Secrets & Vows: Slow-Burn Psychological Suspense

Recommended for fans of Liane Moriarty or Jennifer Weiner; for fans of twisty stories and domestic suspense; this fast, suspenseful story builds to an action-filled, unexpected resolution

Fisher, Kerry. The Silent Wife. Forever: Grand Central. Nov. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781538714652. pap. $12.99; ebk. ISBN 9781786811264. F
Maggie is the newest member of the Farinelli family, marrying Nico after the death of his first wife, Caitlin. She often feels unable to compete with the woman she replaced and hopes to find an ally in her new sister-in-law Lara, but Lara is stiff and distant to all offers of friendship. Even so, when Maggie discovers a scandalous secret from Caitlin’s past, she goes to Lara for advice. Lara harbors devastating secrets about her husband and their family that if revealed would destroy the family dynamics. Both Lara and Maggie must decide if they should keep silent or speak up and change their own lives and the lives of those they love forever. Fisher (After the Lie) takes on modern families and the hardships that often come with marriage in this emotionally insightful and gripping novel. Having both women narrate captures the essence of how easy it is to cover up and overlook real problems, even with those whom we are close. The British dialect can be a little difficult to understand at times, but overall the drama will keep readers drawn in and wanting more.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of Liane Moriarty or Jennifer Weiner.—Kristen Calvert, Dallas P.L., TX

Greene, Thomas Christopher. The Perfect Liar. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781250128218. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250128041. SUSPENSE
Widowed Susannah and her teenage son Freddy are living a seemingly perfect life. Her marriage to Max, an acclaimed artist, speaker, and professor, has taken them from New York City to a quiet university town in Vermont. However, both Max and Susannah harbor their own secrets, which could ruin their marriage and the life they’ve built together. The first warning comes in the form of a note Susannah finds taped on their door, stating, “I know who you are.” As Max and Susannah try to decipher the meaning, more messages follow, and mysterious accidents occur around them, raising suspicions even higher. Greene (The Headmaster’s Wife) returns with a psychological novel that will keep readers riveted. Told in alternating perspectives between Max and Susannah, it considers mental illness and fear, and a sense of panic sets the pace, as Susannah suspects Max of lying to her, while he remains dismissive.
VERDICT For fans of twisty stories and domestic suspense, this novel creates a slow burn with not one but two shocking climaxes, causing readers to wonder who is safe.—Erin Holt, Williamson Cty. P.L., Franklin, TN

Lamb, Cathy. The Man She Married. Kensington. Oct. 2018. 480p. ISBN 9781496709837. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781496709844. F
In Lamb’s latest (after Such a Pretty Face), successful accountant Natalie Shelton has a good life, with loyal women friends and an adoring, sexy husband Zack, who renovated their lovely home. It’s a long way from a childhood marred by her mother’s abandonment and her father’s financial struggles. When she ends up in a coma after a car crash, she’s somehow able to notice a creepy intruder in her hospital room, then hears Zack talking angrily on the phone about her accident. She knows he’s concealing something, but she can’t believe he’s trying to kill her, so she hides her suspicions of him from the police. The stakes rise when she’s released from the hospital and someone shoots at her in her new apartment. She’s desperate to remember what happened the morning of her accident, believing it might explain why Zack, who has always been loyal and loving, is also mysterious about his past to the point that it endangers them both.
VERDICT This fast, suspenseful story has quirky, warm characters that contrast well with Zack’s dark past and the motives of a dangerous stranger, all building to an action-filled, unexpected resolution.—Jan Marry, Lanexa, VA

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