ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press for review
As you read The Wife Between Us (yes, I’m already assuming you’re going to), you’ll have flashes of other books or movies. It might be the controlling husband in Sleeping with the Enemy, or the unreliable, alcoholic narrator in Girl on the Train. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen take advantage of that, crafting a domestic thriller that initially has you thinking you have it all figured out. Turn by clever turn, you’ll realize you know nothing. I was 80 pages in and still trying to figure out who the problem was — Richard, the husband; Nellie, the fiancee, or Vanessa, the ex.
The Wife Between Us paints a complex picture of marriage and the things we’re willing to excuse in the name of love. Richard has shades of the husband in the aforementioned Sleeping with the Enemy and to some extent Jack in Behind Closed Doors. They are seemingly perfect, successful husbands who are isolating their spouses and shaping them into a reflection of the lives they want to be seen leading — perfect wife, perfect life. Nellie is drawn as a young, somewhat naive pre-school teacher impressed by Richard’s worldliness (knowledge of classical music and Burgundian wines). Vanessa is the cast aside model, who lives with her aunt and can’t keep a job because she’s managing her pain with alcohol.
As the marketing tells us, “When you read this book, you will make assumptions.” And oh, you do. What at first seems to be a story about revenge and punishment is anything but. Once it ramps up the action, The Wife Between Us is satisfyingly fast-paced with twists and turns I can only call jaw-dropping. Although I tend to be a reader who takes things at face value, I was looking for the clues and still found myself surprised with the final twists. This one has book club written all over it.
Read an excerpt from The Wife Between Us.