The Couple Next Door PDF Book by Shari Lapena


Click here to Download The Couple Next Door PDF Book by Shari Lapena having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages231.

Anne can’t focus on the conversation around her. She tunes it out and stares at the carved marble fireplace, exactly like the one in her own livingdining room, on the other side of the common wall that Anne and Marco share with Cynthia and Graham; they live in attached brick row houses, typical of this city in upstate New York, solidly built in the late nineteenth century.

The Couple Next Door PDF Book by Shari Lapena

Name of Book The Couple Next Door
PDF Size 1 MB
No of Pages 231
Language English
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All the houses in the row are similar—Italianate, restored, expensive —except that Anne and Marco’s is at the end of the row and each reflects slight differences in decoration and taste; each one is a small masterpiece. Anne reaches clumsily for her cell phone on the dining table and checks the time.

It is almost one o’clock in the morning. She’d checked on the baby at midnight. Marco had gone to check on her at twelve thirty. Then he’d gone out for a cigarette on the back patio with Cynthia, while Anne and Graham sat rather awkwardly at the littered dining table, making stilted conversation.

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She should have gone out to the backyard with them; there might have been a breeze. But she hadn’t, because Graham didn’t like to be around cigarette smoke, and it would have been rude, or at least inconsiderate, to leave Graham there all alone at his own dinner party. So for reasons of propriety, she had stayed.

Graham, a WASP like herself, is impeccably polite. Why he married a tart like Cynthia is a mystery. Cynthia and Marco had come back in from the patio a few minutes ago, and Anne desperately wants to leave, even if everyone else is still having fun.

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Detective Rasbach had already checked out the area quickly before coming inside and interviewing the parents. He thinks it unlikely—but not impossible—that a stranger would carry a sleeping child out the front door of a house on a street like this one and risk being seen. The houses are attached row houses set close to the sidewalk.

The street is well lit, and there is a fair bit of vehicular and foot traffic, even late at night. So it is odd—perhaps he’s being deliberately misled?—that the front door was open. The forensics team is dusting it for fingerprints now, but somehow Rasbach doesn’t think they’ll find anything. The back holds more potential.

Most of the houses, including the Contis’, have a single detached garage opening onto the lane—behind the house. The backyards are long and narrow, fenced in between, and most, including the Contis’, have trees and shrubs and gardens. It is relatively dark back there; there are no streetlights as there are in the front. The Couple Next Door PDF Book

It’s a dark night, with no moon. Whoever has taken the child, if he had come out the Contis’ back door, would only have had to walk across the backyard to the garage, with access from there to the lane. The chances of being seen carrying an abducted child out the back door to a waiting vehicle are much less than the chances of being seen carrying an abducted child out the front door.

Anne doesn’t know what to make of the detective. All this about their car— he seems to be insinuating something. She knows that when a wife goes missing, the husband is usually the prime suspect, and probably vice versa. But when a child goes missing, are the parents usually the prime suspects? Surely not. Who could harm their own child?

Besides, they both have solid alibis. They can be accounted for, by Cynthia and Graham. There is obviously no way they could have taken and hidden their own daughter. And why would they? She is aware that the neighborhood is being searched, that there are police officers going up and down the streets knocking on doors, interviewing people roused from their beds. The Couple Next Door PDF Book

Marco has provided the police with a recent photo of Cora, taken just a few days ago. The photo shows a happy blond baby girl with big blue eyes smiling up at the camera. Anne is angry at Marco—she wants to scream at him, pummel him with her fists—but their house is full of police officers, so she doesn’t dare.

And when she looks at his pale, bleak face, she sees that he is already blaming himself. She knows she can’t survive this on her own. She turns to him and collapses into his chest, sobbing. His arms come up around her, and he hugs her tightly. She can feel him shaking, can feel the painful thumping of his heart.

She tells herself that together they will get through this. The police will find Cora. They will get their daughter back. Rasbach tells him. “We have officers searching the area, interviewing everyone, looking for witnesses. We have a forensics team going through the house and the surrounding area. The Couple Next Door PDF Book

We have the baby’s description out locally and nationally. The public will soon be informed by the media coverage. We may get lucky and catch something on CCTV cameras somewhere.” He pauses. “We hope to get some leads quickly.” We are doing everything we can. But it probably won’t be enough to save your granddaughter, Rasbach thinks.

He knows from experience that investigations generally move slowly, unless there is an early, significant break. The little girl doesn’t have much time, if she’s even still alive. Dries moves closer to him, close enough that Rasbach can smell his aftershave.

Dries glances over his shoulder at his daughter and says more quietly, “You checking out all the perverts?” Rasbach regards the larger man. He is the only one who has put the unthinkable into words. “We are checking out all the ones we know about, but there are always those we don’t know about.” The Couple Next Door PDF Book Download

“This is going to kill my daughter,” Richard Dries says to the detective under his breath, looking at her. Perhaps the police are incompetent, Anne thinks. She is worried that they will bungle everything. The investigation is moving too slowly. Every hour that goes by ratchets her panic up another notch. “Who could have taken her?”

