Today it’s my pleasure to share my thoughts on the brand new psychological thriller from Alice Hunter, The Serial Killer’s Wife. My thanks to publisher Avon Books who provided an early copy for review, here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Every marriage has its secrets…
Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.
When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.
But the worst is beyond imagining.
As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.
They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.
This is a very clever book which makes readers take a long look at the idea of the family dynamic. Of how much we really know about and understand the people will love, and how much we are willing to forgive. For Beth Hardcastle all of her belief in and loyalty towards her husband Tom, are about to be pushed to the limit when Tom is accused of a horrendous act many years before. In a small and close knit community it is hard for Beth to hide, or to escape the gossip and the suspicion that she must have known. That she might be, in some way, complicit. But nothing is ever that straightforward. It’s psychological fiction after all.
Now as readers we are not kept in suspense for too long over what actually might have happened, and with the story told from the points of view of both Beth and Tom, and a third party whose narrative adds a very different spin in the story and starts to unlock the eventual truths that will stun the reader. Beth comes across as a very sympathetic character, someone who has been lied to as much as any other, whilst my feelings towards Tom fluctuated the further we got into the story. Guilty party or perfect patsy. It was interesting to see how the author played this, toying with. our emotions and certainly at the beginning making me wonder if the right person was standing accused. It’s fair to say that in this book there is more than the odd obsessive character and there were not many, with the exception of the children, that I completely trusted.
This is a fairly quick book to read, and I finished it in just the two sittings. With the point of view moving between. the characters quite quickly, it really moves the story on, although the lion’s share of the attention falls on Beth and her struggle to come to terms with what is happening. And yet … there were times, early on, where suspicion falls her way, and her hurried assertion of Tom’s guilt made me wonder is it was a case of the lady protesting too much. Whether I was right or not, you will need to read to find out, but I was not prepared for all of the revelations that emerged by the end of the novel.
This was an entertaining. read, full of complex and multi-faceted characters who I mostly loved and loathed in equal measure. The author has used her understanding of psychology well, exploring the motivations and behaviours of several of the characters, making readers question how they would have behaved in similar circumstances. We all like to think we would be better stronger, do the right thing. But would we? Let’s hope we never have to find out. A great character led story than fans of psychological thrillers will love.
About the Author
After completing a psychology degree, Alice Hunter became an interventions facilitator in a prison. There, she was part of a team offering rehabilitation programmes to men serving sentences for a wide range of offences, often working with prisoners who’d committed serious violent crimes. Previously, Alice had been a nurse, working in the NHS. She now puts her experiences to good use in fiction. THE SERIAL KILLER’S WIFE draws heavily on her knowledge of psychology and the criminal mind.