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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The New Couple in 5B


🎧 Vivienne Leheny

Harlequin Audio

ISBN: 9780778333340

Publisher: Park Row Books

Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)



A couple inherits an apartment with a spine-tingling past in this unputdownable thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six.


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. With its prewar elegance and impeccably uniformed doorman, the building is the epitome of old New York charm. One would almost never suspect the dark history lurking behind its perfectly maintained facade.


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.







About the Author



Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twenty one novels including her upcoming THE NEW COUPLE IN 5B. With books published in thirty-three languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is regarded as a master of suspense.


Unger’s critically acclaimed novels have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, L.A. Times, The Boston Globe, Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Strand Critics, Audie, Hammett, Macavity, ITW Thriller, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery and Suspense, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. Lisa is the current co-President of the International Thriller Writers organization.


She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.


Connect with Lisa





Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.


INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW.



"Behind the Book & The Author"

With New York Times Bestselling

Author Lisa Unger





Welcome to the March 2024 #AuthorElevatorSeries —and joining us for the second time, a personal and fan favorite, special guest author, Lisa Unger, with her twenty-first novel—her highly anticipated psychological thriller, THE NEW COUPLE IN 5B.

Join us as Lisa shares some fascinating behind-the-scenes exclusives from the book and up-close and personal fun moments!


Welcome, Lisa!




Behind the Book



Q. Give us your best ELEVATOR PITCH for THE NEW COUPLE IN 5B.


LISA: Rosie and Chad Lowan’s luck has been all bad recently — until they inherit a dream apartment in an iconic New York City building. But as soon as they move in, strange and frightening things start to happen. Rosie, a true crime writer, starts to dig into the dark past of The Windermere. And when her neighbor turns up dead, she knows she must discover the building's secrets before she too falls under its spell.



Q. INSPIRATION: The spark that ignited the novel or series. Where were you when the idea came to you?


LISA: There were a couple of things that collided to become the spark for this novel. The Windermere, my fictional building in the novel, is inspired by the real life apartment owned by my very glamorous aunt. As a kid, I was awed by her and what I saw as the ultimate city life. But she was a complicated woman and so our visits with her were layered. That feeling stayed with me and surfaced in this book.


Recently, I had occasion to re-read Rosemary’s Baby by the great Ira Levin. And there were pieces of that iconic novel that inspired parts of this book, mainly that twist between a place you want to call home but which has an underpinning of malevolence. Houses and apartments have always figured prominently in my work. Here I found myself exploring the idea of love and family and the desire to create a life, in an environment that is working against you.



Q. SETTING: Tell us more about the book setting and why you selected it.


LISA: New York City is my first love. It figured prominently in my life as a child, as a college student, and as a young professional. There’s a city that belongs only to me, a mosaic of my experiences there, my imagination, the real place, the idealized place. In many ways, though I haven’t lived there in a long time, it’s the city I know best. And The Windermere typifies a kind of nostalgic, fantasy New York — a place and time that maybe never existed except in my dreams.



Some “Behind the Scenes” Fun Facts


  • The vibe was loosely inspired by Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby.

  • The Murray Hill apartment is based on an actual one, which belonged to my late Aunt Phyllis, and the descriptions are pulled completely from my childhood memory. To this day, her sunny two-bedroom remains the iconic New York City dream dwelling. The building, The Windermere, is fictional.

  • Bestselling author, New York Times Book Review critic, and friend Sarah Weinman gave me lots of insight into how true crime writers do their research. Sarah’s searing and important article in The Cut was the inspiration for my character Rosie’s fictional first true crime book.



Now for more up close and personal with Lisa. Continue below.



Behind the Author



BIRTH STATE? or (Country)

Connecticut

CURRENT STATE?

Florida – don’t judge me!

ZODIAC SIGN?

Taurus

FAVORITE THING ABOUT WHERE YOU RESIDE?

It’s wild natural beauty.

FAVORITE FLOWER?

Ghost Orchid

FAVORITE COLOR?

Black

MORNING/NIGHT PERSON?

Morning person.

DOG/CAT LOVER?

Dog person who also loves cats.

FAVORITE HOBBY?

