Thursday, February 22, 2024

The New Couple in 5B

The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger
3/5/24; 384 pages
Park Row Books 

The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger is a mystery merged with a supernatural horror novel set in NYC in a historic Manhattan apartment building in Murray Hill on Park Avenue. It is highly recommended.

Rosie and Chad Lowan are living in NYC and struggling. Rosie is a true crime writer and Chad is an actor. Right now she needs a new book proposal accepted and he needs a good role. During this same time the two have spent the last year caring for his dying uncle Ivan. Much to their surprise, Ivan has left his multi-million-dollar apartment in the historic Windermere to them rather than his estranged daughter, Dana. She is furious that she was not only cut out of Ivan's will but that he gave the apartment to Rosie and Chad.

Rosie focuses the subject of her next book the Windermere. The building had been the scene of many gruesome accidents, murders, and incidents over the years. Even living there, Rosie can feel the dark history and is sure she saw a ghost. It is certainly a weird atmosphere present. Cameras are watching everywhere, the old elevator requires an operator, and Abi, the longtime doorman seemingly always there. When two different murders occur, Rosie begins to wonder if a building can be cursed as she also questions the integrity of those around her.

Interspersed between the chapters following Rosie during the present day happenings are chapters set in the 60' told from the point-of-view of Willa, a married woman who lived in the same apartment before Ivan. Both the story from the past and the present day intrigue are suspenseful and increase the tension surrounding the story and the Windermere. While reading you will become increasingly concerned and anxious about Rosie's safety - and Willa's in the past. Rosie is a great character, however I wanted her to get a clue earlier.

Unger is a go-to writer for me who always excels at well-written, un-put-downable thrillers. The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger met all those features, adding a supernatural element to the mystery. I can't say I was a huge fan of the paranormal plot elements, but I was glued to the pages regardless of my hesitancy. There is enough going on that is sinister and creepy that the tension would build anyway. There are some great twists along the way too. 

Not my top-rated Lisa Unger novel, but she set the bar pretty high with all her previous five star books. If you like a mix of the supernatural with a mystery, this would be an excellent choice for you. Thanks to Park Row Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via Edelweiss. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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