The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Synopsis

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
 
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
 
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
 
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

Review

I’ve been in quite the thriller mood recently and thought I would check this one out, as someone I met recently was in the middle of reading this and was enjoying it, so I though why not? I don’t regret it for a second.
 
The book wasn’t slow paced, intact I was surprised to learn it was only 352 pages once I had finished and looked. The writing style was different. Not in a bad way, how could it be bad if I had finished it in less than 24 hours, but there was something distinctive about it that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was a bit cooler, while the emotion was there and felt (particularly Anne’s) the writing seemed more matter of fact. As I said this wasn’t a bad thing, and it certainly left an impression on me.
 
In thrillers like this you often find yourself doubting the characters, often the lead character. With this book though, I pretty much trusted everyone, apart from maybe the neighbours. The detective obviously had their suspicions but I wasn’t such a sceptic. I especially trusted Anne, even though there was potential of her being responsible, there was something about her that made me trust that she didn’t do it.
 
I also liked Marco, he clearly adored Anne and seemed really supportive while she was suffering from post natal depression. I can also imagine how he felt with his in-laws. The rich-poor divide can be tough, especially when the rich male likes to shove their wealth and success in someone’s face as much as Anne’s stepfather did.
 
Obviously both parents are distraught and I wondered how I would sympathise with them if I were the general public, as in hindsight leaving a baby alone, however close they are was not a great idea (understatement of the century). However my heart did break for them.
 
Detective Rasbach was also a great character, while his questions were quite direct, it was clear he genuinely wanted to get to the bottom of what happened, and sometimes hard questions are needed.
 
Overall this book was as good as I’d heard, it lived up to the tenseness you expect from a thriller and constantly kept me guessing.
 
 
Published by: Transworld
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
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Mini Review Collection

 
This book was really funny, it had emotion and a great story, but the humour really stood out. The main character is loveable but also annoying at times as she becomes a bit self centred during her pregnancy, as one disaster after another kept happening to her. Her ex boyfriend Ned was infuriatingly annoying. Overall it was a really cute read, and definitely one to pick up when you need a good old rom-com book in your life.
 
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mynotsoperfectlifeMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
 
This book was amazing! I always love Sophie Kinsella books, and the fact that half the book was set really close to me made it all the better. I really liked Kate’s narrative, and I also loved how annoying Demeter was to work for. I loved the scene with Demeter practicing a yoga type of exercise in the mud. It completely didn’t end up how I thought it would, I thought the ending would be much more straight forward, so the surprise made it all the more great.
 
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The_Rosie_ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
 
I listened to it on audiobook, and the narrator did a fantastic job. The book itself was as good as I had heard. I adored Don, his outlook was certainly unique, somehow he reminded me of my partner, Simon. His habits could be infuriating at times, but I know that Rosie definitely bought the best out in him, though was far from perfect, showing she also had to learn something too.
 
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wishyouwerehereWish You Were Here by Catherine Alliot
 
Oh this book. On one hand I enjoyed it, though the middle dragged a bit for me and the main character really annoyed me for a lot of the book. It seemed that she thought everything was about her. Not liking a character doesn’t usually break a book for me, but Flora did put a downer on the whole book for me. 
 
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thegirlbeforeThe Girl Before by J P Delaney
 
I got completely absorbed into this book. I read it in pretty much one day, I couldn’t put it down. It seemed dark and disturbing. The house sounded fantastic aesthetically, but I don’t think I could live by the rules. No books for starters, could I have a kindle? Both characters surprised me, my opinions on them changed several times, and I loved it.
 
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The Assistants by Camile Perri

theassistantsSynopsis

Behind every successful man is a busy assistant and Tina’s boss is very successful.
 
But Tina is tired of being overworked and underpaid. She’s bored of her damp flat and her mounting debts. Then a blip in the expenses system sends Tina a cheque.
 
She’s a good person. But she’s desperate. This isn’t stealing. It’s an administrative error. Right?
 
