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Pretty Little Wife Review: Back-of-Book Description
Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?
Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.
A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….
With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.
This book was my pick for Book of the Month way back in November of 2020. It sat on my shelf for no particular reason – just didn’t feel compelled to read it right away. Then here we are nearing the end of 2021 and I wanted to fulfill a silly BOTM reading challenge of three debut authors in the year. I searched my available books and voila! Pretty Little Wife was on the list.
The premise itself is pretty interesting: woman kills husband, places body somewhere, body goes missing. It has the makings of a wonderful who-done-it with an interesting protagonist.
In reality, there were parts that felt a little clunky. A lot of reading about people’s confusion and suspicion. But overall it was a good story and a fairly quick read. It was 400 pages but I flew through it in under a week.
The main characters were pretty well written for the most part. They had interesting backstories and mentions of there being more to their life than the immediate story. But there were some instances where I wondered things like “is this really how a person would act?” or “is this really what a person would say?”
The setting was pretty general for a suspense/thriller – small town, some wooded areas. It wasn’t difficult to picture it all and it played into the story well.
For a debut novel, I think the writing was pretty good! Without giving anything away (this is spoiler-free after all) there were aspects of the plot, character actions, and ending that felt a little …wrong? I don’t know, it’s hard to explain without ruining the twist. It just seemed like maybe there were some continuity errors I guess.
But this is all my opinion, of course. Perhaps I missed something or am just projecting what I wished had happened.
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Favorite Quotes from Pretty Little Wife
“If only people who made bad decisions picked common sense instead.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions. That will just keep you from seeing what you need to see.”
“[She was] both grateful that they never strayed from being on the same page and wistful for what might have been if she were a different person.”
“This offensive strike was meant to throw her off balance. Little did he know that’s where she lived now. On the fringes, ready to fall into the abyss.”
So… I’m kind of torn on this. I’m gonna say 3.5 stars for Pretty Little Wife. I liked it and was compelled to keep reading to figure out what was going to happen. But there were things that felt off and as I got towards the very end, I was confused about the direction it took. It felt to me like a bit of a continuity error – but I’m also aware that maybe I just missed something?
Tough to tell. In any case – for a debut novel, it was good! It was a quick read and full of suspense and intrigue. I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers and is looking for something with strong female leads.
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