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The Couple Next Door Book Summary

A Novel

by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door

A Novel

Shari Lapena


The Couple Next Door is a gripping psychological thriller that explores the dark secrets and hidden tensions simmering beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. When Anne and Marco Conti’s baby daughter Cora vanishes during a dinner party at their neighbors’ house, their world is turned upside down. As suspicion falls on everyone close to them, the novel unravels a web of lies, betrayals, and shocking revelations, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the climactic ending.

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Author & Writing Background

Shari Lapena is a Canadian author known for her bestselling suspense novels. Before becoming a novelist, she practiced law and also worked as an English teacher and journalist. Her writing style is characterized by fast-paced plots, unreliable narrators, and shocking twists that keep readers guessing. Some of her other popular novels include “A Stranger in the House” and “An Unwanted Guest.”

Key Takeaways

The Vanishing Act

The story begins with the disappearance of baby Cora, setting the stage for a suspenseful mystery that unravels the lives of those involved.

Unreliable Narrators

The novel employs multiple perspectives, each with their own biases and secrets, making it difficult to discern the truth and leaving readers questioning the reliability of the characters.

Domestic Suspense

The story explores the dark side of seemingly ordinary suburban lives, exposing the secrets, lies, and tensions that can exist behind closed doors.

Marriage Under Scrutiny

Anne and Marco’s relationship is put to the test as suspicion and mistrust grow between them, forcing them to confront their own vulnerabilities and past mistakes.

The Pressure of Parenthood

The novel delves into the challenges and anxieties of parenthood, particularly for new parents like Anne and Marco, and how these pressures can impact relationships and decision-making.

Psychological Twists

The story is filled with unexpected turns and shocking revelations, keeping readers guessing and challenging their assumptions about the characters and their motives.

Exploration of Morality

The novel raises questions about morality, trust, and the lengths people will go to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The Power of Perception

The story highlights how easily perceptions can be manipulated and how appearances can be deceiving, blurring the lines between truth and lies.

FAQ about The Couple Next Door

Is The Couple Next Door based on a true story?

No, The Couple Next Door is a work of fiction. However, the themes of domestic suspense, marital tension, and the anxieties of parenthood resonate with real-life experiences.

Who is the main suspect in Cora’s disappearance?

The novel keeps the reader guessing throughout, with suspicion falling on various characters, including Anne, Marco, and their neighbors. The true culprit is revealed in a shocking twist at the end.

Does the book have a happy ending?

The ending of The Couple Next Door is open to interpretation and can be seen as bittersweet. While some questions are answered and justice is served, the characters are left grappling with the consequences of their actions and the lasting impact of the events.

The Couple Next Door Quotes

  • ”The only people who deserve to be in your life are the ones who treat you with love, kindness, and respect."
  • "Sometimes the people closest to us are the ones with the most to hide."
  • "Trust is a fragile thing. Once broken, it can never be fully repaired.”