What would you do if the one thing that was most precious in the world suddenly slipped through your fingers?

What lengths would you venture in order to protect the ones you loved most?

Shari Lapena’s thrilling installment, The Couple Next Door, brings to light the real life scenario many of us dread most. Anne and Marco Conti are a seemingly normal couple whose most prized possession lies in the form of their darling baby girl, Cora. The Conti’s live the perfect life complete with the world’s most perfect neighbours and family members. Marco is an entrepreneur with his own company and Anne, a former art gallery maven, is a housewife whose main objective revolves around caring for her tiny gem.

The doting parents are the spitting image of a stock photo of the perfect family complete with their cooing newborn. One night, under the cover of darkness, Cora goes missing and the terrified parents race against time to find her and hold the criminal mastermind accountable.

One thing they’ll realize is people are not always who they seem.

Told in the third person omniscient, Lapena manages to convince the reader of a truth not normally considered. The novel ventures into storytelling mode that consists of the audience becoming fly on the wall members who view everything from the world below them. Uncovering a tumultuous array of secrets, Lapena manages to construct a meticulously crafted world full of secrets and lies too frightening to imagine.

The author manages to conveniently delve into a thrilling world filled with angst and confusion. The Conti’s world manages to spin the reader around and around in order to display the appropriate terseness and aggravation displayed by the grieving couple and their loved ones. It begs the reader to question whether the people they know are actually as innocent as it seems.

For this novel, the “glass house” phenomena must be taken into account. Upon first glance, the family appears normal and unrelenting. However, with all families, once the glass is shattered, it brings about devastation and destruction. It is human nature to judge and view the world through rose coloured glasses but sometimes we must throw those glasses out and view things for how they truly are.

Featuring compelling twists and turns, this novel features suspenseful aspects which propel the reader further into a world in which nothing is as it seems. Beautifully written and told through fresh eyes, the characters and tone of the story make for a wonderful novel.

Be prepared to finish this novel in one sitting, And abandon all hope because you may never leave this sinister and tumultuous world for the story itself competes with the newly rendered Gone Girl era. The realistic aspects to which the situation alludes give way to so much failure but the author manages to carefully mold the story in a way that is concise and intelligent. She takes a more twisted turn on a situation that may occur to anyone but happens to unveil secrets and lies too abominable to conceive.

This critically acclaimed page turner is sure to meet your expectations. Stay tuned for more of Lapena’s work as this is one author to keep your eye on.