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  • Writer's picturePaul Burston

The Wife Between Us

Currently on my reading pile is a book called ‘It’s Always The Husband’ by Michele Campbell. I haven’t read it yet, but like many fans of the psychological thriller genre, I could be forgiven for feeling as if I have. The plots of so many recent books hinge on the fact that the ideal husband at the heart of the story isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. In this respect, ‘The Wife Between Us’ is hardly startling in its originality. But don’t let that put you off. In every other respect, it’s a cracker.

The premise is simple – or so it seems. Vanessa and Richard were married for seven years – until he left her for a younger woman named Emma. As Richard and Emma plan their wedding, Vanessa spends her days lost in the past, wondering where it all went wrong and obsessing about her replacement.

But Vanessa isn’t simply the jealous ex-wife with an alcohol problem. There’s far more to her than that. Nor is her obsession with her ex-husband’s new fiancé quite what it appears. The story is told from the points of view of both women. Gradually a portrait of a marriage is revealed – and a lot more besides.

'The Wife Between Us' is the first collaboration between editor Greer Hendricks and bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen. Their combined experience shows. The characters are complex and the writing smart and sharp. There are a few over-extended flashbacks, which can have the effect of reducing the tension just when things are cranking up. But the plot is fiendishly clever. Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, a fresh piece of information is revealed. The familiar love triangle is given a cunning new twist – and then another, and another, forcing you to question everything you think you know about the people involved.

Film rights have already been snapped up by the creators of 'The Girl On The Train'. You can see why. If you loved that book, you’ll love this. And if you get in quick, it’s only 99p on Kindle. Bargain.

Macmillan, £7.99

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