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The Couple Next Door: A Novel – by Shari Lapena

Step into the world of “The Couple Next Door: A Novel” by Shari Lapena, a gripping thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In this domestic suspense debut, Anne and Marco Conti appear to have the perfect life—until a shocking crime occurs at a dinner party next door, leaving their lives forever changed. As secrets, lies, and betrayals unravel, Detective Rasbach is determined to uncover the truth. With unexpected twists and a chilling finale, this story explores the dark and complex dynamics between husbands and wives. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster ride of deception and unfaithfulness that will leave you breathless.

The Couple Next Door: A Novel - by Shari Lapena

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“The Couple Next Door” is a thrilling novel written by Shari Lapena. It follows the story of Anne and Marco Conti, a seemingly happy couple who live in a suburban neighborhood. Their perfect life takes a dark turn when their baby daughter Cora goes missing. As the investigation unfolds, secrets and betrayal come to light, leaving the reader questioning who can be trusted.

Plot Summary

The Perfect Couple

Anne and Marco Conti appear to have the perfect life. They are a loving couple with a beautiful home and a sweet baby girl named Cora. They are invited to a dinner party at their neighbor’s house, which sets off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.

A Dinner Party Gone Wrong

During the dinner party, Anne and Marco make the fateful decision to leave their baby at home alone, as they believe they can keep an eye on her from their neighbor’s house. When they return home later that night, they are devastated to find that Cora is missing. Panic and suspicion quickly set in, with law enforcement focusing their attention on Anne and Marco.

Suspicion and Secrets

As Detective Rasbach investigates the disappearance of Cora, he quickly realizes that the Conti couple is hiding something. Anne and Marco each hold secrets of their own, which creates tension and doubt within their relationship. The truth behind Cora’s disappearance gradually unfolds, revealing a web of deception, betrayal, and marital secrets that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The Couple Next Door: A Novel - by Shari Lapena

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Anne Conti

Anne Conti is a young mother who loves her baby daughter, Cora, more than anything. She is emotionally and mentally affected by Cora’s disappearance and must confront her own secrets throughout the course of the investigation.

Marco Conti

Marco Conti is Anne’s husband and Cora’s father. He is a successful businessman who becomes a prime suspect in his daughter’s disappearance. He also harbors his own secrets that could potentially unravel both his marriage and his life.

Detective Rasbach

Detective Rasbach is the lead investigator on the case of Cora’s disappearance. He is determined to uncover the truth and is relentless in his pursuit of justice. Detective Rasbach is a skilled and perceptive detective, but he may have to look beyond the obvious suspects to solve the mystery.


Deception and Betrayal

One of the central themes in “The Couple Next Door” is deception and betrayal. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that many of the characters are not who they seem, and their actions are driven by their own hidden agendas. The novel explores the consequences of lying and the impact it can have on relationships.

Parental Instincts

The theme of parental instincts is also explored in the novel. Anne and Marco’s love for their daughter is unwavering, and they will stop at nothing to find her. The story delves into the lengths parents will go to protect their children and the instinctual bond between a parent and their child.

Marital Secrets

Marriage is portrayed as a complex and multifaceted institution in “The Couple Next Door.” The secrets held by Anne and Marco threaten to unravel their relationship, and the novel delves into the consequences of keeping secrets from one’s spouse. It explores the fragility of trust within a marriage and the potential for betrayal.

The Couple Next Door: A Novel - by Shari Lapena

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Suburban Neighborhood

“The Couple Next Door” is set in a typical suburban neighborhood, where families live in close proximity to one another. The setting creates a sense of community and familiarity, while also highlighting the secrets that can be hidden behind closed doors.

The Conti Residence

The majority of the novel takes place in the Conti residence. This seemingly idyllic home serves as the backdrop for the unfolding drama and allows readers to witness the events that shape the lives of Anne and Marco.

Writing Style

Thriller Elements

Shari Lapena masterfully incorporates thriller elements into “The Couple Next Door.” The pacing is fast-paced, with the tension mounting as the story progresses. The unpredictable twists and turns keep readers engaged and guessing until the very end.

Narrative Structure

The narrative of the novel is structured in a way that keeps readers engaged and invested in the story. Each chapter reveals new information, building suspense and providing different perspectives on the events taking place. The alternating points of view offer insights into the thoughts and motivations of the characters, allowing readers to piece together the puzzle along with the detective.

Critical Reception

Positive Reviews

“The Couple Next Door” received widespread acclaim from readers and critics alike. Many praised Shari Lapena’s skill in crafting a gripping and suspenseful plot. The unpredictable twists and turns were commended, as well as the well-developed characters. Lapena’s ability to keep readers guessing until the end was also highlighted as a major strength of the novel.


While “The Couple Next Door” was mostly well-received, some critics pointed out that certain plot elements felt unrealistic or contrived. Additionally, a few readers felt that the resolution of the mystery was not as satisfying as they had hoped. However, these criticisms were in the minority, and overall, the novel was highly regarded.

Author Biography

Shari Lapena’s Background

Shari Lapena is a Canadian author known for her gripping and suspenseful novels. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a lawyer and English teacher. Her background in law informs her ability to craft compelling and intricate plots. Lapena’s writing has been praised for its attention to detail and ability to keep readers hooked from start to finish.

Other Works

In addition to “The Couple Next Door,” Shari Lapena has written several other successful novels. Some of her other works include “A Stranger in the House,” “An Unwanted Guest,” and “Someone We Know.” Lapena’s novels have gained a dedicated following for their thrilling narratives and ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats.



Due to the popularity of “The Couple Next Door,” there has been speculation about a potential film adaptation. The suspenseful and cinematic nature of the novel lends itself well to the big screen. Fans of the book eagerly await news of any future adaptations.


In addition to film adaptations, “The Couple Next Door” could also make for an engaging television series. The episodic format would allow for a more in-depth exploration of the story and characters. Television adaptations have become increasingly popular, and a television series based on “The Couple Next Door” could captivate audiences with its suspenseful storytelling.