Mystery/Thriller

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

I was serious when I mentioned I was going to make an effort to read more books on marriages. I will be honest, I literally chose it because its title made it pretty obvious that this story was going to be about marriage. I was surprised to find out that there would be some murder mystery thrown in there that wasn’t necessarily related to the marriage. Anyways, here is my review:

Lily never thought she would get married and settle down. But then she marries Ed, and vows to make a fresh start and leave the secrets of her past behind. When she takes on her first murder case at her law firm, she meets convicted murderer Joe. And he is more than meets the eye. Lily isn’t the only one harboring secrets. Her next-door neighbour Carla may only be 9 years old, but she already knows secrets are a powerful currency. And Carla knows just how to use them to get what she wants. When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

Does this premise sound confusing? It did to me, when I first read it. But it is also pretty accurate and doesn’t give away too many details. This story pursued a lot of different angles. On one hand, Lily is struggling in her marriage with Ed for a variety of reasons. But she is also struggling with her case, as it dredges up things in her past that she would rather keep hidden. The author did quite a good job of intertwining these 2 aspects to show the chaos that reigns in Lily’s life. Carla is another very interesting character in that she is a child I both hated and pitied at the same time. I think that the author actually did a fantastic job in creating her; it is not easy to make a reader both hate and pity a character. In the first half of the novel, the story is easy enough to parse out, and both Carla and Lily’s behaviours are easy to understand. However, the second half, which takes place 16 years later, is more convoluted. A lot of it didn’t really need to happen and I was especially confused by Carla’s motivations. Usually, my attention wanes at this point and it becomes a chore for me to finish the novel. But this time, I couldn’t stop reading. For some reason, I found myself completely engrossed in the story, wanting to know more. I stuck with the novel until the very last page. I don’t know if it is the author’s writing style or something else about the story, but it just had this edge to it that made it hard to pull away from this novel, even when you probably should have. This wasn’t the best thriller I’ve ever read, but I still enjoyed the story for the most part. I think another pitfall for this novel (apart from the second half being a bit of a drag) was that the title and cover didn’t really reflect the story as well as it could have. But overall, I’m giving this a 3.5/5 stars, rounded to 4.

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