Sunday, 14 January 2018

Book Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Title: The Wife Between Us

Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Pages: 353

Publication: 2nd January (ebook) 8th February (hardback) by Macmillan

TW: hazing, domestic abuse

1 line synopsis: the tale of the wife, the mistress, and the husband is a well-trodden path by now, but this one is different (I promise)



Review:

In some ways, this is a classic domestic noir. It’s about white middle-class people living in NYC and features a triangle between wife, husband, and mistress. In other ways, it is refreshing in its complexity and its trickery of the reader. It is incredibly well-paced up until a point (more on that later) and really pulls you in, creating an extremely addictive page-turner that surprises you at many points.

I’m pretty well-versed in domestic noir plots and their unlikeable characters, so I thought that I had this all figured out after about a quarter, and I thought that I was going to be disappointed yet again by a marketing campaign that, whilst not specifically mentioning Gone Girl, was definitely giving off that vibe. Like the synopsis says, I made a lot of assumptions and I was wrong and it felt so good! I haven’t read such a book as this since Gone Girl, which makes me think that it was an expert move to not refer to it because as many of us know, as soon as that comparison is made, high expectations often result in disappointment.

Up until the first twist, I was convinced that this was going to be a new favourite, a 4 star read at least. However after this point, the book went downhill quite a lot for me. Suddenly, the pace slowed dramatically and it became a lot harder to want to read on because things were less thrilling and more average domestic noir. Saying that, I did still read this within a day, but towards the end it definitely felt more like just wanting to finish the book.


The ending of The Wife Between Us was already a bit naff and the revelations that were made just left me feeling a bit ‘meh’, but then I read the epilogue and ‘meh’ turned to active dislike. It is so hard to pull of an epilogue with a Big Twist and I’m yet to read many books that do it well - I highly recommend I See You by Clare Mackintosh as an example of a book that achieves this coveted thriller goal. For me, the epilogue in The Wife Between Us adds another dimension to the story throughout that just isn’t necessary, and is linked to a storyline in the main body of the story which, whilst I appreciate had to be there, also felt far less interesting.

Overall, if you’re looking for something that’s in the same vein of Gone Girl, I would definitely say The Wife Between Us is for you, despite its flaws. It’s absorbing, refreshing, complex, and the first big twist was a delight to read. In the end, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is out NOW as an ebook (currently 98p only!) and is being published in hardback on the 8th February.