Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Laura Elliot’s latest domestic thriller, The Wife Before Me. My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to join the tour. Before I share my thoughts, here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.
Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.
Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.
And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.
Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone.
Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.
A totally breathtaking page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on behind closed doors. This book will have you gripped from the very first page until the dramatic final twist.
Wowee. I had forgotten just how good Laura Elliot is at writing a book which will slowly sucker you in, compel you to keep reading, twist your emotions and then leave you breathless. And she’s done it again with The Wife Before Me a book which is terrifyingly claustrophobic, overwhelmingly emotional and atmospheric, controlling and tense from the very start.
The book opens in a really shocking way, the first chapter giving you a sense of what is to follow but by no means revealing the layer upon layer of complexity that will soon be presented to the reader. We meet Amelia, a woman so clearly at the end of her tether, one who we barely have time to get to know before she is gone. Gone, but not forgotten, much to the dismay of Elena Langdon. When she meets the man of her dreams, Nicholas, at her mother’s funeral, he seems so perfect. All apart from the one small thing. The ghost of his wife Amelia still haunts him and he is as consumed in his grief for her as much as Elena is for her mother. When they begin a new relationship Elena wants to lay those ghosts to rest, but some spirits just won’t rest easily.
Now this book is a perfect example of Laura Elliot’s skill in building suspense. As an outsider, looking in, you can see the little cracks in the relationship between , even before it really gets going, but it is only the merest hint, nothing too obviously amiss, but just something which will set the hackles rising. Perhaps as an outsider you can spot those little symptoms of control, little actions which suggest the partnership is not as equal as some may believe, but they are subtle at first, shielding the reader from the true horrors of what is to come. Because this book does take a chilling turn, one not entirely unexpected, but still, the lengths to which the author takes us can be uncomfortable, but not gratuitous, and yet feel so very, very real.
Beset with some very clever elements of plotting, the author has done a bang up job of repulsing, and shocking the reader and yet leaving them compelled to read onward. I was certainly hooked by the story and unable to turn away, even though I found myself frustrated by Elena’s lack of action. She has created characters who will charm, repulse, scare and frustrate you in equal measure. Nicholas’s mother is just one example of a true matriarchal figure who I would gladly have throttled, she felt so very real. The author has also managed to create so many elements of uncertainty and to create situations where the reader may not be present when some real acts of violence and betrayal occur, but you are left with enough certainty of their happening that you feel the same level of anger just the same.
Now this is a very emotional read, focused on both the good and bad side of family. It is a story of courage and strength, of friendship and love and over heartbreak and betrayal. There are some very tense moments in the book, some shocking scenes of revelation, and that overwhelmingly atmospheric feeling that you get when reading. It’s a strange constricted, almost choking sensation, which echoes the action of the story. And as the true nature of the betrayal and the significance of what has occurred becomes clearer to the reader, so the outside world begins to change, becoming an altogether darker place. It really is quite a thing to read.
If you are looking for a carefully crafted, highly emotion and occasionally dark domestic thriller then you should give this book a try. Very much recommended by me.
If you’d like a copy of The Wife Before Me it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Laura Elliot is an Irish novelist who writes psychological thrillers and lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her novels are: The Wife Before Me, Guilty, Sleep Sister, The Betrayal, Fragile Lies, Stolen Child and The Prodigal Sister. She has worked as a journalist and magazine editor
For more details check http://lauraelliotauthor.com/
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