The Golden Couple

Macmillan Audio. Mar. 2022. 11:05 hrs. ISBN 9781250835628. $26.99. SUSPENSE
Unlicensed marriage counselor Avery Gordon refuses to alter her unprecedented, oft-ridiculed methods, even after the revocation of her license. Her confrontational 10-session couples’ counseling strategy has strict rules but garners results for those who can adhere to her terms. When Marissa and Mathew Bishop arrive for their first session with Avery, they seem, at least on the outside, to be the proverbial golden couple, with money, beauty, a child—everything they could want. But behind the Bishops’ perfect exterior is a relationship filled with secrets, lies, uncertainty, and cheating. As Avery employs her unconventional, hands-on methods to investigate the Bishops’ problems, she begins to unravel their carefully curated lives. Told from two points of view, this novel unfolds chronologically, with a few flashbacks. Karissa Vacker and Marin Ireland masterfully narrate, with subtly changing inflections for each character (Avery’s no-nonsense style; Marissa’s often-unsure and scared voice), so listeners will always know who’s speaking. Most impressive is Vacker and Ireland’s ability to deftly mimic the voices of characters whose dialogue is heard from another character’s perspective. Hendricks and Pekkanen’s fourth thriller (following You Are Not Alone) has lots of twists—not all of them unexpected; not-so-subtle hints appear early on but are stubbornly ignored by the novel’s protagonists until they realize much later what’s been going on.
VERDICT Fans of Gone Girl and Woman on the Train will enjoy the surprises, unreliable witnesses, and slow reveals in this thriller.
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