A Slow-Burn Thriller With Incredulous Twists | “The New Couple” by Alison James (2022) Book Review

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for this Advanced Reviewer Copy; all opinions expressed in the review are my own.

I wanted to read “The New Couple” as I had heard a lot of good things about Alison James, particularly for “Her Sister’s Child” and wanted a chance to read her latest book. However, this book did not manage to meet the high expectations I had of it.

The story begins in the point of view of a middle aged woman named Jane. Her grownup children have left home, resulting in her trying to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. Just then, a couple and their baby move into her gated community in the house next to hers, and she can’t help but feel that there is something not right with them. Her being on a loose end prompts her to spy on her new neighbors and that sets off a series of events that touch the lives of every person in the gated community and exposes them for who they really are. Most importantly, we get to know who the couple are and what are their ulterior motives.

The author has aimed to take the reader on a twisted, rollercoaster ride filled with one revelation after another. However, almost all the twists feel as if they have been written in for the sake of shocking the reader, with no organic flow within the story. They don’t add much depth to the story at all. Also, the story took a very long time to actually reach the main plot and it took some effort for me not to stop reading until about halfway through the book.

It does pick up speed and manage to capture the reader’s interest after the midway point. But I just couldn’t care for any of the characters; hence I had very little emotional connection to the story. I can see where the author aimed to do with the book but it falls just short of her vision. This is a fairly decent thriller with few psychological aspects woven through it. Do check it out if you don’t mind reading a story that surprises you constantly, albeit while obtaining with little emotional investment.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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