Just the Nicest Couple

Park Row: Harlequin. Jan. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780778333111. $28.99. THRILLER
Nina and Jake Hayes are an impressive couple: a high school English teacher and a neurosurgeon. Nina accepts that Jake is hardly ever home—he saves lives for a living. But Jake doesn’t reciprocate. He resents the time Nina spends with her mother, who’s going blind, instead of with him. Nina didn’t mean all the things she said to Jake when they fought the night before; she’ll apologize when he comes home from work. When Jake doesn’t come home, Nina thinks he’s just punishing her. But a day missing turns into weeks, and Nina is sure something sinister has happened to her husband. Meanwhile, Nina’s best friend and fellow teacher, Lily Scott, confesses to her husband, Christian, that she encountered Jake while hiking. He tried to assault her, and she defended herself. She thinks she might have killed him, but when they search the woods, Jake is nowhere to be found. As Lily and Christian try to cover up clues about Lily’s involvement, Nina closes in on figuring out what happened to Jake. She never would have predicted what she discovers.
VERDICT In Kubica’s (Local Woman Missing) twisted tale of deception and falsehoods, readers will relish the shock factor in an ending they didn’t see coming.
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