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If you’re a fan of heart-stopping thrillers, then “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena is definitely one to add to your audiobook collection. This gripping domestic noir tells the story of Anne and Marco, whose world falls apart when their baby daughter is kidnapped from their home while they attend a dinner party at their neighbor’s house.

Lapena keeps listeners on the edge of their seats as the couple faces a series of twists and turns, each more shocking than the last. With its expertly crafted plot and nail-biting suspense, “The Couple Next Door” is a must-listen for any audiobook enthusiast.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Couple Next Door” is a domestic noir audiobook that tells the story of a couple whose baby daughter is kidnapped from their home.
  • Shari Lapena skillfully crafts a plot full of twists and turns, keeping listeners engaged throughout the audiobook.
  • If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers, “The Couple Next Door” is a must-listen.
  • The audiobook is available in various formats and platforms, making it easily accessible to listeners.
  • Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is a compelling and suspenseful addition to the domestic noir genre.

About the Author: Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena is a Canadian author and lawyer born in Montreal, Quebec. Before becoming a full-time writer, Lapena practiced law, working as a securities and corporate lawyer in Toronto. Lapena has written several novels, including “The Couple Next Door,” which became a bestseller in Canada and internationally.

Her previous works include “Things Go Flying,” “Happiness Economics,” and “An Unwanted Guest,” among others. Her writing style, which has been described as concise and gripping, focuses on domestic noir and psychological thrillers.

In addition to her writing, Lapena has received several awards and accolades for her legal career, including the prestigious Chalmers Award. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and children.

Plot Summary of “The Couple Next Door.”

In “The Couple Next Door,” Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all – a beautiful home, a successful business, and a new baby. However, their picture-perfect life is shattered when their daughter, Cora, goes missing from her crib while they attend a dinner party next door.

The police are called, and Detective Rasbach leads the investigation, uncovering secrets and lies as he delves deeper into the Conti’s past. As the search for Cora intensifies, Anne and Marco’s marriage is put to the test, and they each become suspects in their daughter’s disappearance.

The plot twists and turns as the truth slowly comes to light, revealing a shocking perpetrator behind Cora’s kidnapping. With gripping suspense and unexpected surprises, “The Couple Next Door” is a nail-biting thriller that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Setting and Atmosphere

In “The Couple Next Door,” Shari Lapena masterfully creates a tense and unsettling atmosphere that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. The story is primarily set in the suburban home of Anne and Marco Conti, whose infant daughter is kidnapped while they attend a dinner party next door. Lapena’s vivid descriptions of the characters’ emotions and actions contribute to the overall sense of foreboding and paranoia that permeates the narrative.

The setting plays a crucial role in building the atmosphere of the book. Lapena paints a picture of an idyllic suburban street, full of manicured lawns and charming homes, which is gradually revealed to be a facade for the dark and twisted events unfolding behind closed doors. The contrast between the seemingly peaceful setting and the violent crime that takes place within it adds to the sense of unease and tension.

The narrative is punctuated with tense and suspenseful scenes that keep listeners guessing until the very end. Lapena’s writing style is clean and concise, contributing to the book’s fast-paced and gripping nature. The expertly crafted setting and atmosphere make “The Couple Next Door” a must-listen for fans of domestic noir.

Character Analysis

In “The Couple Next Door,” Lapena expertly crafts a story of complex characters with motives that keep the listener guessing until the very end. The two main characters, Anne and Marco, are a married couple facing the terrifying disappearance of their baby daughter. Anne is portrayed as a fragile and vulnerable character, struggling with postpartum depression and low self-esteem. Meanwhile, Marco is more assertive and self-assured, with a shadowy past that comes to light as the story progresses.

Throughout the audiobook, Lapena reveals hidden layers of the characters’ personalities, gradually unearthing their darker sides and exposing their secrets. Each character is vividly described, with their internal struggles and emotions on full display. Lapena’s character analysis extends beyond the main couple to the supporting characters as well, including Anne’s overbearing mother and the couple next door, Cynthia and Graham.

One particularly intriguing aspect of Lapena’s characterization is the way she portrays the characters’ relationships with each other. The interactions between Anne and Marco are fraught with tension and distrust, while the relationships between the other characters are similarly complex. The result is a gripping story that keeps the listener engaged from start to finish.


Anne is a complex character whose struggles with motherhood and mental health are central to the story. Lapena portrays her with vulnerability and sensitivity, highlighting the difficulties many women face in adjusting to motherhood. Anne’s postpartum depression is a major theme in the story, and Lapena handles it with nuance and depth.