Yoga

IF YOU WERE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR ALONE WITH ONE CELEBRITY, AUTHOR, OR CHARACTER— WHO WOULD IT BE? (Male or Female)\

Truman Capote

THE FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN AUTHOR—THE ONE YOU CANNOT STOP THINKING OF.

IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote

FAVORITE HOLIDAY OR SEASON?

Christmas, which is also my daughter’s birthday. It’s a magical time for our family.

IF YOU WERE GRANTED 3 MONTHS OF UNINTERRUPTED WRITING TIME—WHERE WOULD IT BE?

There’s a beautiful hotel call Sensi in The Azores. That’s where I would go.

YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?

I have a beautiful office in a fourth floor loft in my house. That’s my happy place.



Thank you, Lisa, for spending time with us today!








Praise


“A tense, twisty thriller. One of [Unger’s] best books yet.” —Kirkus (starred review)


“Lisa Unger, you've done it again!"

—Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emmy Award-winning actress


“If The Shining’s Overlook Hotel were a luxury apartment building, it might resemble The Windermere—architecturally stunning, a tribute to a gilded past, yet deeply sinister. I was terrified the moment Rosie and Chad moved in. The New Couple in 5B is another thrilling, twisty hit from master of suspense Lisa Unger.”

—Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines


“Lisa Unger never misses, so it’s no surprise that I loved her newest thriller. The New Couple in 5B is dark, atmospheric, and addictive from the first page right up until the shocking ending. An absolutely riveting read from one of the genre’s best—just remember to breathe.”

—Jennifer Hillier, USA TODAY bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark


“The tension just keeps building in Unger’s latest dark and twisty delight. Come for the gonzo plot, but stay to be haunted by a history-soaked old New York apartment building that feels more like a sinister character than a setting, and for bright, ambitious, clear-eyed Rosie, whose voice stuck with me long after I turned the final page. I loved it, and you will, too.”

—Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of With My Little Eye


“Lisa Unger keeps finding new ways to prove she’s among the best in the business. Packed with heart, tension, and fever-dream fear, The New Couple in 5B delivers domestic suspense with a gleaming Gothic edge that would make the great Ira Levin proud.”

—Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of An Honest Man


“Lisa Unger writes with the totality of her heart—and her wickedness. The New Couple in 5B has both on glorious display. Who else could artfully marry a nail-biting domestic suspense novel with a ghostly edge worthy of Du Maurier? This one screams. I read it in a single sitting.”

—Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of Lone Wolf


“Lisa Unger creates the perfect creepy setting for this superb psychological thriller, which is beautifully crafted and deliciously unsettling. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”

—Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Lies


“Unger’s novels are textbook examples of perfect suspense fiction, and this title is no different. As we race through the narrative, we watch in terror as 'something dark is on the horizon' becomes something dark that is right next to you. And we are helpless to stop it. Love New York? Then this super accurate portrayal of the City is doubly fun.”

FirstCLUE



Awards and Honors

  • BookBub Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2024

  • BookPage Most Anticipated Mystery & Suspense of 2024

  • GoodReads Readers' Most Anticipated Mysteries & Thrillers of 2024

  • CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2024

  • SheReads Most Anticipated Thrillers, Mystery & Suspense of 2024

  • Deadly Pleasures Most Anticipated Mysteries & Thrillers of 2024

  • Novel Suspects Most Anticipated Crime Fiction Novels of 2024

  • Gen Twenty Can't Miss Books To Read In 2024













My Review


NYT bestselling author (a long-time favorite) and the master of suspense, Lisa Unger returns following Christmas Presents, Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, The Last Girl Ghosted and Confessions on the 7:45 with her latest smashing nail-biting psychological thriller THE NEW COUPLE IN 5B.


Inspired by the author's late aunt, her love of NYC, the buildings, and Rosemary's Baby, a couple inherits a historical New York apartment and turns into a haunting Gothic-vibe spine-chilling suspense thriller!


Rosie and Chad Lowan barely get by financially in New York City when they receive some grand news. Her book money is running out, and Chad has a low-paying gig in an off-Broadway production. It takes all they have to live here, and their rent just went up in the East Village. They have been married less than a year.