What would you do if you thought you’d get away with it?

Review

This book sounded like fun and different in the sense that it didn’t focus on the leads love life, or attempts in finding one. It’s a fairly short book and therefore moves at a swift pace, which suits the story. The story also contains more than the I thought it would, as everything snowballs further and further. It was fun to read and due to the fast pace, there was never a dull moment.
 
Tina is an interesting character. I couldn’t help but like her even though I disagree with her actions. The respect she held for her boss, ignoring the fraud thing, was admirable as he is known to be a harsh and ruthless businessman. The was she spoke about him humanised him in a way that made you think that maybe he as an OK bloke after all. Otherwise I could have taken the negativity about him and made him out to be a villain. Obviously Robert is far from perfect (especially in the gym scene) but the little bit of almost affection Tina shows really softens him that little bit.
 
Tina’s cast of friends were all funny and they ended up kind of like a bunch of misfits. Lily started off annoying me, but she was funny with it, along with Wendi’s character they bought a lot of fun to the book, which might otherwise have been more serious due to Tina’s more sensible approach to life, and her inner guilt and shame.
 
Despite not being a full blown romance novel, I loved Kevin, especially as a match for Tina. Their chemistry was great, when she wasn’t freaking out about lying. They just seemed to fit together.
 
A fast paced fun novel thats worth checking out!
  
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Published by: Transworld
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
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Falling by Julie Cohen

falling-juliecohenSynopsis

Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?
 
Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.
 
Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.
 
Lydia’s could bring her love – or the loss of everything that matters to her.
 
Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.
 
Can they save each other from falling?

Review

I’ve never read a book by Julie Cohen, and judging by the amount of praise I read about Julie’s books, I was clearly missing out so I was eager to make amends and start with this book.
 
Julie’s writing is fantastic. She manages to create a mixture of emotions. The first chapter, I felt concern for Honor, then jumping straight to the second chapter I found myself laughing as Jo attempts to get him on the bus with two young children, on a day where nothing is going right and much later on I found myself crying, with a whole load of feelings in the middle.
 
The three viewpoints means we get to know the three women’s secrets in great detail, ensuring we feel for them, especially Lydia and Honor. Personally for me, I didn’t really get why Jo’s secret was really such a big deal, I know it breaks a promise with her 16 year old daughter, but then again, I have the advantage of knowing why Lydia was so adamant about this promise in the heat of the moment, and also, I think it’s a very motherly thing and I’m not a mother, nor am I terribly broody so I think if I was then I would get it.
 
Honor starts out as grumpy and as snobby as her reputation promises. Her distaste for Jo, her daughter-in-law, couldn’t be more obvious. However she knows she needs help, so has to reluctantly accept Jo’s offer. Despite her grumpiness, I always felt it had a tinge of loneliness to it. It was hard to dislike Honor when reading her chapters. However her barbed comments when Jo was commentating sometimes felt a bit mean.
 
Jo is one of those people who is generally upbeat and a people pleaser. She clearly hopes her upbeat attitude rubs off on other people, and her need to please people means she worries and then has the tendency to flap about, much to the annoyance of Honor and Lydia.
 
This was also to her detriment. She never found time for herself, or think about what she wants from life. In her mind she was a housewife or mother, and that’s all she needed to be. But as cliché as it is to ‘find yourself’, I wish she had spent some time doing just that, before she met Richard, or while she had the au-pair to help out with the two young children.
 
Lydia’s chapters mostly start with an inner monologue where you soon start to learn her secret, and for me her story was my favourite. Her secret was so huge, especially for someone who is only 160 and seeing her struggle pulled on my heart-strings at times. I did like seeing her bond with Honor towards the middle-end of this book, it was great reading their scenes together.
 
While I probably seem really harsh on Jo, I did like all three women pretty equally. They clearly needed each other and it was a simply beautiful story. A fantastic read that made me feel a real mix of emotions, as I hoped it would.
 
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Published by: Transworld

Gratefully received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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