Being a member of Book of the Month, sometimes you get the opportunity to read a new book before they officially release. Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane is one such example. I won’t waste any more of this review on the book subscription service, but if you’re interested then head to www.bookofthemonth.com.
“There’s more than one way to end a marriage.” That’s the tag line on the cover of Kane’s debut novel. Ironically, you only discover one way to end a marriage during the 402-page journey.
Wife and protagonist of the story, Lila Ridgefield wakes up one morning to find that her husband, Aaron, is missing. The problem isn’t where Aaron is, but how that was possible since Lila was the one to hide her husband’s body in plain sight. The question of why Lila killed her husband, is Aaron truly dead, and will Lila get through all this unscathed are just a few questions in this mystery thriller.
Kane does a great job of writing a narrative that jumps back and forth in time and giving readers snippets of the truth. These pieces of the puzzle of Aaron’s whereabouts are completed right at the end to bring this mystery to a satisfying close. The author also does a fair job at keeping the novel at a steady pace. Typically, each chapter ends with a hook that makes the reader want to turn that page and keep reading. Just when you think that you’re about to find out the truth, there’s another twist that asks more questions.
Characters are fleshed out and feel like actual people with their own quirks and flaws. The main cast of characters include Aaron, Lila, Aaron’s brother Jared, and the investigators Ginny and Pete. Lila and Ginny have the most page-time since they are locked in a battle of wits. Lila knows she killed her husband, but she doesn’t know if Aaron stayed dead or if there’s an unknown person playing games with her. Ginny, a seasoned detective, relies on her instincts and firmly believes that Lila committed the crime.
By the end of the book, I did feel a bit bad about being a man. Now, when I say this, I should clarify that this theme of “men are garbage” is very subtle up until the last couple of paragraphs. Because of the writing style of Kane, I actually didn’t mind the fact that most of the men in this novel are absolute garbage. There are a few exceptions, too.
The interesting thing about this novel is that it’s a mystery inside of a real-life mystery. Darby Kane’s bio explains that is a pseudonym of a former trial attorney and current award-winning romantic suspense author. Coincidentally enough, Lila is a former attorney with a pseudonym, of sorts, of her own. Perhaps this isn’t a fictional account, but more of an autobiography?
If you’re a fan of suspense, mystery, or a domestic suspense then you’ll most likely enjoy Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane. Currently, it’s in preorder and won’t release until Dec. 29. If you’re looking for a novel to kick off the new year, I recommend this one.
Okay, so I lied… I’m going to pitch Book of the Month again. But I’m doing it to help you out. If you’re looking to buy this book through a traditional retailer, let me just say that you could get this novel via BOTM. The cost is $14.99 a month and if you wanted to add an additional book to your order, that additional book is only $9.99. Huge savings. If you’re interested, then consider using my referral link. It benefits me if you use it, but you don’t have to.