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If you’re a fan of suspenseful thrillers, you won’t want to miss out on “The Couple Next Door,” written by Shari Lapena. This audiobook is one of the most captivating thrillers you’ll ever come across, leaving you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Throughout this audiobook review, we’ll explore all the key aspects of “The Couple Next Door,” including the author, the synopsis, the main characters, the plot development, the writing style, and more. We’ll also take a look at the impact and reception of this intriguing audiobook and offer recommendations for readers who are looking for similar thrillers to enjoy.

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About the Author, Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena is a Canadian author and former lawyer known for her gripping suspense novels. After working as a lawyer and English teacher, she turned to writing full-time and has written several popular books.

Lapena’s work has been featured on The New York Times and The Globe and Mail’s bestsellers lists, and her debut novel, “The Couple Next Door,” was an instant international success.

Born and raised in Canada, Lapena studied English literature at college before graduating law school. With a passion for writing, she began her career as an English teacher and later pivoted to practicing law before turning to writing full-time.

“From her days as a lawyer to her current profession as a full-time writer, Shari Lapena’s unique background adds to her suspenseful narratives and keeps readers on the edge of their seats.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

Synopsis of “The Couple Next Door”

Shari Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” is a gripping psychological thriller that starts with a dinner party where Anne and Marco, a married couple living in upstate New York, leave their six-month-old baby at home while they go next door. When they return, they find the crib empty, and their world is shattered.

The police suspect that the couple is involved in the kidnapping of their baby, but secrets and lies soon start to emerge, revealing that everyone has something to hide. The desperate couple sets out on a frantic search to find their daughter and unveil the mystery behind her disappearance.

With unexpected plot twists and shocking revelations, Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” is a page-turner that keeps the readers guessing until the very end. This heart-pumping audiobook will leave the audience breathless, questioning who is to blame and what really happened to the baby.

Main Characters in “The Couple Next Door”

“The Couple Next Door” audiobook features a cast of intriguing characters that keep listeners engaged throughout the thrilling narrative. The main characters of the story are:

Character Name Description
Anne Conti A new mother who is struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety
Marco Conti Anne’s husband and father of their baby daughter, Cora
Cynthia Stillwell The Conti’s neighbor, who invites them to a dinner party but has a hidden agenda
Graham Stillwell Cynthia’s husband and successful businessman
Anne’s Parents Anne’s overprotective parents who disapprove of Marco and constantly interfere in their lives

Each character in “The Couple Next Door” plays a crucial role in the narrative, with their interactions and decisions driving the story forward. With complex and well-developed characters, Shari Lapena creates a tense and suspenseful atmosphere that keeps listeners captivated.

Setting and Atmosphere in “The Couple Next Door”

Shari Lapena masterfully constructs a sinister atmosphere that sets the stage for the events that unfold in “The Couple Next Door.” The story takes place in the affluent neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the lives of the young couple Anne and Marco are upended after a dinner party at their neighbor’s house. Lapena’s vivid descriptions of the luxurious homes and pretentious lifestyle of the characters create an immersive and believable setting.

The palpable tension and unease in the air keep the reader on the edge of their seat from start to finish, with the persistent sense that something dreadful is about to happen. Lapena’s use of short, snappy sentences and punchy dialogue serves to heighten the suspense and urgency of the story. The audiobook narration, performed by Kirsten Potter, only adds to the eerie and mystifying effect.

“The child is dead. There is nothing left to say. It’s just a photograph, two-dimensional, the paper a little yellowed, the image framed in brown wood behind glass, a glass that’s beginning to cloud with misting over of its own.”
– Shari Lapena, The Couple Next Door

The atmospheric backdrop in “The Couple Next Door” serves as a character in its own right, playing a crucial role in the story’s progression and keeping the reader hooked until the very end.

Plot Development and Twists in “The Couple Next Door”

The intricate plot of “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of unexpected twists and turns. Set in a quiet suburban neighborhood, the story follows Anne and Marco Conti, a young couple who leaves their six-month-old daughter, Cora, alone in their home to attend a dinner party next door.

What seems like a relaxing evening out turns into a nightmare when the couple returns home to find that their baby is missing. Detective Rasbach is assigned to the case and, as he investigates, secrets are revealed and shocking plot twists unfold, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

The cleverly crafted plot development is a key feature of this audiobook, and keeps readers engaged from beginning to end. The twists and turns are not only unexpected, but they also add depth to the story and keep the audience guessing throughout.

“I couldn’t put down The Couple Next Door. It hooked me from the very beginning and kept me guessing until the end. A must-read for anyone who loves a good thriller!”

Writing Style of Shari Lapena in “The Couple Next Door”

Shari Lapena’s writing style in “The Couple Next Door” is crisp, clean, and creates tension with every sentence. The author’s use of short, punchy sentences keeps readers on the edge of their seats, while her descriptive prose provides a vivid backdrop for the audiobook’s events. Lapena masterfully builds suspense through her careful attention to detail, making every clue and nuance count towards the thrilling conclusion.

