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Plotting the crime

Shari Lapena follows up her bestselling thriller The Couple Next Door with another domestic nailbiter BY NABEN RUTHNUM

PROFILE

The tyranny of the outline almost stopped Shari Lapena from writing her first thriller, 2016’s The Couple Next Door. “I couldn’t come up with a plot outline that would work,” says Lapena. “I thought, ‘I don’t think like a thriller writer,’ and that stopped me for years. And then I finally thought of trying a thriller the way I do my literary books, and it went fine. I always thought thrillers had to be plotted first, but they don’t.”

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