Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us continues the domestic suspense boom readers have noticed in crime fiction publishing of late. Theirs is the story of a marriage, the story of an affair, and the story of the truth between these two commonplace circumstances.
Plotwise, The Wife Between Us is another of those books that benefits from unspoiled exposure, so plot revelations will be minimal. The above paragraph tells you more than you need to know to get lost in the situation on offer.
The Wife Between Us navigates psychological suspense tropes in a way that will fool many readers – casting a spell of comprehension and an illusion of understanding before the willful manipulation at hand is exposed. Most readers will not mind finding that they have been misled, but veterans of the genre may see the authors’ angle earlier than desired, however the strength of the complex plotting still makes for a fully satisfying reading experience.
Few novels have used the idea of multiple timelines as skillfully as does The Wife Between Us. The twisted nature of time within the constructs of this suspense novel is certainly the most important element in ensuring its success. What seems like a simple strategy designed to delay the denouement is actually a fascinating and effective method of shielding the truth from the reader. And Hendricks and Pekkanen definitely want to surprise readers. The final few chapters of the novel do not skimp on true a-ha moments – as last-minute revelations turn the novel’s action on its head not just once, but several times.
As a co-written novel, it is also worth noting that these two voices blend so seamlessly that it is impossible to suss out exactly how this collaboration was handled. Readers will certainly hope that these two women choose to work together again soon.
Some readers may feel that there are too many domestic suspense novels at the moment, but those fans who enjoy this sub-genre know that while there are often common themes within these stories, there is also always something new to be uncovered. The Wife Between Us shows that finding a new way to tell an old tale can effectively breathe new life into it.
MD/DC/VA folks: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen will be appearing at A Likely Story Bookstore in Sykesville on Thursday, January 11th @7pm. I will be there, so please say hello if you should decide to attend. Both authors are on tour nationwide, so do look for appearances in your area.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.