The tagline for The Wife Between Us is, “A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.” The synopsis doesn’t tell you anything, really, because it’s hard to talk about the plot without giving anything away. The books starts out alternating between two points of view. One, told in the first person, is Vanessa’s. She’s recently divorced and has found out her ex-husband is getting remarried to a younger woman. The other point of view, told in the third person, is Nellie, who is the younger woman marrying Richard. On the surface, it seems fairly standard, but the seeming simplicity of the plot is meant to draw in the reader and make them question what they know.
In this respect, The Wife Between Us is very good at keeping the reader off-balance. Hendricks and Pekkanen make full use of their unreliable narrator, to the point that when you think you’ve got your feet, they add another wrench to the mix. However, I almost felt like some creative decisions, particularly one at the end, were made for the sake of throwing readers for a loop. In that sense, it’s a thrilling read. The writing is smooth, and the story keeps you interested.
One of the things that’s always on my radar as I read is how female characters are written and treated. Without giving anything away, I was pleased with how this tackled issues women, in particular, face and how it portrayed relationships between women.
My biggest complaint is that after each big revelation, the pace slows way down. This could have been cut by fifteen or twenty percent, and the story would’ve been much tighter. Although it was an enjoyable read, it left me a little unsatisfied. You rush right through it, which makes for an enjoyable reading experience, but it doesn’t stay with you for very long. That knocks it down to a 3.5 for me, but I rounded up because no half stars.
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy fast reads and to fans of suspense novels, especially ones who want something familiar but a little different.