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The Couple Next Door

A Novel
Written by: Shari Lapena
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller

Shari Lapena’s new thriller, An Unwanted Guest, is available now!

“The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages.” (People)

“Provocative and shocking.” (Lisa Gardner, New York Times best-selling author of Find Her)

“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline. The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!” (Sue Grafton, New York Times best-selling author of X)

It all started at a dinner party...

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors - a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives....

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all - a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. 

Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years. What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family - a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

©2016 Shari Lapena (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline. The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!" (Sue Grafton, New York Times best-selling author of X)
"Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp. The Couple Next Door lingers long after you turn the final page." (Harlan Coben, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Fool Me Once)
"Provocative and shocking." (Lisa Gardner, the New York Times best-selling author of Find Her)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    73
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    36
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    11
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    5

Performance

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    85
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    45
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    25
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    12
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    2

Story

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    51
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CT
  • 2017-12-11

Lots of Neat Twists

It's true the story is a bit far-fetched but I did enjoy the content and it made for some good listening. Several reviewers complained about the narration, I thought it was average but not that bad really. As for the writing, I wish the author could have found more words other than "she says" "marco says" "Anne says". Overall, a good story and I do recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Really dysfunctional families

Plot very suspense filled. It’s what kept me reading.

Characters well developed.

I hated being involved I even vicariously. With these people.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow, uninteresting story with annoying narrator

Just painful to get through. So slow and anticlimactic. I would skip this one both for the story and the delivery.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good book

not bad. worth reading (listening to ) performanc is well done
some of the story is unbelievable

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not Great

I didn't like any of the characters enough to finish this book. The audio quality and performance were good though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great twisty story.

Great story. Nararator was too quiet to hear at times. Really like the book though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Shari Lapena book!

Definitely my favourite Shari Lapena book!! Suspenseful and kept me reading! Couldn’t stop listening to this book! #Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved this book!

well written and the ending is very satisfying! keeps you listening and rooting for the main character. #Audible1

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good

I'm not an avid mystery reader so I didn't have much for expectations going into the book. I found it to be quite enjoyable and the story to have some good surprises in it and ultimately go in directions i wouldn't have expected. The ending to the actual story itself was good but the sort of "second ending" twist was a bit of a let down and seemed to be there simply for shock value. If it were't for that I'd give it a 4/5, but still pretty good at 3/5. #Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I can't remember!

I loved it! full of twists and turns.. some people would do anything for money and some would go to the ends of the earth for family. this was a great book for an #Audible1

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • RueRue
  • 2016-10-12

Plot twist overload

So, yes, this is a page turner, but the plot twists are so numerous that the plot becomes overwhelmed by the next "surprise", and the outcome is almost predictable. As for characterization, it's non-existent. Entertaining but shallow.

82 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Claudia H
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 2016-11-04

These twists and turns did not make a great ride..

Is there anything you would change about this book?

While this book had a number of twists and turns, I feel like towards the end the author was over-doing it and trying too hard to make the story surprising, that it kind of fell short. Some of the "twists" were rather unnecessary leaps, and eventually just felt exhausting.

What three words best describe Kirsten Potter’s voice?

For the most part I liked the narrator, sometimes not as much. She was passionate, but sometimes it was too much.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Definitely not, since movies usually aren't as good as the book, and this book was very good to begin with, I don't see a very good movie coming out of it.

45 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ngreen
  • 2016-09-07

Mixed emotions.

I really enjoyed the story line, although it was annoying to listen to. ...Anna says, ...Marco says, ...Hasback says, Anna says, Marco replies, says Hasback... if the narrator could have stayed in the correct character, all the he said she said could have been eliminated it was really frustrating and annoying. Half way through I considered not continuing, however, I am partly glad I did because the I enjoy a good mystery. Again the plot was good and I really enjoyed the ending, although it was a bit predictable. But i did struggle to listen at times.

68 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GinaLatte
  • CA
  • 2016-08-24

Twisted

Yes, twisted.

