‘’It’s the stuff of every parent’s nightmare. Anne and Marco Conti’s babysitter cancels at the last minute. Invited to their next-door neighbours’ for dinner, they decide their six-month-old baby, Cora, will be fine asleep in her cot at home alone, if they check on her at half-hour intervals and have a baby monitor running.

Anne, in the middle of postnatal depression and watching her husband flirt, doesn’t really want to be there, knows they shouldn’t have left the child alone. “What kind of mother does such a thing? She feels the familiar agony set in – she is not a good mother.” Sometime after 1am, she persuades a drunk Marco to leave, and they return home to an open front door, Cora not in her cot, and the end of their life as they know it.’’

Penguin SA is giving away two signed hard back copies of The Couple Next Door. E-mail your name and contact details to to stand a chance to win.7-book