Review: The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

Rating: 9/10

Synopsis

Kate is the widow. Determined to find the truth about what happened to her husband after he his found murdered, and his body washes up on the shore of their vacation home.

Abby is the wife who finds incriminating evidence against her husband, implicating him in a crime she could not believe he would commit.

As the paths of the wife and the widow cross, both will unlock shocking secrets about their husbands’ pasts and learn of a connection they did not know existed. As they both attempt to answer the question what really happened that night, a surprising truth will unfold and the lives of both women will be changed forever.

Review

I enjoy a good mystery/thriller; one that can take me to another place and make me analyze the setting, characters, and plot very closely. It forces me to use a different part of my brain – the area that looks for little details and clues in an attempt to solve the crime. The Wife and Widow did exactly that for me: it satiated that need for discovery and problem-solving, assuaging an itch that requires a scratch every once-in-a-while.

For starters, this book was very atmospheric. It takes place on a lazy island full of townies and seasonal tourists with second homes. It is just the perfect medium to explore a murder, where the locals have a sense pride and a lot of history, and the visitors are infringing on the home that most of the people who live there their wholes lives have worked to protect. At the same time, the local economy depends on the tourists’ money to thrive; so, there is some give-and-take between the two, along with a whole lot of bitterness. That cocktail of feelings adds to the ambience when the body of a season visitor is found and the bitterness underneath starts bubbling to the surface.

The book was really well-written, and my favorite part is the tension the author created. The pressure begins to build from the first page of the story, and it continues until the reveal at the end. The story is full of secrets, revealing the dark pasts of all the characters involved and constantly dropping clues as to how it all ends. Unlock other novels in the genre, the twist is not dropped on the reader like an anvil. It is slowly revealed in such a subtle way that I did not realize it was happening until I was knees-deep in it. I was in the middle of a chapter when I stopped and had to re-evaluate what was going on. How and when did we get here, I asked myself. The author had lulled me into a sense of security with the plot, setting, and characters that I did not see it coming. It was absolutely perfect.

The Wife and the Widow is a really good read. I enjoyed escaping to this quiet island and exploring the dark pasts of the characters. This was definitely a book I could not put down, and I recommend it for fans of the mystery/thriller genre.

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