Anne whispers to Marco when they’re alone. Anne has sent her parents home for the time being, even though they’d wanted to settle themselves in the spare room upstairs. But Anne, as much as she relies on her parents, especially in times of stress and trouble, finds they make her anxious, too, and she is anxious enough.

Plus, having them around always makes things more difficult with Marco, and he already looks like he’s about to snap. His hair is a mess, and he hasn’t shaved. They’ve been up all night, and the day is half gone. Anne is exhausted and knows she must look as bad as Marco does, but she doesn’t care. Sleep is impossible. The Couple Next Door PDF Book Download

“We have to think, Marco! Who would take her?” “I have no idea,” Marco says helplessly. She gets up and starts pacing back and forth in the living room. “I don’t understand why they haven’t found any evidence of an intruder. It doesn’t make sense. Does that make sense to you?”

She stops pacing and adds, “Except for the loosened lightbulb in the motion detector. That’s obviously evidence that there was an intruder.” Marco looks up at her. “They think we loosened the lightbulb ourselves.” She stares at him. “That’s ridiculous!” There is a note of hysteria in her voice. The Couple Next Door PDF Book Download

It bothers him, the pink onesie. The mother says she tossed it in the laundry hamper beside the changing table. But it was found hidden underneath the pad of the changing table. Why? Perhaps she was sufficiently drunk that she hadn’t stuffed the soiled sleeper into the laundry hamper but instead shoved it underneath the pad.

If she was drunk enough to think she’d put the onesie in the hamper when she hadn’t, was she drunk enough to drop the baby? Maybe she dropped her, and the baby struck her head and died. Maybe the mother smothered her. If that’s what happened, how had the parents arranged so quickly for someone to take the baby away?

Who would they call? He has to find the possible accomplice. He will get the Contis’ home- and cell-phone records and find out whether either of them called anyone between six and twelve thirty on the night in question. If the baby hadn’t been killed, either accidentally or deliberately by either one of the parents, would they stage a kidnapping? The Couple Next Door PDF Book Free

Rasbach can guess why they might. There’s three million dollars to be had. Possibly more. Motivation enough for almost anybody. The ease with which the chi Marco wants to reach out and lightly stroke Anne’s back, but he’s afraid of waking her. She has always been emotional, sensitive. She is one of the most refined women he’s ever met.

He used to love dropping in on her at the gallery. Sometimes he would surprise her there at lunchtime, or after work, just because he wanted to see her. He got a kick out of watching her with clients, the way she lit up when talking about a painting or a new artist. He’d think, I can’t believe she’s mine.

Whenever there was an opening for a new show, she would invite him; there would be champagne and hors d’oeuvres, women in smart dresses and men in well-cut suits. Anne would circulate around the room, stopping to talk with the people clustered in front of the paintings—wild, abstract splashes of color or more somber, tonal works. Marco didn’t understand any of it. The Couple Next Door PDF Book Free

The most beautiful, the most arresting thing in the room, for him, would always be Anne. He would stay out of her way, stand over by the bar eating cheese, or off to the side, and watch her do her thing. She had been trained for it, getting her degree in art history and modern art, but more than that, she had an instinct for it, a passion.

Marco had not grown up with art, but it was part of her life, and he loved her for it. For their wedding he’d bought her a painting in the gallery that she fervently desired but that she said they could never afford—a very large, moody abstract work by an up-and-coming painter she greatly admired. It hangs over their mantelpiece in the living room. But she no longer even looks at it

It is Tuesday morning, the fourth day since Cora went missing. Now the last police officer is leaving. Anne can’t believe that they are to be left all alone. “But what if the kidnapper calls?” she protests to Rasbach in disbelief. Marco says nothing. It seems obvious to him that the kidnapper is not going to call. The Couple Next Door PDF Book Free

It seems equally obvious to him that the police don’t believe there is a kidnapper. Rasbach says, “You’ll be fine. Marco can handle it.” She gives him a doubtful look. “Maybe our being here is scaring him off—maybe if we leave, he’ll call.” He turns to Marco.

“If anyone claiming to have Cora calls, remain calm, try to get instructions, and keep him talking as much as possible. The more you can get him to reveal, the better. We still have the wiretap on, so it will be taped. But it is very unlikely that we would be able to trace the call.

Everyone these days uses untraceable prepaid cell phones. Makes our job much harder.” Anne thinks about confronting Cynthia. She doesn’t think Cynthia took her baby, not today. But she’d like to know what’s going on between Cynthia and her husband. The Couple Next Door PDF Book Free

Perhaps Anne is focusing on what might be going on between her husband and Cynthia because it’s not as painful as thinking about what has happened to her baby. Anne knows Cynthia is at home. She can hear her occasionally on the other side of their shared wall.

Anne knows Graham is away again—she saw him getting into a black airport limo with his bags earlier that morning, from her bedroom window. She could go over there, tell Cynthia off, and tell her to keep away from her husband. Anne stops her pacing and stares at the shared wall of the living room, trying to decide what to do. Cynthia is just on the other side of that wall.

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