actually liked the last chapter and I think it was a good way to end the book overall.
Brie (2)
I definitely agree! I was on edge for the majority of the book and couldn't believe all the twists and turns but it just felt too easy and convenient how the plot was resolved. I was hoping for some dangerous confrontation and not just for Marco to get off so easily. Overall though still a quick read that I'd definitely recommend!
Ariel (3)
Convenient, yes! I was totally looking for that word to describe it when I originally wrote this review. Yes, the resolutions come way too easily.
Mina (30)
I agree. I don't like to spend too much time guessing with these types of books, because I don't like the end to be spoiled. This was one of the rare times that I was able to guess who was responsible without thinking too hard. :/ good book, but the ending kept it from being "great."
AmberBean (1)
i definitely agree
Namamamaste (2)
The Couple Next DoorLiberty Hardy (82)
Discuss with Us

Who did you first suspect committed the crime as you started the novel? How did your initial theories change as you continued to read?

AshleyMacGabhann (3)
At first, I thought it was the babysitter's mother. Towards the beginning after the press release, when they make a point NOT to mention she was left there alone, the babysitter's mother asks the detective, "Who could leave their child alone like that?" It's obvious NOW that she probably could have guessed, but at the time you read that line, you're under the impression there's no way she possibly could have known. All she knew was her daughter canceled; she didn't know if they went to the party or not, or if they might have gotten another babysitter. It really bothered me that as soon as she made that comment, the Detective never second guessed it and it was never referred to again in the book.
Liberty Hardy (82)
For a little while, I tried to imagine the babysitter as being the culprit.
AshleyMacGabhann (3)
I tried to, as well, because it wouldn't have made sense for her mother to have been. I was a little disappointed she didn't explore them further, even if just to mislead us!
BookWorm (11)
I did too! I thought it was a marco/babysitter conspiracy
Shelby (3)
I definitely was suspicious of Marco in the beginning, his character read as completely manipulative and self serving which he was towards Anne. No matter how desperate he was, I couldn't find any sympathy for him. Like someone else commented I thought Cynthia had more to do with it!
SaraLouch (5)
I agree, I blamed Marco and Cynthia pretty early on.
MelRose (17)
Though I wasn't sure about the actual couple next door (Cynthia and Graham), I felt that Anne's father was not innocent about 1/3 of the way through the book. I did not realize that Marco and Anne's father would have both been so involved, but it added a great twist to the story. We find out a little too late into the book about Richard's involvement, and for that reason I felt the end was a little rushed.
Liberty Hardy (82)
So many people have mentioned they suspected Richard early on in the book! I didn't pick up on that myself. :)
MelRose (17)
I held on to it and almost lost that theory!! But alas, Richard came through as a bad guy. I love books like this that keep the reader guessing and guessing - great choice. Looking forward to the October selections!
Indiana (2)
From the beginning I thought both Cynthia and Graham had taken the baby. Their relationship is pretty twisted.
angi (3)
I though cynthia stole the baby and sold her to another couple...but by the big twist, I was suspicious of richard, for sure.
Mina (30)
I was suspicious of the step-father the entire time, though I wasn't sure how he played a role in the kidnapping.
Jenn (3)
I thought Cynthia had more to do with it than she actually did. From the beginning, she seemed suspicious and untrustworthy to me.
The Couple Next DoorLiberty Hardy (82)
Discuss with Us - Spoiler Alert!

Most of the characters in The Couple Next Door are horrible people. Do you feel bad for Anne at all? What do you think becomes of Anne?

