The Widow

Thomas & Mercer: Amazon. Nov. 2022. 316p. ISBN 9781542039215. pap. $15.95. THRILLER
Rouda follows The Next Wife with a diary-like domestic thriller and political potboiler that gets all the votes. Jody Asher, wife of Congressional representative Martin Asher, is proud of her and her husband’s accomplishments over their 15-year partnership. Considered “the golden couple” on Capitol Hill, their climb to the highest rungs of political life seems assured until a reporter shows up asking uncomfortable questions about Martin’s ties to China, as well as rumors about an illicit liaison with a young staffer. Suddenly, on the eve of their daughter’s wedding, Jody and Martin must confront multiple secrets, lies, and betrayals that threaten to topple their delicate house of cards. When Martin dies suddenly, Jody jumps to defend the Asher legacy while angling for a more prominent political role for herself. She soon finds that Martin’s “friends” are more like enemies. Jody will need to play politics hard and fast—with a few surprises of her own—to level the field.
VERDICT Told with Rouda’s signature first-person technique, this is a guilty-pleasure read, laden with silver-tongued politicians who revel in their duplicitous dance with the truth. It’s a deliciously diabolical take on marriage, politics, and the lies that bind.
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