Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an ARC from NetGalley, to be released on 8/23:  The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena.





Intro:  Anne can feel the acid churning in her stomach and creeping up her throat; her head is swimming.  She’s had too much to drink.  Cynthia has been topping her up all night.  Anne had meant to keep herself to a limit, but she’d let things slide—she didn’t know how else she was supposed to get through the evening.  Now she has no idea how much wine she’s drunk over the course of this interminable dinner party.  She’ll have to pump and dump her breast milk in the morning.

Anne wilts in the heat of the summer night and watches her hostess with narrowed eyes.  Cynthia is flirting openly with Anne’s husband, Marco.  Why does Anne put up with it?  Why does Cynthia’s husband, Graham, allow it?  Anne is angry but powerless; she doesn’t know how to put a stop to it without looking pathetic and ridiculous.  They are all a little tanked.  So she ignores it, quietly seething, and sips at the chilled wine.  Anne wasn’t brought up to create a scene, isn’t one to draw attention to herself.

Cynthia, on the other hand…


Teaser:  Marco almost hadn’t gone through with it.  When the babysitter canceled at the last minute, he’d panicked.  He’d almost called the whole thing off. (46%).


Blurb:  How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 

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.


What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I’ve been eagerly awaiting this one for a while, now.




    1. Oh, yes, this one reminds me of another book I read a while back, in which the parents did something really stupid, too. It definitely arouses our emotions, doesn’t it? Thanks for visiting, Cleo.


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