I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Published by Penguin on June 25, 2013
A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers.
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.
From the beginning we know that Jodi will kill her husband Todd. Like S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep in which we are reminded to “not trust Ben” this statement looms in the back of your head. After this thought, the first two words that come to mind are Gone Girl. We have a cheating husband, a seemingly perfect wife/marriage with said seemingly perfect wife calculating her husband’s demise. Although unlike Gone Girl, I found The Silent Wife to be like a silent gas leak that will slowly kill you.
Jodi Brett’s significant other Todd Gilbert has had an affair with a girl half his age who he has gotten pregnant. The repercussions fall like Humpty Dumpty with all the king’s horses and all the king’s unable to put her life back together again. She must take matters into her own hands. As they say, it’s always the quite ones you have to look out for. They could snap at any time.
All the characters are detestable. There was no one in particular I was rooting for. Todd was a sleaze, his mistress Natasha crawled under my skin and wanted to scratch her away. Jodi I suppose was the most likable but I don’t think she ever fully blossomed and would not have returned her call for a lunch date. Even so, The Silent Wife held my attention.
The detestable characters yes annoying, but the one thing that irked me was Jodi’s half-hearted murder attempt on Todd. After Jodi learns of Todd’s infidelities she grinds eleven sleeping pills into his nightly hot chocolate. (more Ovaltine please) Ingesting that dosage plus copious amounts of alcohol would most likely do anyone in. Although, this is just me being overly realistic and if Todd was killed so early I think we’d have a much shorter story.
When Todd really did die, I thought the presentation was wonderful, as instead of having a Sopranos description, Harrison writes of one’s life passing before their eyes. It was as elegant as a eulogy.
Putting aside my minuscule complaints, I really enjoyed The Silent Wife. Harrison’s thriller was a very fluid, gripping read. I read The Silent Wife in 48 hours, a rare feat for me and thus must say something.
I think the message was the grass is always greener. Todd nabs his hot college age lover but when out of the bedroom he realizes what an annoying, self-absorbed person she is, (which could actually be said of Todd) and he realizes how good he had it with Jodi. Unfortunately, he is at the point of no return.
The ending was completely unexpected, doubly exhibiting that life isn’t always fair, nor does it come out the way we planned it. Reading The Silent Wife was like drinking hot chocolate before it cools down scalding your tongue. I know I must indulge slowly, but I couldn’t help myself and drank it up.