Pretty Little Wife
Grade : A

When you read a ton of books in a certain genre, be it romance, thrillers, or fantasy, it’s easy to start feeling just a little jaded by the repetitive plots and characters that blend one into another. But then, something super special, something like Pretty Little Wife, comes along, totally renewing your faith in your genre of choice.

Early one morning while most people in the idyllic town Lila Ridgefield calls home are sleeping soundly, Lila murders her husband and arranges his body where she’s sure it will be found as soon as people are up and moving around. She returns home and crawls into bed, and the waiting commences.

You’re probably thinking I just ruined the plot, but never fear. What I’ve told you is only the tip of the iceberg. As far as Lila is concerned, all of it is true, but it’s actually only the beginning of an extremely fast-paced and twisty thrill-ride.

You see, the day passes and no one calls to say they’ve discovered Aaron’s body. His boss and best friend does show up to say Aaron never showed up for work that morning, something that simply isn’t like the conscientious high school teacher everyone knows Aaron to be. The police are summoned, and the investigation into what seems like a missing persons case gets underway. More questions crop up, but answers aren’t nearly as forthcoming as the investigators are hoping, and it soon becomes clear there’s a lot more at play here.

I’ve left you with many questions, I know, but saying anything else would likely result in a massive spoiler. The less you know, the more you’ll appreciate the author’s skillful rendering of this mystery.

I didn’t warm to Lila’s character right away. At first, she feels really cold and distant, like she’s keeping secrets from the reader as well as from the police. Normally, my inability to feel even a little sympathy for the main character would make it hard for me to fully immerse myself in their story, but Ms. Kane did a great job drawing me in almost in spite of myself. As the story progressed, I found myself understanding Lila’s motivations and even feeling a bit of sympathy for the horrific situation she found herself in.

The story is told from Lila’s point of view, but we also see things from the perspective of one of the detectives in charge of Aaron’s case. Parts of the plot might come across as really confusing at first, but don’t give up. Instead, take a deep breath and follow where the author leads you. It’s a journey unlike any I’ve encountered in quite some time.

If, as you’re reading, the author’s writing voice reminds you of someone else’s, you’ll be interested to know that Darby Kane is actually the pseudonym for well-known romance/romantic suspense author HelenKay Dimon. Since Pretty Little Wife is not a romance in any way, shape, or form, Dimon and her team decided to publish it under a different name. And now that I’ve finished this absolute gem, I think I’ll take a look at what else Dimon has published. If her other books are even half as delightful as this thriller, I’m definitely in for a treat.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible, or your local independent retailer

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Reviewed by Shannon Dyer

Grade: A

Sensuality: N/A

Review Date : January 17, 2021

Publication Date: 12/2020

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Shannon Dyer

I'm Shannon from Michigan. I've been an avid reader all my life. I adore romance, psychological fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and the occasional memoir. I share my home with my life partner, two dogs, and a very feisty feline.
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