Book Buzz: The Couple Next Door

You’ve heard of chick lit, but did you know that there is a new literary genre called “grip lit?”

Grip lit refers to the smoldering, tension-driven, dark crime novels written by women and featuring morally questionable female narrators.

Gone Girl comes to mind, of course. Its huge success spawned others in short order  — The Girl on the Train, for example.

Grip lit is a trend that is on the fast track, and understandably so. Who doesn’t love a dark, spine tingling domestic drama that keeps you on edge until the last page?

The Couple Next Door fits this bill, beautifully.

Book Buzz: The Couple Next Door

So, first, a warning. Do not read this book if:

You are on the beach or by the pool and low on sunscreen.

It is late at night and you have to get up early the next day.

You can’t handle suspense.

Written by the talented debut author Shari Lapena, the premise is one that will resonate with anyone, parent or not.

Anne and Marco are a young married couple whose life seems just about perfect: a loving relationship, a swanky townhouse, fancy cars, and a beautiful new baby girl.

One evening they are getting ready to go to a party next door. At the last minute, their sitter cancels. What should they do? The hostess (childless and clueless about parenting) has discouraged them from bringing the baby. Marco persuades Anne to go and she reluctantly agrees, provided they take along the baby monitor and return to check on the baby every 30 minutes.

When they return home at the end of the evening, they discover to their shock that the baby has been abducted. Snatched her from her crib in the middle of the night just minutes after the last time she was checked. The distraught parents can’t imagine who could have done such an evil thing. They are desperate to get her back.

As the police get involved, fingers are pointed and alibis are suspected. Whodunit?

And … I am not going to tell you anymore, because you should enjoy every twist and turn in this page-turner. In true grip lit fashion, author Lapena’s razor sharp writing will lead you to suspect one character, then another, then back to the first, and you’ll probably be wrong about all of them.

It is also a contemporary story that involves several provocative issues, such as the moral responsibility of parents, the pressure on new mothers to be perfect, the role of technology in solving a mystery.

If you are like me and love diving into a heart-pounding frenzy of a psychological thriller, you will love The Couple Next Door.


One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of The Couple Next Door. Please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.


I received a copy of The Couple Next Door from Viking for an honest review, which is the only kind of review I write.

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18 Thoughts on “Book Buzz: The Couple Next Door

  1. This is such an interesting genre. I think I might get this book just to see what it is all about. It might satisfy my mystery thriller urge for sure!

  2. Roxanne Jones on August 23, 2016 at 10:36 am said:

    This sounds like a great read! I love thrillers, especially the ones that keep you guessing until the end. I’ll hold off ordering this one in case I win a copy…thanks for the opportunity!

  3. This genre is new to me, and although I never would have gone to the party of relied on a baby monitor (can you even imagine doing that?) that’s why this is fiction. Sounds like a gripper and like Donna I may have to check it out just to see what it’s all about! My, my I’m on the edge of my seat!!!!

  4. I didn’t know the name of this genre, but I like it! I have to read this book. Just from your review I am already being judgmental and wondering about the characters’ state of mind!

  5. I love a dark, spine tingling domestic drama that keeps me on edge until the last page!
    The Couple Next Door sounds fantastic. Just added it to my list.

  6. Sounds like a wonderfully taut thriller. I read both “Gone Girl” and “Girl on the Train” and enjoyed them both (although the ending of Gone Girl left me completely baffled and unsatisfied).

  7. I loved the girl on the Train so looking forward to this one.

  8. Oh Yikes, Helene!!! I’m in….can’t wait to pick it up. But I’ll make sure my husband isn’t travelling!

  9. I’m not a big fan of dark or of suspense. I don’t know why this sounds so appealing to me today, though. Maybe because of your post. 😉

  10. I finished this book in a day. I love thrillers like this one!

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