Disclaimer: An advanced copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Publisher/publication details can be found at the bottom of the page.
Beth Murphy is on the run. After years of living with an abusive partner she’s finally acting on a plan to escape – a plan that’s taken more than two years to execute. Despite having a new identity and disguise, Beth knows that one wrong move will land her back in the terrifying home she is so desperate to escape.
Sabine Hardison is missing. Her husband, Jeffrey, returns home to find her gone, and so begins a desperate search to locate her, led by a detective who will stop at nothing to close the case. It doesn’t take long before Sabine’s secrets start seeping out, painting a picture of a woman whose life is not what it always seemed to be.
Dear Wife tells the story of two women, exploring how far they will go to escape abuse and hide secrets and just how much they are willing to sacrifice for a new life. Over the course of the novel readers are led on a perilous, thrilling journey to uncover how Beth and Sabine are connected, who is responsible for their disappearances, and what their futures will hold. Filled with twists, turns, and shocking revelations, Dear Wife should be at the top of your summer reading list.
Kimberly Belle, bestselling author of Three Days Missing, is a gifted suspense writer, creating an intricate and compelling plot in her latest novel. In a market saturated with thrillers, suspense novels, and police procedurals, Dear Wife stands out. The plot twists will genuinely catch readers by surprise, and Belle’s deep exploration of abuse and relationships feels authentic, raw and, most importantly, not exploitative. Like Gillian Flynn’s runaway bestseller Gone Girl, Dear Wife is both a thrilling mystery story and an exploration of womanhood and marriage. The women at the centre of Dear Wife are flawed. They lie, they steal, they cheat. But despite what they’ve done and still may do, neither of them are deserving of the circumstances they’ve found themselves in. They’re stories are told boldly. Belle doesn’t shy away from the gritty details of their lives, and her sharp, to-the-point writing keeps the story moving quickly.
Dear Wife unfolds from three different perspectives: those of Beth, Jeffrey, and police detective Marcus. None of the narrators are completely honest, and readers are left to form their own opinions about who has the most to hide, and the most to lose. The constant swapping of perspectives keeps the story moving quickly, though at times it feels like each character could do with being a little more fleshed out. Beth’s story in particular could have been a bit more detailed and nuanced, though Belle does a good job of capturing the fear that has caused her to leave her husband behind.
Dear Wife is a quick, fun read, and one that’s worth picking up if you’re a fan of the suspense genre. It will make a great read for the beach or a road trip.
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada, Park Row
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Page Count: 384
Genre: Suspense, thriller, police procedural.
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