I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Published by Berkley Books on March 26, 2019
Genres: Crime, Psychological Suspense, Thriller, Suspense
Amazon ♥ Goodreads
Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting...
Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.
We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.
We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.
Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.
Marriage is not always easy and years later it can sometimes be quite a challenge to keep that spark alive. That is not the case with Millicent and her husband. Millicent is a successful real estate agent and her husband teaches tennis to their wealthy neighbors. They have been happily married for the past 15 years and like most couples with two teenage children, they argue about bills and raising their kids. From the outside, they appear to be a normal loving couple, but looks can sometimes be deceiving. They both have a dark and deadly side that keeps their marriage alive and thriving. Can dastardly deeds be the key to making a marriage work?
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is a true gem in the psychological thriller genre. It is such a simple story that pulls you right in into the ordinary world of an unordinary couple. The story is so subtle and yet packs a powerful punch in its telling. The story starts out like any other with a nice slow buildup that hooks you right from the start. The intensity really starts to build as the twists keep coming and just when you think you hit that high, Samantha Downing throws in another twist that is so truly f*cked up and so so clever that I was completely shocked and completely floored. Downing expertly plays with your emotions and strings you along then slaps you in the face with another revelation that will make your jaw drop as you gasp in excitement. Kinda like what I did! Also, that ending is just….whoa! What a fabulous and mindblowing ending.
Samantha Downing has created three dimensional characters that are not very likable the majority of the time. But, yet I found myself liking them all the more because of their extracurricular activities. What does that say about me? That I am a nutjob! But, in all seriousness, oh who am I kidding, I love manipulative and evil characters that still might have an ounce of humanity somewhere inside of them. Is that the case here? Maybe or maybe not. I will say though that I did find some admirable qualities that often had me questioning my own sanity a time or two.
What I find most interesting about this story is the dynamics between Millicent and her husband, who is never named in the story. This I find extremely interesting and kind of plays on the fact of a dominant/submissive pairing (Yes! I watch a lot of Criminal Minds! So pfft!) Was this intentional by the author? Who knows, but I will stick to my theory (because I am an expert on all things Criminal Minds.Ha!) My Lovely Wife is also told through the husband’s point of view and while he is not a very nice person, at times he comes across as sympathetic. Gasps! “But how can you like a character that is so cray cray! You ask.” Because Downing expertly plays you like a fiddle and plays with your emotions and then when you least expect it, completely wrecks you while evilly laughing.
Samantha Downing brilliantly pens a chilling playbook of the inner workings of one truly demented husband and wife team. You will never look at your neighbors the same way again! My Lovely Wife has earned a spot in my best books of 2019 list. A definite must read!