Goodreads summary of The Couple In The Photo By Helen Cooper (review below):
From the author of The Downstairs Neighbor and The Other Guest comes a propulsive suspense novel that asks how far you would go to keep a friend’s secret.
For years, Lucy and her husband, Adam, have been best friends with another couple, Cora and Scott. The four are practically family at this point–they vacation together, co-own a beach cottage, and their young children are inseparable. So Lucy is devastated when looking at a colleague’s photos of a trip to the Maldives, she spots a picture of Scott, apparently on a luxurious holiday with another woman.
Lucy is determined to protect her best friend from her husband’s seeming infidelity, but when she learns that the woman in the photo has gone missing, she can’t help but fear that Scott is involved. As she searches for answers, she uncovers secrets about her friends and her own husband that could destroy the wonderful lives they have built…and she suspects that everybody around her knows much more about the missing woman than they are letting on. Is Lucy actually the one most in the dark? If so, what are the consequences of discovering the truth?
**Nope. I Couldn’t do a “five reasons to read” post. The Couple In The Photo is much more than five reasons to read. So much is interconnected. It is hard to separate out, and that is a high compliment since I’ve been trying to stick to that format.**
The Couple In The Photo By Helen Cooper: Review
The Couple In The Photo by Helen Cooper is an absolute must-read for thriller fans. From the mysterIES to thrills and suspense, Helen Cooper gets the assignment and goes for extra credit.
Helen Cooper’s writing shines throughout the story. It is seamless prose that never bogs down the suspense. Furthermore, if anything, it ups the stakes. The Couple In The Photo is both beautifully written and breathtaking (literally).
That was the no-going back moment. A Moment that seemed to have ripples gliding off it, forward and backward in time.
Additionally, the structure of the story is well plotted out. While the story is told mainly through Lucy’s point of view, there is an unknown narrator. The unidentified narrator pops up without warning, giving clues and adding to the mystery all at once. While having one point of view can sometimes become repetitive and boring, this is not the case in The Couple In The Photo. In fact, I would argue that while there could have been point-of-view chapters from Adam, Cora, or Scott, that would have been the wrong call. By limiting the story to Lucy’s point of view, you don’t get all the inner thoughts of the other main characters. Again, this adds to the intrigue of the entire story.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Everything decision Helen Cooper made was spot on and enhanced the story.
There isn’t just one central mystery in The Couple In The Photo. Oh, no. There are a multitude of mysteries to be solved and secrets to unravel. Moreover, they are all interconnected. I burned brain cells, trying to put the pieces into place. To solve the puzzles and connect how they domino into each other. Add to that the gaslighting! Oh, the gaslighting! You don’t even know if you are dealing with an unreliable narrator or not. To reiterate, all of it is connected in one way or another. It is magnificent.
Also, see my Can’t Wait Wednesday post (linked) for The Couple In The Photo.
Pacing? Non-existent. It is more like racing than pacing. The couple in the photo kicks off with a bang, immediately dropping the first twist! And it never stops from there. The plane takes off from the airport and flies at 30,000 feet. The plane only lands at its very last twist, with mysteries coming together and secrets unraveled.
And oh boy, about those twists. Even if you can sort out one or two of them (truthfully, I could not), the rest will give you whiplash. None of this indicates that Helen Cooper has written a confusing psychological thriller. Instead, because of the multitude of layers and connected mysteries, there is much to reveal directly and concisely. This goes back to the pacing. Because The Couple In The Photo is concise, not a word to waste or repeat, it keeps that plane flying.
Thank you to G.P. Puntman’s Sons and Penguin RandomHouse Audio for an advance copy of The Couple In The Photo By Helen Cooper, which will be released on December 5th
The mysteries aren’t the only part with layers. The characters are so intertwined, knee-deep in all, that they might seem one-dimensional at first, but soon, you find they are anything but.
A wave of worst-case scenarios crashed through her mind. What if <they> had not only cheated… but had gone to makse sure <they> never found out? What if the hint of Jekyll and hyde they’d witnessed in Norfolk was only the tip of an unimaginable ice-beg?
It isn’t just the main characters that are layered with secrets and mystery. Side characters central to the mysteries but not presently in the picture are chock full of the same.
Put it all together, and you have a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, keep your brain burning, and keep you on the edge of your see until the very last moment. If you don’t read The Couple In The Photo By Helen Cooper, you are reading all wrong.