Shari Lapena | July 2014
It all started at a dinner party. . .
A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.
Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.
What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.
I loved this book! Its a suspense thriller that doesn’t rely on drawn out, obvious cliches about characters. It actually uses the obvious stereotypes to create the red herring which I liked!
The story revolves around the kidnapping of baby Cora. Cora disappears one night while her parents, Anne and Marco, are next door at a dinner party. The players:
Anne: So…Anne is a freaking mess. But, we learn she’s a bit of a late bloomer, a chunky girl with a history of being bullied, with some residual self confidence issues. Body image and confidence issues seem to be especially prevalent now, just after giving birth to her first and only child, Anne has the ‘mommy blues’. She’s seeing a psychologist and has meds so really, whats the big deal? Isn’t she doing what we want people to do? Recognize their issues and get help. Should she be judged?
Marco, Anne’s husband, vacillates between loving, protective, supportive husband to looser schmuck. 🤦🏾♀️ He seems to genuinely love Anne, even after understanding her flaws and at one point, is willing to sacrifice himself for her well being but, he’s also the one that started all this, encouraging Anne to attend the dinner party after the sitter cancels, the dinner party where he admits to flirting with the hostess all night, his business is in the can and he seems to feel as if Anne’s rich parents owe him success. (Oh privilege, where art thou?)
Anne’s parents are loaded and have spent considerable money covering up her indiscretions in the past. Interestingly enough, Anne seems to be the most humble of all the characters, completely in-touch with her emotions and able to identify and articulate what she is feeling. (Cheers to years of therapy!) Her parents are prominent characters in her and Marco’s marriage and, take it from me, that’s a recipe for disaster. They’ve loaned money to Marco in the past and now believe that allows them a vote on every decision. They present as the perfect couple, but, is that true?
In supporting roles we have Anne and Marco’s colorful next door neighbors that have a kinky sex thing going on no one is aware of. 🙃
Oh, life in the cul-de-sac gets a bit crazy, eh? The kidnapping forces the family into the public eye, and there warts become obvious. Anne is targeted because of her depression and leaving the baby alone. Marco is pushed by the parents because they’ve never liked him anyway. The missing baby seems to trigger everyone and truths start to come to light. Mental disorders, multiple affairs, switching partners, hidden cameras, child abuse, cover ups and private detectives, stealing money..you name it and these folks engage. As with any good thriller, everyone has an ulterior motive and the twists take you right up to the very end!
I really enjoyed this author’s writing style! Its my understanding A Stranger In The House is the follow up to this novel. I will be sure to add it to my reading list! #GoodBook 19 of 42!