Saturday, March 19, 2016

Staff Pick - The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

Dana Catrell (The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford) has reached what appears to be a moment of crisis in her life. Her son has left for school, her husband ignores and dismisses her, and she appears to be struggling once again with her bipolar disorder. Her neighbour Celia, with whom she is friendly but not close, calls her over for a visit. An alcohol fueled afternoon is followed by Celia showing Dana what appears to be a picture of Dana's husband Peter with another woman. Driven by alcohol and her increasing mania, Dana can't remember the rest of the afternoon and can't account for herself when Celia is murdered.

Detective Jack Moss, wearied and embittered by two failed marriages, investigates Celia's murder only to discover that the murderer could be one of many people, including his own estranged son Kyle. The threads of this story are complex and intricately woven. Despite pressure from the district attorney to produce an arrest, Moss takes his time and carefully reviews everyone's involvement, especially Kyle. Told from multiple viewpoints by unreliable narrators, the reader finds little to like about most everyone, except perhaps Dana. It would a stretch to describe Dana as likeable - I think vulnerable would be more apt.

Overall this was fun read that would please fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. The ending was a little too neat for my taste, and had the murderer been different the story could have ended with a greater emotional punch. Still, a nice addition to an ever growing list of domestic thrillers. author:barton from true author:barclay good-bye author:buckley

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