Saturday, December 25, 2021

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane


Oh look, it's a stealth read! I've been reading this on the DL for the last week or so because I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to continue it. This book was a gift to me from my sister who knows how much I love my fucked up lady thrillers, as I call them, and PRETTY LITTLE WIFE had such a fascinating premise that I was really hoping it paid out. Plus, all I want to read lately is thrillers, apparently, and this totes fit the bill.

The story, on the surface, sounds pretty basic. Lila is the perfect wife with the perfect marriage and the perfect living in the perfect little college town. EVERYTHING IS SO PERFECT Y'ALL. But perfect is as perfect does, and when her husband, Aaron goes missing, things get sus on a bus. Especially since there have been other disappearances in town, too. Young women. The two events seem totally unconnected until it seems like maybe they are. And suddenly, oh noes, everything isn't perfect after all. BUMMER.

There are several plotlines in this book. There's Ginny, the police lady investigating the case, and Lila herself. There's also dual timelines, with Lila before and after her husband's disappearance. It gets a little confusing in the beginning but all the switching is necessary for gradually dealing out info like a literary PEZ dispenser. And just like a PEZ dispenser, you aren't going to settle for one tiny piece of candy. You want alllll the candy. So you keep turning the pages, hoping for more, even if it gives you a stomachache.

Ultimately, I did like the book. There's a bit of a feminist spin on this story, which I really liked. Lila is such a cold and compelling heroine and I found her pretty refreshing from the frazzled and messy heroines that usually populate these sorts of books (even though I relate more to the frazzled and messy characters on a personal level). The twists were truly fucked up and one of them honestly shocked me, so props to the author for that. I found the story a little long-winded and started skimming at several points. Multiple timelines usually work for me but I didn't really like how it was done here and I kind of wish we got more action and maybe even a little smut to make the plot juicier. I kept hoping Lila would find hot and sexy romance with a dangerous murderbae (hi Heather) who understood her needs.

IDK, maybe it's the dark romantic in me. Anyway, I SO did not get that, so boooo.

But the lack of romance fit the story, too, and so did the SERIOUSLY, FUCK MEN narrative. I know, I know, #NotAllMen. But Lila just seemed like such a shit magnet, and you could really feel her frustration on page as she is thrust into this horrible situation that she might or might not be a part of. Which makes the ending even more satisfying. No, no spoilers. Just read it and see.

3 out of 5 stars

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