I have been searching for a page-turner for awhile now. Many books have not caught my attention. I took a chance by pre-ordering this book. I must say it grasped my attention from the beginning.

This story has some twists to it although it may seem obvious who did what. In the end, my reaction was "Ah hah."

Need I say more?

64 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 2016-11-21

Not What I Was Expecting

'The Couple Next Door' can be most likened to the movie 'Fargo.' If anyone has read this book, and watched 'Fargo' they will know immediately what I am referencing. The only difference is that Fargo was more straightforward, which 'The Couple Next Door' is filled with plot turns and twists that make the book a little far fetched.

The story has been told a hundred times before. We have a rich older couple with a beloved daughter. Daddy doesn't like the man she chooses to marry. The husband despises Daddy and his pompous arrogance. Both father and son despise each other but try and get along for daughter and wife, respectively. But ugly, horrible things happen behind the scenes that are unspeakable, and family secrets begin to eat away at all people involved.

When Cora, baby girl and granddaughter gets kidnapped, the whole family must come together and do all they can to get her back. Lapena takes her readers on a wild ride to find the kidnapper and see what's become of baby Cora.

he Couple Next Door kept my attention. The characters.. ALL of them.. are fairly despicable but I think this is the author's plan. Not liking the characters allows the reader to accept the unusual plot turns as inevitably, the author's message is that no matter what the circumstance, people are personally flawed, self-serving, and always looking out primarily for themselves.

Worth the credit? Yes. Have I listened to better? Absolutely.

-Wendi

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • PD
  • OKEMOS, MI, United States
  • 2016-09-15

melodramatic, shallow, unsatisfing

skip this book, the.premise is exciting but the book does not deliver a satisfying experience

49 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cayla Lockard
  • 2016-09-16

Awful.

The Narrator was horrible. Story lacked everything. Save your credit and pass this one up.

44 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 2016-09-18

Simply dreadful.

There are so many good reviews that I thought perhaps this book had some potential. It has no potential and I have no idea how anybody could give it more than two stars. I suggest you read the honest reviews from those people who really canned this book. They know whereof they speak and I am so sorry that I wasted a credit for this trash. The characters are thoroughly unlikable. The narrator is beyond bad in fact she might must practice being bad . The plot is just stupid. As for twists and turns, if anybody was fooled then I have to think that they just were not using their brains. As normal audible Will place this review so far down that only those people who follow me will ever see it, still don't wish to credit my friends. You will not be happy. As an afterthought. The book is too long by at least 30%. It just goes on forever and you hope against hope that it will improve. It does not.

52 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • 2016-09-14

Extremely one dimensional in all elements

What disappointed you about The Couple Next Door?

I was really expecting more from this book based on the other good reviews. I found the writing to be very basic, both in plot and in writing style. There were several phrases that were repeated to the point that I was weary of them, such as "she just wanted her baby back." The author also uses "she says," and "she asks" repeatedly, often when another word would be better suited. Is it too much to ask for some varied language? Even if she had occasionally switched out phrases with "she just wanted her daughter back," or "she blurted," "she exclaimed," the narrative would have been much better.

I found the characters extremely one dimensional as well, basically stereotypes of the WASP daughter, the bad-boy Greek husband, the rich overbearing father, etc. There are a few idiosyncrasies, but the characters are mostly underdeveloped.

All of these failings are underscored by the facile performance. The narrator speaks as if she's reading a book to children, extremely overacting both the character's conversation and the narration of events. This was ok at first, as I could have overlooked this in favor of a good plot, but the overacted repetition of the above phrases was enough to drive me over the edge. I'm glad the book wasn't longer, because I'm not sure if I'd have been able to finish.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shelley Dorman
  • 2016-08-28

Excellent mystery novel

This was a really great mystery novel. I was able to figure out the perpetrators about halfway through the book. But, this did not deter me from finishing. The plot is intricate and the narrator was simply wonderful. I would highly recommend this book.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful