Review: The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger

The New Couple in 5BThe New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

The New Couple in 5B follows a married couple, Rosie and Chad, as they try to navigate life in the uber-expensive rat race that is NYC. They’re both struggling artists of a sort, Rosie is a nonfiction writer and Chad is an actor, so they’re just trying to make ends meet any way they can.

That’s why when they receive news that Chad’s recently deceased Uncle Ivan has bequeathed to them his fully-paid off luxury apartment, it seems like they’ve won the lottery.

To Rosie the inheritance is a surprise, but it also make sense. Ivan had been quite ill before his passing and she and Chad took care of him when no one else in the family stepped up, including Ivan’s own daughter, Dana.

The apartment itself is located in the desirable neighborhood of Murray Hill on the East side of Manhattan. The building it is housed in, the Windermere, is well-known as a haven for creative types and boasts a rich cultural history.

As the couple settles in, Rosie, frequently left home alone while Chad is out working, starts to feel unsettled by the building and its other residents.

The doorman, Abi, is always there; as in, it’s like he never sleeps. He’s also always listening, with a intercom within their apartment that he is constantly connected to. There are cameras everywhere, and Rosie feels like her every move is under surveillance.

When people connected to the apartment unexpectedly and suspiciously die, Rosie feels like she could be next. She needs to get to the truth behind the Windermere before its too late. No inheritance is worth your life.

Lisa Unger and I haven’t had the best relationship, but this was quite entertaining. Unger has redeemed herself for me after the mess that was Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six.

This does have heavy, HEAVY Rosemary’s Baby vibes, but I’m not mad about it. Those are some solid vibes. We’ll take ’em.

I liked the unsettling feel of the property. Abi, the doorman, was an especially disturbing character, who even I wanted to get away from.

I do feel like the intensity built steadily as Rosie begins to become more and more suspicious of the Windermere and its residents. I also like the way it leaned into the Psychological Thriller genre. It felt like Rosie was on her own, like no one was going to believe her.

Rosie does have some allies, but her husband Chad felt like he could be friend and foe. I really appreciate that mystery surrounding his character. We got to know Rosie so much more than Chad, obviously by design, but I did feel like their relationship was framed perfectly to keep the suspense high.

There was a historical perspective that I wasn’t crazy about, but it did make sense in context with the overall story.

Personally, I just wish we could have received those details in a different way, as I found that perspective more distracting than anything. I just wanted to be with Rosie.

I did really enjoy how Unger kept me guessing though. It gets especially wild towards the end, but overall, yeah, I feel like this is engaging and entertaining, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

I did listen to the audiobook and would highly recommend that format. I did feel like the narration was very well-done, particularly as a voice for Rosie.

At the end of the day, I had fun with this.

I’m glad I picked it up and won’t hesitate to pick up more from this author in the future. I couldn’t say that before this book, so we have progress!

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