Sadie Foust has had a sense of foreboding ever since she first saw the house they had inherited from her husband’s sister. Along with the house came an extra responsibility in the form of her niece, Imogen. Sixteen years old, surly, disrespectful, goth, and overly fond of expletives. Not exactly the example Sadie wants to have for her own two boys, Otto aged fourteen, and Tate, aged seven. But what can she do? The poor girl is grieving after the very recent suicide of her mother in this very house.When Sadie, a doctor, learns of the murder of one of her neighbors, she is even more uneasy. The house is situated on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. Winter is drawing in, days are short, and the thought of murder being committed so close, in such an insular community, ratchets up her stress levels.
This is not exactly the ‘fresh start‘ that she and her husband had hoped for. They left behind some troubling memories in Chicago. Her husband Will’s extramarital affair, her son Otto’s expulsion from school, not to mention her own employment disgrace…
Sadie feels trapped on this tiny island and she misses her former city life in Chicago. One of the local, older nurses at the surgery where she works treats Sadie with disdain and disrespect. One wonders why Sadie puts up with her behavior… Then things go from bad to worse when disturbing events seem to cast the Foust family under suspicion.
Sadie is not the only woman in Will’s life. He also has a mistress. Her name is Camille. Camille was once Sadie’s roommate in college. She seems mentally unbalanced and stalks Will. Think “Fatal Attraction” type of behavior…
And then there is Mouse. Mouse is a little girl. She and her Daddy live together alone until one day Daddy bring home a woman. He wants Mouse to call the woman Mom. Mouse will never call this woman Mom. In her head she calls her “Fake Mom”.
I have to say I love an island setting. It is just something about the whole insular vibe. Knowing that the number of suspects is limited, and that the person responsible for the murder could be any one of the people you see on a daily basis. Add to that the fact that winter is approaching, the days are short, the temperature getting colder every day. To say the novel is ‘atmospheric’ seems inadequate.
A page turner, “The Other Mrs.” keeps the reader on edge throughout. Not only were you wondering who could have killed Sadie’s neighbor, but you were also wondering about Mouse and speculating what a little girl could possibly have to do with the story-line. Then there was also Camille. She seemed deranged, but was that only back when she and Will had an affair, or is she still around???
And Sadie, she seems unreliable. Other people, including her own children, see her doing things and see her in places when they couldn’t possibly see her. She was at work. Wasn’t she? The stress of the move coupled with the stress of the murder seems to be causing her to have sleepless nights and disjointed days.
The characters in this novel were not at all likeable, but they were endlessly fascinating. The pace was fast, with the tension ramping up the whole way through. About 2/3 of the way through, I had strong suspicions as to what was going on, but that didn’t stop me feverishly turning pages to see if I was right. And I was right, but I was also very wrong!
This book has a twist that I definitely didn’t see coming.
A novel with themes of murder, manipulation, and mental illness.
This is my first Mary Kubica novel and after reading this one I have to wonder why I have waited so long to try her writing. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys domestic, psychological thrillers. And if you like reading an unreliable narrator, then this book is definitely for you.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Park Row Books (an imprint of Harlequin Trade Publishing) via NetGalley.Published by Park Row Books on February 18, 2020
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