Book Review

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

my lovely wife

My Lovely Wife is a novel that piqued my interest as soon as I heard about it, and I was delighted to be invited to review it ahead of publication via Netgalley.  It would be far too easy to give away spoilers for this novel, and I’ve kept my review relatively brief to avoid saying too much!

This is a story about a married couple. They met, fell in love, had two beautiful children. So far, so ordinary.

But they have a very dark secret.

It’s a story with a twist. And then another. And another.

You might think you’ve read stories like this before.

You’d be wrong.

By the end of the first chapter you’ll be hooked.

After fifty pages you might not sleep until you finish.

And when you read the very last line, you’ll ask yourself one question:

How well do you really know the person you love most?

My Lovely Wife presents the reader with a seemingly normal couple.  Married with two children, she works in real estate while he coaches tennis at a local health club.  Money is sometimes a little tight, but they get by well enough most of the time, and they do have a lovely house in a gated community in Florida.  It sounds normal, doesn’t it, and maybe even a little dull?  As the reader gets to know the couple a little better, it becomes clear that they are anything other than normal, and their extra-curricular activities are not as you might expect from their pleasant façade.  I don’t want to go into the plot in any detail – I really do think that the above blurb tells the reader as much as they need to know – but I was hooked from the first chapter, as their secrets – some of them, at least – are quickly revealed.

The novel is narrated by the husband, who I believe goes unnamed throughout.  I found this to be quite refreshing, as I think it’s unusual to have a male point of view in a novel such as this – at least based upon the books that I’ve read.  I thought that his narration of events worked brilliantly – the story is a compelling one, and as well as keeping the reader informed of current events, he also gives plenty of background on the family to provide additional insight and context.  Both he and his wife, Millicent, are intriguing characters, and he is smitten with his wife, who is clearly the dominant figure in their household.

This is a fast-paced novel, and one where I thought I had it figured out early on – how wrong I was!  This is a fantastically dark and original tale, and I was hooked from the first page.  Highly recommended to fans of domestic and psychological thrillers who are looking for a novel that offers something a little unusual.

My Lovely Wife will be published in hardback on 2 May by Michael Joseph, but is available as an eBook now.  Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy of this novel via Netgalley.

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