AmyHourigan (1)
I didn't feel as bad for Anne as I would have if she hadn't slapped her baby. She wasn't very likable and the author didn't convey (to me at least) that Anne thought about Cora THAT much. I would have been going out of my mind, and I didn't get that from the book. Why wasn't Anne worried that Cora was off the breast? Taking a bottle? Why didn't the author write more about Anne having to pump her milk? Every nursing mom knows that that would have been more of an issue (pumping, aching, leaking). I found that part oddly absent.
Liberty Hardy (82)
I wonder if the author added the part about her slapping the baby to try and trick us into thinking she was still unstable. Because it certainly didn't gain her sympathy.
angi (3)
I think that those details would have taken the book in a different direction. a pure thriller wouldn't address those issues. also, I think Cora was meant to be more of a plot device than a character. anne and Marco are clearly concerned, but getting in depth with their feelings and her breastfeeding concerns would have nudged the book towards chick lit.
AshleyMacGabhann (3)
I do, and I don't. I'm a new mother with a baby girl who will be six months old on Saturday. Thankfully, I was blessed enough to not have to bear the burden of post-partum depression, but prior to my labour, I was TERRIFIED that I would suffer from it. So terrified, in fact, I asked my husband to put a lock on our gun and not tell me the combination - JUST IN CASE. So, I completely felt for Anne going through that; I couldn't imagine how that must be. But when I found out that the slapped Cora, I got angry. I was scared I would be depressed, but even with that fear growing in me, every time I read an article about some mother-baby tragedy or even a thought of what I might have been capable of crossed my mind, it made me ill. I was ill the whole way through reading that book, but when I got to Anne's admission, I had tears in my eyes. Not for her, but for Cora, and the thought of ever being able to do that to my baby - I couldn't. You can tell she truly does Love and adore her child, but that right there shows you just how disturbed she still was.
Stephanieschell (1)
So this hit close to home having dealt with post partum depression myself after both of my kids were born. Of course I felt bad for her from the start. I can so empathize with her struggles with shame and depression and feeling insecure after having a baby. No I never hurt my children and didn't have psychosis, but it was definitely a rough time for me and my husband I'm sure. I felt bad for him as I read the book! I liked how quickly the action started, but I agree with others. Outside of Anne there wasn't a ton of character development. And I was so satisfied with the end until the last two pages! Ugh! I was relieved for them and wanted Anne to be at peace and enjoy her baby. I didn't feel bad for any of the others, except briefly for Marco dealing with the stress of financial trouble and his wife's depression. Anyway all of that to say, it was sort of a tough read for me and I definitely could not have read it when my boys were babies. I have no idea what could happen with Anne. Obviously she'd be a suspect. Could she claim insanity as a defense? Who knows?
angi (3)
I absolutely felt bad for Anne. she and her mom were the only truly sympathetic characters...though I know how people's lives can spiral out of control...and the level of manipulation of Marco that took place was mesmerizing! also, I know a few women who have gone through pod and it's heartbreaking. that, plus Anne's history made her more a damaged pawn to me than a dispicable mom.
Namamamaste (2)
I don't Anne is horrible person. Maybe I am skewed because I deal with postpartum moms a lot as a prenatal, and postnatal yoga teacher. I felt really sad for her, and even sadder she had a mind that was betraying her.
Shelby (3)
I definitely feel bad for Anne a little. She's really the only one besides Cora I had any sympathy for. I feel as if her parents wealth stopped her from getting the help she desperately needed for her mental illness, and I think the ending proves that. Shoving it under the rug and pretending it isn't real made it worse in the end. I'd imagine she ends up in a mental institution for a long time.
The Couple Next DoorLiberty Hardy (82)
Discuss with Us

Do you have any “couple next door”-type horror stories of bad neighbors?

ktjota (3)
Well, I have no stories about kidnapping and such, but I had a very creepy neighbor for a brief period of time. When I first was moving into the house my mother was carrying some boxes and the neighbor (Man in his 50s living with his elderly mother) and asked my mom if I was a single woman living alone, uh creepy. On several occasions I would pull in my driveway and park but check a text or something and he would come out of no where and tap on my window and have some strange or stupid question to ask. He was always gardening and doing yard work and so friends were always like what is he hiding back there in his yard. Thankfully, his mother wanted to sell the house to downgrade and it sold a few months after me having moved in. When the new couple was purchasing the house he asked them if he could still come over and landscape for them. Who knows, maybe just a strange man, but I told coworkers that if I go missing its definitely the creepy neighbor!
The Couple Next DoorRachael (1)

I wanted so bad to love this book. I felt like it really had potential and it really did have some suspense. However, I did not find myself caring about the characters at all. The character development was very poor. I feel like with better character development I would feel differently about this book. This ending also seemed very awkward. It appeared to just be thrown in there at the last minute without any thought put into it.

I do not hate it but I do wish I would have chosen a different book.

Deanna (2)
My thoughts exactly. Thank you!!! Haha.
The Couple Next DoorLopezpfeffer007 (1)
Quick and easy but suspenseful

I really enjoyed it especially the fact that as a reader you knew info that some characters did not know. It was interesting to see the reaction to it. The story jumped right into the action so there wasn't as much connection to the characters. I did not have much sympathy. I found the ending hurt the story more than benefited. I will give it to her for keeping suspense and the reader guessing. It would be a good story to make for a second book but more focued on the characters than events.

rpenate (2)
Yes! I completely agree. I found myself comparing the novel to Gone Girl so often because I felt as though Anne's character had an element of intrigue like Amy... but the character development was insufficient and I found myself frustrated. I think if the author would've focused on just one or two plot twists/ elements to build up it would've been far more intriguing. OR if the voice would've been 1st person from the perspective of one of the characters that would've made it a little more interesting. There were just too many layers to keep up with and the quality of writing did not support those intricacies.
The Couple Next DoorGraceJinselli (6)
Classic story of love, lust, betrayal and money

Even though this is a very cliched story of money making people crazy, especially your loved ones, I did enjoy it. It was a quick read, mainly because I wanted to see who was behind it all. It was fun playing detective with all the information provided. Yes the characters did lack some growth but they all grew some in a certain way, especially Marco and Anne. Again, it wasn't much development but there was some. The ending left me a little disappointed, while the main questions received some closure there was still so many unanswered questions. Open endings are torture!