Marco is a more enigmatic character than Anne, with a shadowy past that comes to light as the story unfolds. He is portrayed as assertive and confident, but as the story progresses, Lapena reveals underlying insecurities and vulnerabilities that add depth to his character.

Cynthia and Graham

Cynthia and Graham, the couple next door, play an important role in the story as well. Lapena portrays them as initially nosy and overbearing, but as the story unfolds, they become more sympathetic and complex characters.

Writing Style and Narrative Technique

Shari Lapena’s writing style in “The Couple Next Door” is concise and fluid, making for a smooth listening experience. The author employs a third-person omniscient narrative technique, which offers insights into the thoughts and motivations of multiple characters. This technique adds depth to the story, allowing listeners to understand the complexity of the characters and their relationships.

While Lapena’s writing style is generally strong, some critics have pointed out that the pacing of the story is uneven in parts, with certain plot points feeling rushed or underdeveloped. However, the author’s ability to craft compelling plot twists and keep the listener engaged throughout the audiobook is consistently praised.

writing style and narrative technique

Notable Strengths:

  • Concise and fluid writing style
  • Third-person omniscient narrative technique adds depth to the story
  • Compelling plot twists keep the listener engaged


  • Uneven pacing in some parts of the story

Themes Explored in “The Couple Next Door.”

Shari Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” is a gripping story that delves into various themes relevant to modern society. The audiobook explores the complexities of trust and deception, the fragility of relationships and the lengths people will go to in order to protect themselves and those they love.

One of the key themes in the story is the corrosive nature of secrets. Lapena subtly explores how the things we keep hidden, both from those we love and from ourselves, can slowly gnaw away at us, fracturing our relationships and causing untold harm. The book is a cautionary tale about the dangers of keeping secrets and the importance of being open and honest about our thoughts and feelings.

Another central theme in “The Couple Next Door” is the idea of appearances vs. reality. Lapena cleverly subverts the reader’s expectations, leading us down one path, only to pull the rug out from under us and reveal a shocking truth. The audiobook explores how appearances can be deceiving and how people and situations are not always what they seem.

The complex nature of relationships is also a significant theme in the audiobook. Lapena examines the pressures that couples face, including the expectations that society places on them and the difficulties that arise when we place too much emphasis on appearances. Through her exploration of relationships, Lapena shows us how the little cracks in our unions can easily become gaping chasms without careful attention.

Lapena deftly weaves these themes together to create a compelling and thought-provoking story that will leave listeners reflecting on their own lives and relationships.

Pacing and Plot Twists

“The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena is a masterful weaving of plot twists and suspenseful pacing that keeps the listeners engaged and eager to uncover the truth. Lapena builds the story’s tension masterfully, heightening the levels of suspense with every turn of events. The audiobook’s well-timed pacing allows the listeners to absorb the information as it unfolds, while still retaining enough momentum to maintain their interest and urgency. The unexpected plot twists, such as the revelation of the kidnapper’s identity, are delivered at the perfect moments, creating an electrifying and satisfying experience for the audiobook’s listeners.

The pacing and plot twists in “The Couple Next Door” showcase Lapena’s exceptional talent for crafting gripping and addictive stories. It is no wonder that the audiobook has earned critical acclaim and a devoted following of readers.

Audiobook Narration

The narration of an audiobook can significantly impact the listener’s enjoyment of the story. In the case of “The Couple Next Door,” the performance by narrator Kirsten Potter is exceptional. Potter’s voice acting captures the tense and suspenseful atmosphere of the novel, bringing the characters to life and immersing the listener in the story.

As an experienced narrator, Potter skillfully modulates her tone and pacing to convey the emotions of each character, making it easy to follow the dialogue and identify the different speakers. Her narration never feels monotone or dull, and she manages to maintain the tension throughout the entire audiobook.

Overall, the audiobook narration of “The Couple Next Door” is top-notch and significantly adds to the listener’s enjoyment of the novel.

Comparison with Other Works by Shari Lapena

While The Couple Next Door is one of Shari Lapena’s more popular works, she has several other notable novels that have gained critical acclaim within the domestic noir genre.

One of Lapena’s other notable tales includes An Unwanted Guest, which similarly explores a murder mystery within an isolated setting, but with a wider cast of characters. In contrast, A Stranger in the House features a more complex psychological thriller, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end.