The author also uses a variety of perspectives to tell the story of “The Couple Next Door,” allowing readers to experience the narrative from multiple angles. This approach adds depth and complexity to the audiobook, providing a more nuanced portrayal of the events as they unfold. Lapena’s writing style keeps readers on their toes throughout the audiobook, making “The Couple Next Door” a must-read for fans of the thriller genre.

“Lapena’s writing is skillful and her technique savvy. She keeps the reader guessing until the end, and her characters are well-developed and believable.”

The Globe and Mail

Audiobook Narration and Performance

The audiobook version of “The Couple Next Door” is narrated by Kirsten Potter, who delivers a captivating performance that adds a new dimension to the already thrilling narrative. Potter’s voice brings each character to life, effectively conveying their emotions and motivations throughout the story.

Her pacing and tone create a tense atmosphere, expertly building suspense and keeping listeners engaged. Additionally, her skilled narration of the unexpected plot twists adds another layer of intrigue and excitement.

Audiobook Narration

The combination of Lapena’s compelling narrative and Potter’s excellent narration makes “The Couple Next Door” audiobook a must-listen for any fan of the thriller genre.

Critical Reception and Reviews of “The Couple Next Door”

Since its release, “The Couple Next Door” audiobook has received high critical acclaim from readers and literary critics alike.

Many readers have praised the book for its tightly-woven plot and gripping suspense, making it a page-turner that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Others have remarked on the strength of the character development and atmospheric setting, which pull the audience further into the twisted world of the story.

According to “The New York Times,” “The Couple Next Door” is a “diverting page-turner” that leaves readers guessing until the very end. “Publishers Weekly” calls it a “twisty, well-plotted tale,” while “Kirkus Reviews” praises the audiobook as a “pulse-pounding, addictive, and utterly satisfying psychological thriller.”

The success of “The Couple Next Door” has also been reflected in its sales figures, with the audiobook topping several bestseller lists following its release. These accolades have solidified Shari Lapena’s position as a leading author in the thriller genre.

Similar Books to “The Couple Next Door” for Thriller Enthusiasts

For those who enjoyed the thrilling narrative of “The Couple Next Door,” there are several similar books that will pique their interest. Some of these books include:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Similar to “The Couple Next Door,” “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides is a psychological thriller that will keep readers guessing until the very end. With its intricate plot and well-developed characters, this novel is sure to appeal to fans of the genre.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins is another gripping thriller that will captivate readers. With its fast-paced plot and unexpected twists and turns, this novel is perfect for those who enjoyed “The Couple Next Door.”

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

For those who love thrilling and suspenseful reads, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn is a must-read. The novel follows a missing woman and the investigation that follows, with plenty of plot twists and unexpected revelations along the way.

“There’s nothing quite like a gripping thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat, and these books are sure to satisfy any fan of the genre.”

Impact and Popularity of “The Couple Next Door”

Since its release, “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena has become a widespread hit within the literary community. The book has garnered attention from both readers and critics alike, earning a spot on multiple bestseller lists.

The audiobook version of “The Couple Next Door” has also contributed to the popularity of the work, providing listeners with an immersive experience that enhances the suspenseful storytelling. The audiobook’s engaging and captivating narration further adds to the overall appeal, making it a preferred format for many fans of the genre.

In 2016, “The Couple Next Door” ranked as a New York Times Bestseller and has since maintained its position. The novel’s gripping plot and unexpected twists have captured the interest and intrigue of readers, inspiring meaningful conversations and reviews.

“‘The Couple Next Door’ is a masterfully written psychological thriller that will leave you racing through the pages until its electrifying conclusion. Shari Lapena has crafted an unforgettable story full of suspense and intrigue that will linger in your mind long after you finish the book.” – BookPage

The book’s success has also led to translations into multiple languages, further increasing its impact on a global scale.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” has made a significant impact within the literary world, setting a high standard for gripping and thrilling mysteries that continue to captivate audiences.

Themes Explored in “The Couple Next Door”

Shari Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” explores several themes, adding depth and meaning to the audiobook’s suspenseful narrative. One of the primary themes is the idea that even the people closest to us can have hidden secrets and agendas. This is exemplified through the main plot in which a seemingly normal couple’s dark secrets are slowly revealed, leading to unexpected plot twists and tense moments.

Another theme explored in “The Couple Next Door” is the idea of motherhood and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. Anne, one of the main characters, struggles with postpartum depression and guilt over leaving her baby alone in the house. This leads to her making questionable choices in her quest to find her missing child.

The theme of trust is also a crucial element of the audiobook. The characters are forced to question who they can trust and rely on as they navigate through the murky waters of deception and suspicion. This theme also ties into the idea of appearances being deceiving, as the characters soon discover that nothing is as it seems.

The themes explored in “The Couple Next Door” provide a thought-provoking context for the audiobook’s events, elevating it beyond a typical thriller. By delving into these prevalent themes, Shari Lapena creates a story that not only entertains but also resonates with readers.

