Wednesday, May 7, 2014
THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A. Harrison
I don’t know of any novel that’s drawn more comparisons than Gone Girl. Every psychological thriller is said to be like Gone Girl or better than Gone Girl. Whereas Gone Girl gradually lost its luster as the book progressed, The Silent Wife is like a runaway train, gaining momentum with each turn of the page. Todd and Jodi have lived together, mostly on autopilot, for 20 years but never married, although Todd has asked repeatedly. Jodi is a part-time psychologist, and Todd has grown his renovation business from one apartment building to a thriving company. He’s hardly monogamous, as Jodi well knows, and his latest paramour is Natasha, his oldest friend’s twenty-something-year-old daughter. Natasha is pregnant with Todd’s son, and the thought of an heir to his burgeoning empire is enough to make him leave Jodi and marry Natasha. Jodi never accepts this reality and assumes that Todd will soon come to his senses and return to their peaceful, orderly life. Todd, however, is having to juggle the bills of both women, and even though the bloom is off the rose as far as his relationship with Natasha is concerned, he has to cut Jodi loose. All of the main characters in this novel are utterly distasteful and emotionally detached, and Jodi comes across as menacingly calm, as the wheels of her structured life are coming off. The reader knows from Jodi’s musings on page 4 that “a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her.” As this more sinister aspect of the plot unfolds, I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, but I was wrong. The author throws us a curve that is as entertaining as it is surprising. Oddly enough, Jodi becomes more human at the end of the novel, but by that time, she is unredeemable in my eyes.
Labels: 5 stars