Written by Books

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

A twisted thriller about a couple who are not all they seem. 

The set-up for My Lovely Wife is intriguing and it’s hard to avoid giving away too much in the way of spoilers. ‘Tobias’ narrates this story. He’s married to Millicent and they live together in an idyllic gated community in Florida with their two kids Jenna and Rory.  

But the book opens up with Tobias claiming to be deaf and trying to pick up a woman in a bar. He’s scouting out a potential victim. And his wife is in on it. 

This a dark page-turner, with young married couple who have some seriously unusual tendencies. Tobias is a tennis coach in the local country club. Millicent is a real estate agent who has sold numerous properties in and around their exclusive community.  

But murder isn’t straightforward, and although Tobias and Millicent are in it together, they have their own separate roles – not always asking precisely what the other is doing. Things begin to unravel when to cover their tracks, they decide to construct a way to cover their tracks and keep investigators away from what’s really happening. Inevitably, this has unintended consequences.  

The obvious comparison here would be the Dexter novels, but unlike those, the victims are mostly blameless. These are clearly twisted people. 

The book is a rip-roaring read, and while I suspect that you could poke holes at some elements of the plot, the story is tightly constructed and makes internal sense. You’re certainly never sure how things will resolve themselves by the end, and the final act is tense as a consequence. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin-UK Michael Joseph for my ARC. My Lovely Wife is published on 2 May 2019 in hardback and 26 March 2019 on the Kindle.