(3 stars) My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Okay honestly, this book was batshit crazy. But I downloaded it for free from the library because I needed something on my e-reader that I could read after dark, and I finished the whole thing in one evening. It’s bonkers, and I did find the ending rather unsatisfying (which is why I only gave it three stars). But it also entertained the hell out of me for the few hours it took to read.
“My name is not Tobias. I use that name only when I want someone to remember me.”
Our unnamed narrator has been married to his lovely wife Millicent for about 14 years. They have two teenagers and mortgage they can’t quite afford, but they’re doing their best to live the American dream. Oh, and a few years ago, they started stalking and killing women to spice up their love life….
The book starts when the narrator discovers that the third woman they killed wasn’t actually killed as planned. Instead Millicent kept her hostage for almost a year before murdering her. This is a book where there is so much plotting and scheming happening that it’s really hard to describe it without giving things away. But basically, while our narrator thinks that he and Millicent are in on things together, it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that Millicent is a whole different level of sociopath then her husband.
This book is messed up y’all. And I have been reading this series about a man who hunts serial killers (which is amazing and I’ll review when I finish the 4th one), so it was really weird to read from the perspective of the person doing the killing. But if you enjoy dark humor and twisty twisty plots, then you might find this as entertaining as I did. Like I said, it’s bonkers but I couldn’t put it down.
(3 stars) Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Well this was pretty forgettable but nevertheless, a decent read. It centers around a small neighborhood in England. Our main character (Joey) is currently living with her brother and his pregnant wife, with whom Joey struggles to connect. Joey recently married a man she met at a resort, but becomes obsessed with their neighbor — Tom Fitzwilliam. Tom is a headmaster who has been called into town to turn around a local school. While Tom’s teenage son Freddie spies on everyone in the neighborhood, Joey spies on Tom to feed her obsession with the older man.
“Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”
In addition to Joey’s obsession with Tom, and Freddie’s obsession with, well, everyone — we also have two teenage girls who attend Tom’s school. Bess, like Joey, wants very badly to get closer to Tom, while her friend Jenna only wants to keep her mother’s unraveling mental health as stable as possible. The book also gives us flashes of a police interview set a few months in the future — an interview that indicates someone may have been murdered.
There’s a LOT of moving pieces here, but it works pretty well together. I guarantee you I’ll have no memory of it six months from now though.