Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Wife Between Us

By Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
St. Martin’s Press      2018
352 pages     Thriller

The best thing I can do to introduce you to this thriller is to paste the publisher’s lead:
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Read between the lies.

I began reading the psychological thriller, The Wife Between Us, expecting it to be similar to Best Day Ever or Gone Girl or one of the several other unreliable female narrator thrillers that I have read over the past few years. About 1/3 of the way through, I sat up straight—what did I just read? I had to go back, reread, and I still wasn’t sure what had just happened. The first twist is amazing, and then the plot just keeps twisting and twisting. The female characters are at once vulnerable and powerful; the philandering husband is just what you would expect; and the decisions made by the characters are haunting. The thing I liked most about the women is that these are women that you know, women who think that they are going to “have it all” when they marry well, but nothing is as it seems at first glance. 

There is really not much more that can be said about the book that won’t give away the plot. This is all you are going to get out of me. I want you to jump up as I did and shout, “What did I just read?” All I can say is that revenge is sweet. 

The Wife Between Us is the first novel by the writing duo of Hendricks and Pekkanen. I was very intrigued by their partnership. Hendricks was Pekkanen’s editor for seven of Pekkanen’s novels, and they became fast friends and now writing partners. They wrote the pages of this novel separately, and then met once a month to edit what they wrote and share ideas. The writing is seamless and very skillfully done. Here is an article about their collaboration. The Wife Between Us is not out yet (January 9) but it has already been optioned for a movie by Stephen Spielberg’s company. 

Although the Kirkus reviewer was only mildly intrigued by The Wife Between Us, both Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal gave it starred reviews. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

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