I must say, it was great to read a book featuring a backcover blurb that doesn’t give too much away. I mean, I assumed it kinda did and that the plot itself was going to be straight forward. But it’s not….
In fact at one point I thought I knew what was coming, but I was wr-wr-wrong. And I very much loved that about this book.
For nearly a year, Beth Murphy has been plotting to leave her abusive husband. The time has finally arrived, and this is her one chance at freedom. Each part of her plan has to be carefully thought-out, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she's taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only trace of her the police have to go on, and all signs point to foul play.
Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? As her husband starts piecing together her whereabouts, Beth'll have to make a decision about her future that will leave readers breathless.
The twist becomes obvious part-way through, but thankfully there are more surprises to come.
Of course this means I can’t say too much about the book for fear of revealing its secrets. It unfolds from a few points of view but we probably spend the most time with Beth, fleeing a violent marriage. She reflects on the early days of her relationship and how and when things changed. I liked the way Belle introduces Beth’s escape plan. She’s made her such an engaging character, readers are there with her as things work as planned. Or don’t.
I appreciated that Belle was blunt about what someone is willing to risk, and the life they’re willing to sacrifice, for their freedom. I realise that freedom looks different to everyone and this book reminds us of that.
It also offers an interesting reflection on relationships, trust and marriage. Of where women (and men I guess) draw the line and how that varies as well.
The pacing was perhaps a little slow in the early chapters of this book, as we meet the characters and Beth starts her new life, but it picks up and becomes quite the twisty page-turner.
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle will be published in Australia by Harlequin/Harper Collins (HQ Fiction) on 23 March 2020.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.