The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is the fourth book I’ve read by the editor/writer duo and all four books have a place on my bookshelf which is a clear indicator I’ve enjoyed them enough to decide to keep them – which I don’t often do nowadays.
Their latest is another twisty and intriguing tale that I very much enjoyed. It wasn’t quite what I expected which is a good thing. At its centre is a disgraced therapist and I was expecting someone dodgy with nefarious motivations which is not at all the case.
The Golden Couple
by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published by Macmillan
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in 10 sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. Her successes are phenomenal--she helps people overcome everything from domineering parents to assault--and almost absorb the emptiness she sometimes feels since her husband’s death.
Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple--until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods.
When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.
The book unfolds from Avery and Marissa’s points of view. Avery’s methods are certainly unusual and I’m sure would cross many MANY therapeutic lines IF she was still a practising psychologist. She is now however… a consultant. Her methodology is kept secret so clients don’t know what to expect but it seems to be successful. Mostly.
I’d expected the worst. And Avery isn’t necessarily a well-meaning, people loving therapist (or anti-therapist) but she seems to be committed to helping people get the outcome they want (or at least, one that they need). She comes with a bit of backstory however and some of that is probably the one thing that enjoyed least in this novel.
We learn she’d used information from a client to report a pharmaceutical company hiding dodgy (life threatening) data and has been hounded by them since. It explains her concern about safety and privacy but I’m not sure it really offered a lot to the plot, and a related twist at the end went a bit too far for me – it joined the dots but had me shaking my head to make all of the pieces fit together. (Otherwise this would have been a rare 4.5 star read for me!)
And then there’s Marissa who’s cheated on her husband Matthew. She’s ashamed to have done it but wants to save her marriage. Matthew’s initially furious but it seems that Avery’s unconventional therapy is doing the trick as things improve between the pair.
There are – however – more secrets and Avery in particular senses that something is ‘off’. Marissa has an assistant who is ‘single-white-femaling’ her and Avery can’t quite work out (Polly’s) motivation. And then there’s a former girlfriend of Matthew’s who’s hovering about. Not to mention the man with whom Marissa slept with who’s determined to see her again.
Hendricks and Pekkanen offer up a lot of secrets and intrigue here and there’s reveal after reveal. It’s well-paced however so we’ve lots of time to do our own guessing and I must confess to being wr-wr-wrong on a few occasions.
I very much enjoyed this latest offering from the talented duo. I think they overcomplicated things slightly with Avery’s backstory which diluted the main thread, but it was a great read and I highly recommend it.
The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen was published in Australia by Pan Macmillan and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.