Friday, March 15, 2024

Review: The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger

by Lisa Unger
Release Date: March 5, 2024
2024 Park Row
Ebook ARC; 382 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778333340
Audiobook: B0C798PQC5
Genre: Fiction / Suspense / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

2 / 5 Stars

Rosie and Chad Lowan are barely making ends meet in New York City when they receive life-changing news: Chad’s late uncle has left them his luxury apartment at the historic Windermere in glamorous Murray Hill. 

At first, the building and its eclectic tenants couldn’t feel more welcoming. But as the Lowans settle into their new home, Rosie starts to suspect that there’s more to the Windermere than meets the eye. Why is the doorman ever-present? Why are there cameras everywhere? And why have so many gruesome crimes occurred there throughout the years? When one of the neighbors turns up dead, Rosie must get to the truth about the Windermere before she, too, falls under its dangerous spell.
My Thoughts
The New Couple in 5B had an interesting premise, and I definitely love stories about older apartment buildings that tend to have shadier pasts. The story moved along rather quickly and there were parts that were engaging, but I felt like it tried too hard to be spooky, adding in paranormal elements that really had no relevancy to the story. 
First of all, I wasn't a fan of the character development in this book. Rosie is described as this big researcher, having written a non-fiction book that has sold moderately well, and is currently doing research on, you guessed it, the apartment building to which she is moving.  While I didn't dislike Rosie, I can't stand it when an author makes a character so stubborn they can't see the roots for the trees, and this is the case with Rosie, as in my husband is so kind, loving, perfect with me, therefore there is no way he can be mean, nasty or whatever to anyone else.  It's not the blind devotion that bothered me, but the fact she didn't do any research about any of those people who are in her life that bothered me. There is a mention about her hesitancy over the keyboard, but that's as far as it goes.  Really?  I'm a researcher and I research EVERYTHING!!!  
And Max. His story line didn't make sense either.  Just trying to throw some controversy in this book, but that whole story line bothered me so much, from the lawyer right down to Rosie's reaction. It gave me such 'ick' feelings, I didn't want to read any more about it. Do better. Same with Willa's story.  I really hope the author wasn't expecting me to feel sorry for someone who pretty much cheated and threatened everyone around her.  That's how it felt coming across the pages, but I am totally on the husband's side and the young boy's.

And the rest of the secondary characters, while I enjoyed them, I do like some development when something happens or when they do something unexpected. Which leads me to plot development. Because this story revolves around the characters' motivations, it is more character led, than plot led, but I definitely need to really understand their motivations and reasons, something I don't really feel came across well in these pages.  There were a lot of coincidences and assumptions used to move the plot along, both of these I think are weak tools to use when trying to move the plot forward.  

The New Couple in 5B suffered from a clear lack of motivations from most of the characters which left me feeling somewhat disconnected from both the plot and the characters.  It was a quick read however, and there were parts that I did enjoy.  However, the plot is somewhat predictable, the characters lack depth, and some of the plot points don't actually go anywhere, like the paranormal stuff. Overall, one that was full of potential, but definitely fell short of the mark for me. 



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