Tara (1)
Such a treat reading this book, I love mysteries that make you not want to put them down. It was a quick read, and easily digestible content; not an overly convoluted story. Still had some awesome shocks and bombs. Oh man that ending though..... still unsure how I feel about it.
MirandaRaye (2)
Yes! Agreed! I loved the book in the beginning and was anxious to read on and see what happened. I felt like it lost steam at the end though (it get repetitious), and I feel like the very ending was actually a bit predictable. So, I would rate the first half 5 stars, but the second half 3 stars.
Shelby (3)
I agree, it was a quick read and it kept me interested for sure. I'm definitely on the fence about the ending...some part of me really liked it, it felt like the whole "oh yea fairy tale ending!" Except his wife was still mentally unstable so it sort of came full circle. Still, it's always a hard pill to swallow when they leave it open ended!
AlexisJohnican (9)
The ending was interesting. I did finish it within 2 days. I feel like it should have answered some more questions. It's too much in the air still.
Liberty Hardy (82)
I do wonder who has the money...
ElyseJody (15)
I had already read this book --(I'm still waiting for my book-of-the month pick for this month: All At Sea ........... but I wanted to share 'my' reaction to this book and 'the ending' : I started laughing outloud -- I thought the book was hysterical!!! I had so much fun reading it. (all during the night of course next to my sleeping husband) --I thought I was going to wake him a few times from laughing. I cracked up at 'everything'... even the woman who had a 'cleaning' addiction. Such a thing women do when they are stressed or angry. She was scrubbing the ironwork and cleaning the air ducts --(I found it all fun and funny) -- I felt this was a wonderful old fashion type thriller (ok, I'm old--older: 64) ---This story seems like a classic movie to me. Was the joke of me? -- who cares --It was VERY ENTERTAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! loved it for pure enjoyment!
Liberty Hardy (82)
This was definitely a "that kept me entertained" book for me, for sure. The people involved were ridiculous and bananapants, and that was entertaining to me. :)
ElyseJody (15)
"Bananapants" ---is 'such' a cute-charming word to describe these characters, Libby -- "you rock"! May I borrow your word, sometime? :) elyse
ElyseJody (15)
I had already read this book --(I'm still waiting for my book-of-the month pick for this month: All At Sea ........... but I wanted to share 'my' reaction to this book and 'the ending' : I started laughing outloud -- I thought the book was hysterical!!! I had so much fun reading it. (all during the night of course next to my sleeping husband) --I thought I was going to wake him a few times from laughing. I cracked up at 'everything'... even the woman who had a 'cleaning' addiction. Such a thing women do when they are stressed or angry. She was scrubbing the ironwork and cleaning the air ducts --(I found it all fun and funny) -- I felt this was a wonderful old fashion type thriller (ok, I'm old--older: 64) ---This story seems like a classic movie to me. Was the joke of me? -- who cares --It was VERY ENTERTAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! loved it for pure enjoyment!
CBlanch224 (2)
I really enjoyed this one. I read all the other comments as well and so many good points have been made. The ending also left me disappointed and wishing there would be a second book I could immediately dive into for more answers. Although I feel we didn't get to really 'meet' the characters in much depth, for me it was not necessarily about getting to know them. It was the suspense of what happened, how and who. It comes down to personal preference in the end. I personally loved it.
The Couple Next DoorGabrielleRossi (1)
Over promised and under delivered

I finished this book in two days- at first because I was hooked on the tension and suspense that Lapena built up and then because I was skimming to get to the end. It was dull; the characters were underdeveloped and the plot surface level. The twist ending that gets thrown in out of nowhere (with no context) at the end feels like a last ditch recovery effort.

ghines (9)
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was an easy read and interesting. What I hated was that I felt like I was getting a review of the facts over and over again, every other chapter. The story itself was only a fraction of the book. The rest was just repeating what we've learned so far...
MirandaRaye (2)
I agree! Overall, I enjoyed the book because it was different from what I normally choose to read, but it did get repetitious. I wasn't a big fan of the ending either. It felt predictable. I was hoping for a shocking plot twist!
RamyGorkowski (3)
That drove me crazy too and was one of the biggest reasons why I did not like the book overall. I'm glad someone else agreed though.
RamyGorkowski (3)
Yes! I completely agree!
fairest27 (6)
I agree that the ending seemed arbitrary. I also kept thinking there would be more about the "couple next door" but there was hardly anything. I'd like to know Graham's role. Clearly, he was duped, but it was such a coincidence that they liked voyeurism and Cynthia used it as evidence. Also, why did she ask for 200K? Why that number when it was implied she was in on it with the dad.
Brie (2)
I kept trying to bring it back to the title too but thought maybe it referred to more of Anne and Marco as the couple next door, almost as if we in the audience were supposed to view them as our neighbors.
rpenate (2)
Yes! I had the exact same thought about the title. Because in reality, it wasn't really about either couple in the end, it was about Anne's dad and his greed.