“For a second there’s no sound. No place. No life. For a second the world stop on its axis and there is only snow and night stretched to its limits. A white hand reaches back inside the shattered window — a woman’s hand — her mother’s hand.”
– Susan Crawford, The Other Widow
Last week I was rolling in rom coms and loving every moment of it (check out this post and this post)! This week, I decided to take my reading adventures in a darker direction with the latest novel from Susan Crawford, author of The Pocket Wife. Susan Crawford’s The Other Widow is a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading for quite some time now. It’s a suspenseful thriller packed with lies, intrigue, and a potential murder.
Joe tells Dorrie that it is no longer safe for the two of them to be together. Moments later, he is killed in a car crash, and Dorrie must make a decision. If she stays, their affair will become public. He’s married. She’s married. In the midst of this tangled love affair, Dorrie decides that the only thing she can do is walk away and pretend that they were never together. It’s the only way to protect everyone involved. Unfortunately for Dorrie, walking away isn’t that easy. Especially when she starts receiving phone calls from Joe’s old burner phone. The car crash that Dorrie thought was an accident suddenly seems much more sinister.
Karen, Joe’s wife, struggles to pick up the pieces after her husband’s accident. Though she had suspected that Joe was involved with someone else, it’s not until after his death that she learns the details of his affair with his employee. As she deals with the reality of her marriage, she also begins to suspect that someone is following and watching her.
And as these two widows deal with the fallout from Joe’s death, former police officer—turned—insurance investigator Maggie is assigned Joe’s case. Joe died shortly after a large life insurance policy was taken out on him. And as Maggie begins to investigate, it becomes clear that Joe’s death wasn’t simply a case of bad weather and bad timing.
The Other Widow is a fast-paced psychological thriller that had me in its grip from the first pages. While I’ve caught myself in endless Criminal Minds marathons, I’m quite new to the written mystery/thriller genres. The whodunnit factor carries strongly throughout the novel, even though it’s unclear at many times whether anything actually happened. There are so many potential suspects, including both Karen and Dorrie.
I was so caught up with the characters and their many, many lies. As as a reader, it was incredibly rewarding to unravel the deceptions along with the characters. And they never ended. Just when I thought I understood each character, another layer was peeled back. The deceptions ran deep and made me suspicious of every single character that entered the novel, to the point that I was convinced that the yappy little dog actually had something to do with it.
Crawford’s new novel is a great new read for anyone looking for a novel of scandal and deception. It explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity.
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