Plot Analysis and Interpretation of “The Couple Next Door”

As we delve deeper into the plot of Shari Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” audiobook, we uncover a web of deceit, betrayal, and tragedy. Anne and Marco, the main characters, are thrust into the dark underbelly of their seemingly perfect lives when their baby daughter goes missing from her crib.

Throughout the narrative, Lapena expertly weaves a complex and suspenseful story, full of unexpected twists and turns. As the plot unfolds, readers are left questioning the motives of every character and trying to piece together the clues that will lead them to the truth behind the baby’s disappearance.

One interpretation of the audiobook is that it explores the lengths that people will go to protect their secrets, even at the cost of innocent lives. Additionally, it can be seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of deception and the importance of honesty in relationships.

“The Couple Next Door is a gripping thriller that keeps readers on edge until the very last page. Lapena’s masterful plotting, combined with intricate character development, makes this audiobook a must-read for fans of the genre.”

Themes Explored in “The Couple Next Door”

The themes of deception, betrayal, and secrets are prominent throughout “The Couple Next Door.” Lapena uses these themes to underscore the impact that these actions can have on both the individual and broader society.

Another important theme explored in the audiobook is the idea of trust. The characters are constantly questioning who they can trust, and the consequences of misplaced trust are shown to be severe.

Key Plot Points and Analysis

Plot Point Analysis
Anne and Marco leave their baby home alone while attending a dinner party next door. This plot point highlights the negligence of the parents and sets the stage for the events that follow.
The baby is kidnapped from her crib. This event catalyzes the plot and sends the characters on a journey of discovery and self-reflection.
It is revealed that various characters have ulterior motives and secrets. This revelation shows that everyone has something to hide and underscores the themes of deception and betrayal.
A key suspect is revealed, but the truth is more complicated than initially thought. This twist keeps readers guessing and shows the danger of jumping to conclusions without all the facts.
The truth behind the kidnapping is revealed, and the characters must face the consequences of their actions. This climactic moment underscores the themes of honesty and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is a thrilling audiobook that expertly balances twisty plotlines with intriguing characters and deep themes. Lapena’s expert craftsmanship keeps readers engaged from beginning to end.

Memorable Scenes and Quotes from “The Couple Next Door”

“The Couple Next Door” is a thriller filled with suspense and twists that keep listeners engaged from start to finish. Here are some of the most memorable scenes and quotes from the audiobook:

“There are some things that should never be opened; they should remain locked up forever for the safety of everyone concerned. Once opened, some things can never be unmade or unfelt.”

This quote from the audiobook provides a foreboding atmosphere, hinting at the dark secrets that will soon be revealed. As the plot unfolds, listeners are drawn into the mystery of what lies behind closed doors.

“Anne can hear Marco speaking, the murmur of his voice, but not the words. She can feel his laughter reverberating through the floor, through the soles of her feet. She can feel the surge of happiness, the pleasure, the relief.”

This scene captures the tension between Anne and Marco, a couple struggling to come to terms with their baby daughter’s disappearance. It also highlights the intricate relationships between the characters in the small community they live in.

The audiobook is filled with many other memorable scenes and quotes that make “The Couple Next Door” an unforgettable listening experience for fans of thrillers and mysteries.

Recommended Audience for “The Couple Next Door”

If you’re a fan of thrilling suspense novels, “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena is a must-read for you. This audiobook is perfect for those who enjoy heart-pumping moments, subtle clues, and unexpected plot twists.

The recommended audience for “The Couple Next Door” is primarily adult readers who appreciate crime fiction, mystery, and suspense genres. This is not an audiobook for the faint of heart, as it deals with mature themes and includes some intense moments.

That being said, for those who enjoy a captivating and wonderfully written thriller, “The Couple Next Door” should be at the top of their list. Whether you’re looking for a gripping audiobook to listen to on a long commute or an engrossing story to read before bed, “The Couple Next Door” has something to offer.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is a thrilling audiobook that is perfect for those who appreciate a tense and thrilling story. With its intriguing plot, complex characters, and well-crafted suspense, this audiobook is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.


In summary, Shari Lapena’s “The Couple Next Door” audiobook is a thrilling experience that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Lapena’s writing style, intricate plot development, and unexpected twists make for a captivating narrative that is enhanced by the atmospheric backdrop and well-developed characters.

Readers who enjoy suspenseful thrillers will find “The Couple Next Door” to be a must-read. Its critical reception and overall popularity within the literary world demonstrate its impact and appeal to a wide audience.

For those who have already enjoyed “The Couple Next Door,” there are a plethora of similar books to add to their reading list. The underlying themes and messages of the audiobook offer a deeper level of interpretation and analysis, making it a worthwhile read for both entertainment and intellectual exploration.

Overall, “The Couple Next Door” is highly recommended for readers who enjoy thrilling novels that keep them engaged from start to finish.

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