Tuesday, September 10, 2019

It's Always the Husband by Michelle Campbell Review

Title: It’s Always the Husband
Author: Michelle Campbell
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

                I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

                I’ve heard great things about It’s Always the Husband; in fact, I was so curious about it that I ordered it from my local library. It’s been sitting in my stack for a while, and once I realized that it had a hold on it, I pushed it to the top as soon as I finished Pachinko. Once I finished it, I dove right in, not sure what to expect, as I’d never read any of Campbell’s work before. Thrillers, in general, make me leery: either I guess who did it within a hundred pages, or it’s just so predictable that I lose interest. That wasn’t the issue here, quite the opposite, in fact. The writing was a bit simplistic, but it really suited the book, and I loved the concept: How well do we truly know the people we love, especially our friends? The pacing was breakneck, and once I began, I couldn’t stop reading. I just finished It’s Always the Husband last night, and I’m still in shock. I was blindsided by the ending; I thought I had it all figured out, but it was still a nasty surprise! Michelle Campbell proves her writing chops with It’s Always the Husband, and I can’t wait to read more of her work!

                The book begins at Carlisle College in New England, with three young women from different walks of life: Aubrey, the poor kid desperate to make friends and fit in, Kate, the charismatic and wild rich girl with undeniable magnetism, and Jenny, the overachiever from a middle-class family. Roommates all, the girls form an unbreakable bond that stands the test of time, up to adulthood. But that all changes when Kate dies unexpectedly. The police are thinking that it was a suicide, but some people in town believe that she was murdered. Soon, everyone in town is under scrutiny, and dark, dangerous secrets threaten to disturb the peaceful, sleepy town of Belle River…

                This book was wonderful! It was a bit simplistic, but I think that it suited the book and the genre. The pacing was breakneck, and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Even when I had to put it down, it stayed in my mind, and I kept trying to untangle the gnarled, knotted threads that the mystery presented. The large cast of characters, too, made it nearly impossible to figure out who had hurt Kate. I loved all of the characters, whose true motives were hidden under layers of secrets and deceit. I was left guessing at nearly everyone’s motives, and the ending, when it came, hit me like a brutal punch to the chest. I thought I had it all figured it out, but I definitely didn’t: I finished it last night in the tub, and I’m still totally stunned. Michelle Campbell did a fantastic job with this soapy, dramatic thriller that focuses on frenemies, and I can’t wait to look into more of her work! The bottom line: Dark, oppressive, and twisted, I loved It’s Always the Husband! Next on deck: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Meija!

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