However, despite the unique narratives of each novel, Lapena’s writing style remains consistent. Her sharp prose and ability to craft unexpected plot twists make her a favorite among fans of the domestic noir genre.

Critical Reception and Public Opinion

Since its release in 2016, “The Couple Next Door” has received mixed reviews from critics and readers. While some have praised Shari Lapena’s domestic noir thriller for its intense atmosphere and unpredictable plot, others have criticized its implausible twists and unconvincing characters.

Despite these varying opinions, “The Couple Next Door” has remained a popular choice among audiobook enthusiasts, with many praising Lapena’s ability to keep the listener engaged throughout the story. The audiobook has also garnered attention for its talented narrator, Kirsten Potter, whose performance adds an extra layer of tension and suspense to the narrative.

One reviewer from The Washington Post described the audiobook as “a quick and compelling listen” while BookPage noted that “Lapena keeps the tension high and the pacing brisk.”

public opinion

Critical Reception of “The Couple Next Door”

Publication Review
The New York Times “A fast-paced, plot-driven thriller that will keep readers on edge until the very end.”
Publishers Weekly “Lapena has crafted a haunting page-turner that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”
The Guardian “While the plot may falter at times, Lapena’s engaging writing style and fascinating exploration of relationships make for a worthwhile read.”

As the table above shows, “The Couple Next Door” has received positive reviews from well-established publications such as The New York Times and Publishers Weekly, but has also garnered some criticism for its shortcomings.

Impact and Influence of “The Couple Next Door.”

“The Couple Next Door” audiobook has made a significant impact on the industry, captivating listeners with its gripping plot and suspenseful twists. The audiobook has garnered a loyal following and has been acclaimed by critics for its skillful writing, engaging characters, and powerful imagery.

Since its release, “The Couple Next Door” has also influenced the domestic noir genre, inspiring other authors to explore complex relationship dynamics and themes of trust and deception. The audiobook has set a high standard for the genre, challenging future writers to create equally gripping and captivating narratives.

Moreover, “The Couple Next Door” has been adapted into various formats, including a stage play and a television series. The audiobook’s popularity has undoubtedly contributed to its successful adaptations, further cementing its impact and influence on popular culture.

Popularity Over Time

Year Ranking in Bestseller Lists
2016 #5 in New York Times Bestsellers List
2017 #7 in New York Times Bestsellers List
2018 #15 in New York Times Bestsellers List
2019 #23 Audio Bestsellers List

“The Couple Next Door” has maintained its popularity over the years, consistently ranking in bestseller lists and gaining new listeners. The audiobook’s enduring appeal speaks to its universal themes and masterful storytelling, cementing its place in the pantheon of great audiobooks.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

After exploring “The Couple Next Door” in-depth, we can confidently say that Shari Lapena is a master of the domestic noir genre. The plot is gripping, filled with twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Lapena’s writing style and narrative technique accentuate the atmosphere, drawing us deeper into the story.

One of the most impressive aspects of “The Couple Next Door” is Lapena’s ability to create complex and relatable characters. They feel real and tangible, with clear motivations and well-defined personalities. The themes explored within the audiobook, such as trust and deception in romantic relationships, are also thoughtfully explored.

The pacing of the audiobook is excellent, with each plot twist expertly placed to keep the listener engaged throughout. The audiobook narration adds another element of intrigue to the story.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is a standout audiobook that grips the listener from start to finish. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling and expertly written domestic noir.

If you enjoyed “The Couple Next Door,” we suggest checking out other Shari Lapena works such as “An Unwanted Guest” and “Someone We Know.”

Thank you for taking the time to read our review of “The Couple Next Door.” We hope our thoughts have been helpful in guiding your audiobook selection and that you enjoy the listening experience.

Purchase Options and Availability

Listeners can buy “The Couple Next Door” audiobook in various formats from major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Store. The audiobook is available in CD and digital downloadable form, as well as on multiple platforms such as Audible and Apple Books.

The Audible version of “The Couple Next Door” offers a captivating listening experience as it features narrations from several voice actors perfectly interpreting the characters and storyline. The audiobook can also be borrowed from local libraries for individuals who prefer to use the services offered by libraries.

If you prefer to have a physical copy of “The Couple Next Door”, the audiobook is available in the CD format. Additionally, the audiobook is available in downloadable digital format at numerous online stores, making it a convenient option for those who prefer to stream or download audiobooks directly to their devices in popular formats such as MP3 and WMA.

