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Reviews for Just the nicest couple

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

When a man disappears under suspicious circumstances, a young couple tries to cover their involvement while his wife begins to wonder what they know. When Christian Scott returns home to find his wife, Lily, upset and scared, he assumes at first that she's had another miscarriage. Instead, Lily shares with him a horrific story: While she was taking a walk at a nearby nature preserve, she'd run into Jake Hayes, the husband of her friend and fellow teacher Nina, and he dragged her into the forest and tried to rape her. She'd only escaped by hitting him on the head with a rock. This sets up the major conflict of the novel: Christian and Lily must try to cover Lily’s tracks in case the head wound turned out to be fatal. Nina and Jake had had a fight the night before, so Nina isn't surprised that she doesn't hear from him at first, but as she begins to realize Jake is missing and then goes to the police, she has no idea that Christian and Lily are working behind the scenes to protect Lily. Eventually she notices that something is wrong with their behavior, though, and she vacillates between investigating them and retreating to her mother's comforting arms. The chapters are divided between Christian's and Nina’s first-person perspectives, and the entire action unfurls after the crime has presumably been committed, which adds an intriguing layer to the suspense. There isn't much of a focus on the victim, as we never get to know Jake except through other people’s reminiscences. Instead, the possible suspects take center stage. The only weakness here is a common one in Kubica’s thrillers: The solution, when it comes, seems a somewhat unearned misdirection, but in this case, it also serves as a reminder that some characters are, as some people are, more invisible than others. Skillfully built tension will keep the pages turning. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.