The Wife and the Widow

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781250194374. $26.99. THRILLER
White’s sophomore novel (after The Nowhere Child) is told in alternating chapters by Abby (the wife) and Kate (the widow), who both look inward to decide how far they will go to protect their families. When her husband, John, fails to return from an overseas business trip, Kate starts to dig into his past, and realizes that he was tormented by a terrible secret. He wasn’t in London but at his childhood summer cottage on a remote island, dredging up the past. When Kate learns that John has been murdered, she travels to the island for answers. Meanwhile, island resident Abby, a true crime aficionado and novice taxidermist, must face the shocking possibility that her husband Ray may be capable of murder.
VERDICT White exceeds readers’ expectations after his supersuccessful debut, with strong, complex protagonists in Abby and Kate and notable secondary characters who are well developed. The plot never stops and the clever twist is thrilling. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]

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