Chad's Uncle, Ivan, whom they had been caring for, has passed and left them his luxury apartment at the historic Windermere in glamorous Murray Hill. He died penniless, and this is his only asset. They assumed it would go to his daughter Dana.


It has lots of history, pre-war elegance, and a uniformed doorman with Old-world New York charm. However, the building is almost like a character—its history is dark and mysterious.


Rose is an author, estranged from her family, and still riding on her last book when she meets with her editor, Max. Her first book was a true crime about a young Manhattan woman, her fight with justice, and a wrongly convicted man. It has been a year since that book with the paperback about to be released.


She is writing a new book about an iconic Manhattan apartment building on Park Avenue. She is home to famous residents, a bestselling novelist, a celebrated sculptor, and a young stage and screen star.


It has dark secrets, grisly murders, suicides, and terrible accidents. From history, architecture, how it was built on the site of an old church that burned down and, she wants to focus on the crimes, the colorful, diverse cast of characters that reside there, and the stories of the ones who died there, including Chad's Uncle Ivan, a renowned war photographer.


His daughter Dana has not been around or interested in Ivan or his final days. Rose has befriended the doorman, Abi, a wealth of knowledge. He has said some folks do not get to leave the Windermere. He said some were destined to die there.


She needs to focus more on the darkness of the building, its crimes, and the people. Are they cursed or haunted? What about the energy and encouraging the dark happenings? She will rewrite and focus less on the architecture and the building.


During their lunch discussion, a biker is killed right outside the restaurant window. Is it a dark omen of dark things to come?


Chad lost his parents in a car accident, and now that the Uncle is gone, they are alone. They must make it work. He will get a commercial, and she will rework her book proposal, and Max, her editor, will love it.


They are shocked when they find out Dana did not inherit the apartment. Dana says he was a monster, drunk, and abused her mother. However, the entire world praised him for his art. It turns out Dana gets nothing.


Ivan had admitted his failings as a father and husband to them. He was a war photographer with lots of images of mayhem and gore. War criminals.


Rosie and Chad cannot believe their luck. It is worth five million, and what a view! Can they afford the taxes? What if Dana sues? They can always sell, move to the suburbs, and raise a family. A new home and a new book!


With a well-appointed marble lobby infused with rich details. The neighbors, the doorman, the security cameras, the storage units. All looks good in the beginning. UNTIL...


What has taken place between all the horror inside the walls? Soon, Rosie becomes unsettled by everything surrounding her in the building. Everything is chilling and scary: suspicious murders, suicides, the neighbors, the doorman, the cameras, etc.—the secrets of the past and present. CREEPY!


Then, she begins researching the famous yet mysterious people who lived there previously. She is determined to find the truth before she falls under its dangerous spell. Then she sees ghosts...


Wow! THE NEW COUPLE IN 5B is atmospheric, spine-tingling, eerie, intense, tense, twisty, and unsettling! A perfect blending of domestic suspense, Gothic, supernatural, and murder mystery with ghostly, classic horror. With the chapters broken out in Acts, it gives a Shakespearian and Agatha Christie vibe as well.


The dual timelines keep you glued to the pages, and the author carefully peels the layers back, keeping you on the edge of your seat. I particularly enjoyed the timeline of past generations, which was mysterious and intriguing.


I also enjoyed that Rosie was a true crime writer, and I have always been fascinated with haunted buildings with a past and all the lives that have come and gone over the years. I have lived in some high rises similar to this.


If you have been a fan of the author as long as I have, you will enjoy mentions of Beautiful Lies and The Hollows. No one could have written it better. #CoverCrush


Unger fans will devour and also fans of Riley Sager, Jennifer McMahon, Jennifer Hillier, Ruth Ware, and Carol Goodman. Lisa also includes other book titles significant to her research and her inspiration in the Acknowledgements. I LOVED this one, as all her books! Get this one on your TBR list now.


UPCOMING INTERVIEW: Stay tuned for March 5 for my #AuthorElevatorSeries with Lisa, where we go behind the scenes of The New Couple in 5B and this multi-talented author.


Thanks to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a gifted digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Mar 5, 2024









Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries Q&A Interview with Lisa where we go behind the book CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 and this multi-talented author!


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