The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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As stated in Goodreads:

Fast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing.

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

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.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

My Comments:

The Couple Next Door is an easy to read, thrilling page turner – enjoyable like an episode of CSI…devoured in one sitting!  A couple leaves their baby alone next door, sleeping in her crib, and then she is gone.  Who took her?  Did the parents facilitate the disappearance?  Other family members?  The neighbors?  An intruder?  Someone is hiding something.  Just when you think you figured things out…another twist to keep you racing to the end.  And what an end it was!  A rollercoaster debut thriller from Shari Lapena!

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The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

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Billy Brennan is overweight, 401 lbs to be exact. He and his wife Tricia just lost their oldest teenage son Michael to suicide, and with no recollection of the boy being unhappy and no note of explanation, they are blindsided and distraught. This horrific tragedy has left the family in shambles. As the couple and their 3 remaining children struggle in their grief to reclaim an element of normalcy, Billy steps out of his typical complacency and decides he will make a big change in his own life and attempt to get healthy in honor of his beloved son. With a unwavering commitment to lose 200 pounds, organize a walk to raise money for suicide prevention and film a documentary to publicize this terrible and prevalent occurrance, he pushes forward with determination while his family chooses not to support him and his efforts as they deal with their grief in their own ways.

Ethel Rohan does a fine job showing us some of the challenges of weight loss and the struggles brought on by suicide in broad strokes. Billy is a likable character and despite his lack of support from the family, the community starts to rally behind him.  I was rooting him on every step of the way as his effort picked up momentum. I found the relationship development with Billy and his wife and other children to be a little shallow at times and reenactment of playing with his deceased son with the wooden toys a bit odd for a grown man, but grief can be expressed in many ways. Despite dealing with the sensitive topics of obesity and suicide, The Weight of Him was a very enjoyable and quick read.

 

 

It’s Always the Husband

 

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Aubrey, Jenny and Kate are college roommates who come from very different backgrounds and instantly develop strong friendships. Kate is the bad girl who leads them to trouble and Jenny is the good girl who is always there to get them out of it. While in college, Aubrey loses her mother to cancer and feeling distraught, she proceeds to make some questionable decisions.   Jenny laments over a past relationship with Lucas but Lucas is getting caught up with Kate. There are some disagreements amongst the friends and a horrific tragedy occurs; things will never be the same again.

Fast forward 20 years and the three friends are all back in the same town. Aubrey is married to a cheating husband, Jenny is enjoying her power as the mayor and Kate is in a marriage of convenience. Then another unspeakable tragedy occurs and details from the past resurface causing questions to arise. Will the truth come out?

Murder, infidelity, bribery and corruption intertwined with love, friendship and loyalty keep this novel about college roommates and family relationships twisting and turning right up until the very last chapter. People lied.  People died.  Who is to blame? It’s Always the Husband is an engaging read that will keep you guessing!

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell will be available May 16, 2017.