Recommendations for Similar Audiobooks

If you enjoyed “The Couple Next Door,” we recommend checking out these similar audiobooks:

Audiobook Title Author Genre
The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides Psychological Thriller
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Domestic Suspense
Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty Mystery

Each of these audiobooks offers similar themes of suspense, twists, and complex characters, sure to satisfy fans of “The Couple Next Door.”

Note: Images used in tables are for representational purposes only and may not depict the exact edition or version of the audiobooks listed.

Reader Reviews and Testimonials

Many readers have praised “The Couple Next Door” for its gripping plot and well-crafted suspense. One review on Goodreads describes it as “a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the very end.” Another reader on Amazon notes that “Lapena’s writing style is immersive and engaging, making it difficult to put down.”

Testimonials also speak to the quality of the audiobook narration. One listener on Audible writes, “The narrator’s performance was excellent and kept me hooked throughout the entire audiobook.” Another review on Amazon highlights the narrator’s ability to “bring the characters to life” and make the story even more compelling.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” has received positive reviews from readers and audio listeners alike. Its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and skillful narration have made it a favorite among fans of domestic noir and psychological thrillers.


What is the genre of “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena?

“The Couple Next Door” is a domestic noir novel.

Who is the author of “The Couple Next Door”?

“The Couple Next Door” is written by Shari Lapena.

Can you provide a plot summary of “The Couple Next Door”?

In “The Couple Next Door,” a couple’s baby goes missing after they leave her at home while attending a dinner party next door. As secrets are revealed and tensions rise, they must navigate a web of deception and betrayal to find their daughter.

What is the setting and atmosphere of “The Couple Next Door”?

“The Couple Next Door” is set in a suburban neighborhood, creating an atmosphere of tension and suspense.

Who are the main characters in “The Couple Next Door”?

The main characters in “The Couple Next Door” include Anne and Marco Conti, Cynthia and Graham, and Detective Rasbach.

How would you describe Shari Lapena’s writing style and narrative technique in “The Couple Next Door”?

Shari Lapena employs a gripping and fast-paced writing style in “The Couple Next Door,” utilizing multiple perspectives and carefully placed plot twists to keep readers engaged.

What are some of the themes explored in “The Couple Next Door”?

“The Couple Next Door” explores themes such as trust, deception, and the complexities of relationships.

How is the pacing of “The Couple Next Door” and are there any notable plot twists?

“The Couple Next Door” has a brisk pacing that keeps the reader hooked, and there are several unexpected plot twists that add to the suspense and intrigue.

How is the audiobook narration in “The Couple Next Door”?

The audiobook narration of “The Couple Next Door” is well-executed, with the narrator effectively bringing the characters and the story to life.

Are there any other works by Shari Lapena that can be compared to “The Couple Next Door”?

Shari Lapena’s other works have similar themes of suspense and psychological tension, making them suitable for fans of “The Couple Next Door.”

What has been the critical reception and public opinion of “The Couple Next Door”?

“The Couple Next Door” has received positive reviews from both critics and readers, with many praising its gripping plot and skillful storytelling.

What impact has “The Couple Next Door” had in the audiobook industry?

“The Couple Next Door” has gained significant popularity in the audiobook industry, captivating listeners with its suspenseful narrative and compelling characters.

Can you provide a conclusion and your final thoughts on “The Couple Next Door”?

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is a gripping domestic noir audiobook that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats with its twists and turns. Highly recommended for fans of suspenseful thrillers.

Where can I purchase “The Couple Next Door” audiobook and in what formats is it available?

“The Couple Next Door” audiobook is available for purchase on various platforms, including online retailers and audiobook streaming services, in formats such as digital download, CD, and streaming.

Can you recommend any similar audiobooks to “The Couple Next Door”?

If you enjoyed “The Couple Next Door,” you might also like audiobooks such as “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn or “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, which share similar themes of suspense and psychological intrigue.

What do other readers think of “The Couple Next Door”? Are there any testimonials or reader reviews available?

Readers have praised “The Couple Next Door” for its gripping storyline and well-crafted characters, making it a popular choice among fans of psychological suspense. Here are some reader testimonials:

– “I couldn’t stop listening to ‘The Couple Next Door’! It had me on the edge of my seat until the very end.” – Sarah

– “Shari Lapena knows how to keep you guessing. ‘The Couple Next Door’ is a thrilling audiobook that hooks you from the first chapter.” – Michael

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