The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a thriller packed with many twists and turns.
The beginning of the book starts out with an alternating POV format. The main storyteller is Vanessa, a woman who is struggling with moving on from her ex-husband, a charismatic man named Richard, and having trouble adjusting to her life as an ex-wife. She is also obsessed with her ‘replacement,’ the young woman that Richard has left her for and plans on marrying. The other POV is from Nellie, a young pre-school teacher who becomes enchanted by Richard and the life of luxury and safety he promises will be her’s once they are married. These POV’s bounce back and forth to show two very different women.
However, as the summary for this book warns, the reader should, “assume nothing.” About halfway through the book, a major plot twist is revealed that makes you question everything that you had just read. To be honest, I admit I suspected what the big twist was going to be early on in the book. While I wish that the twist wasn’t so easy to guess at it, I did find the twist interesting and it was still enough to hold my interest while reading. Even after this big reveal, there are several more twists that get more unbelievable with each reveal. The final twist, while completely unexpected and truly shocking in my opinion, was almost silly.
While the number of twists in this book might seem excessive or unnecessary to some readers, it’s what kept me reading. I have read more than a few thrillers, and I appreciated that the authors of this book attempted to shake up the genre by adding some unique elements. As well, this book was just plain addictive to read. I was invested in the plot and the characters and desperately needed to know what the end game was going to be. The writing flowed well and made for a fast-paced reading experience.
The characters were well-developed, and I think this is due to the fact that the authors sprinkle in many small details concerning the lives of Vanessa, Nellie, and Richard. Richard was always a bit of shadowy figure, despite being a huge component of the plot, but I believe that this was done intentionally. I also liked the fact that there was more to Vanessa and Nellie than met the eye, and that their somewhat stereotypical behavior was eventually rounded out by dark and complicated backgrounds. Given that this story took place in New York City, the setting was also brought to life throughout this book, city life being described with vivid imagery and details.
Overall, this was an addictive thriller that tries to be unexpected and unique, and it’s up to the reader to decide if they were successful or not. This was a fast read that ended up surprising me, and I never found it overdone or dull, which often tends to be the problem with some books in the thriller genre.