Review Blog

Mar 16 2020

The wife and the widow by Christian White

cover image

Affirm Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781925712858. 320pp.
(Age: Mature 16+) Recommended for fans of the mystery genre. This thriller kept me reading to the end to try and work out what the twist was that was mentioned in the Author's Note. I often skip to the end to read this type of note and when warned to turn back, I did so, with a heightened sense of anticipation. The story is told in alternative chapters from two perspectives, that of Kate whose husband doesn't return home when promised and who has been deceiving her and his family, and that of Abby a woman who works at the general store on the island where Kate's husband John has a holiday house. As Kate investigates her husband's disappearance, secrets emerge that will change her life forever.
This is a quick and easy read and what keeps the reader going is not just the mystery about why Kate's husband lied to her and who killed him and her connection to Abby, but the detailed description of the characters of the two women and the people who surround them. Kate is a passive stay at home wife until she feels compelled to uncover the mystery of her husband's death, and Abby has the unusual hobby of being a taxidermist, using road kill as her specimens.
The atmosphere of the island where the locals rely on rich summer tourists but resent them, also adds to the feeling of secrecy and deception. The reader is continually wondering what has happened to bring Kate's husband back to the island which he said he didn't like.
Author of The nowhere child, another thriller, White certainly knows how to keep his reader in the dark about what is happening and the twist at the end is certainly not one that I expected - the sign of a really good psychological mystery.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries