Finished October 24
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
This suspense novel is another one with unreliable narrators. As you see the situation from the perspective of various people, you're not sure who's telling the truth. And you're not sure you really like any of them.
Anne and Marco Conti are invited to dinner at their next door neighbours, Graham and Cynthia, for Graham's birthday. Anne had arranged their usual babysitter for their six month old daughter Cora, but when she cancelled at the last minute, Marco convinced her that taking the baby monitor and checking every half hour would be adequate. Except it wasn't. When they finally go home, Anne notices that the front door is ajar, and when she runs upstairs, Cora is gone.
As the couple react, and the police attend the scene, we see the immobilizing panic and shock of Anne, the manic panic and distress of Marco, the calm shock of Anne's mother Alice, and the disapproval of Anne's stepfather Richard. As the police try to make sense of the scene, the few clues left behind, and begin to look into the backgrounds of everyone related to the situation, we see how the situations shifts, and shifts, and shifts again.
This is a story of people creating images of themselves to meet other people's expectations, of hidden truths, and of avoidance. It's about people's insecurities and inability to share their weaknesses or failures with even those closest to them.
A say story with a lot of unhappy, lonely characters.