My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing | Book Review: 4.5*
As the cool kids say, it's been a hot minute since I've done a book review. And truth be told, I was not planning to review this book when I picked it up. It's almost a year old and did incredibly well when it came out, so I figured a review now would be far too late in the game. This book, however, floored me. Hence the review.
What I thought in a tweet: Proper 'by the pool, switch your mind off and be thoroughly entertained' thriller with added family dynamic and characters that are anything but cookie cutter. Wicked fun and over too soon.
This story is about a married couple.
They have a very dark secret.
You might think you've read stories like this before.
You'd be wrong. Pros: Oh my, there are so many! I honestly think My Lovely Wife is one of the most original thrillers I've read in a good few years. Samantha Downing takes the genre, exaggerates it and ultimately has fun with it. The first chapter is the stuff of an author's dream. It immediately grabs you, lures you into a false sense of who this main character is and then drops a twist on you on the 8th page. Now, when I first got to page 8 I was shocked and then concerned. I've read novels like this before. Those that twist so early but then run out of steam, and I was worried that this might be the case for My Lovely Wife. Thankfully, I was wrong. My favourite thing about My Lovely Wife actually isn't the incredibly early twist; it is the family dynamic that Samantha Downing weaves throughout. I think this added dynamic was a really intelligent thing to do. It's rare that you get this dynamic added into this kind of thriller and it was really interesting to see the different family members reactions to what was happening throughout.
Cons: The pacing of My Lovely Wife was slightly odd. For the most part it was totally fine, but around 70% of the way through the novel the reader is introduced to a new character - a detective. I feel that this character had the potential to really change up the end of the novel and, whilst it was interesting and entertaining to read the other character's reactions to this new detective, I feel the character was underdeveloped and didn't reach full potential.
One of the 'twists' towards the very end of the novel was also a bit weak, in my opinion. Without given anything away, it was the kind of moment that made you groan slightly as you saw it coming a mile off.
None of this majorly impacted my enjoyment of My Lovely Wife, however. The concept is original, it's fast paced and the characters and original and entertaining. If you're looking for a good novel to help you escape, this is definitely a great option!