Book Review: Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane
Holy wow, this is a genuinely remarkable domestic suspense. I remember seeing the absolutely brilliant Twitter pitch for it and thinking “I have to read that book!” and I’m so glad I have because it was just fantastic. The twists and turns keep coming, but the whole thing hangs together absolutely logically. Yes, Lila is a tiny bit of an unreliable narrator, but we know pretty much from the beginning that she absolutely set out to kill her husband… so what did we expect? The only thing which bothered me was at the very end, when we were asked to believe she set out for the final confrontation without backup arranged, and indeed more weaponry at her disposal. Lila, the ultimate plotter, would NEVER. I think this was an unnecessary twist. Plotting Aaron’s murder was sufficient to make her a character we don’t know if we’re rooting for or we want her to get caught. It’s more interesting if the surprises afterwards are real, and her narration is in fact completely reliable, but honestly I was so riveted all the way through to the end that I’m not going to mark down for this. I know publishers are always saying ‘but just one more twist!’ to their authors… sometimes, the twists you’ve already got are enough. Just saying.
Lila’s background is absolutely shocking, but it’s obviously set her up for a mindset of no justice but what you make yourself, which is why she decides to take matters into her own hands when she discovers her teacher husband Aaron has been sleeping with his teenage high school students. Things go extremely odd, however, when Aaron is reported missing… because she knows she definitely left him somewhere he should have been found quickly. Who would have moved his body… and why? And the shocks keep coming for both Lila and Ginny, the Black lead detective who knows Lila is hiding something, but quickly realises there are even bigger secrets to be discovered.
I honestly couldn’t put this down. The twists keep coming and the tension keeps rising, the stakes keep on getting higher all the way to the end. Could have done without the final twist because it invalidates everything that came before, but the point wasn’t hammered home so I didn’t find it too difficult to ignore. Five stars for a riveting read!