author: Darby Kane
published: 28 December 2021
publisher: William Morrow
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices?
Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée.
Searching for clues means investigating her own family. And she doesn’t like what she finds. A laptop filled with incriminating information. Other women.
But when Elisa becomes friends with Josh’s new girlfriend and starts to question things she thinks are true, Elisa wonders if the memories of a horrible incident a year ago have finally pushed her over the edge and Josh is really innocent. With so much at stake, Elisa fights off panic attacks and a strange illness. Is it a breakdown or something more? The race is on to get to the truth before another disappearance because there’s a killer in the family… or is there?
I loved Darby Kane’s debut novel, The Perfect Wife, so I spent months looking forward to this book. And it did not disappoint me.
One of my favorite character types in thrillers is the unreliable narrator. Elisa fit that role perfectly. There were so many shades of gray about her, making the reader question just how much of what is happening to her is real and how much of it may be little more than fragments of a somewhat damaged mind. She was, in my opinion, an incredibly sympathetic character. At some prior to the beginning of the book, she lived through an horrifyingly traumatic event, one that forever changed her. Now she’s left dealing with PTSD. And yes, that leads to an oft-overused trope… the rather weak, mentally unstable, pill-popping woman who is left open to gaslighting and condescension by the men, and often women, in her life. But that felt real, integral to the story.
The way the Elisa was treated was so well written that I often had an almost visceral reaction to it. There were times when I had to set down my book, walk away, and take some calming breaths. I felt her angst, her hurt, her confusion, her pain… all as if it were my own. My need for her to be believed, to be taken seriously, kept me turning the pages. The suspense was in play from the first page to the last, though so many twists and turns.
I loved this book and can’t want for the next!
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