Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: "The Silent Wife" by A.S.A. Harrison

Jodi and Todd have been together for twenty years.  Jodi is a part time psychotherapist who takes great pleasure in caring for Todd, cooking elegant meals for him, and keeping their condo in pristine condition.  Todd has built up his property development company from nothing, and he takes great pride in what he has built.  He knows that he lives as comfortably as he does in large part to having Jodi by his side.  But he has a bawdy side too, with a list of regular bars he frequents as well as a mistress and a list of prostitutes he can call.  However, when his mistress (his best friend's daughter) becomes pregnant and wants to be married, Todd spins out of control and Jodi becomes something she never dreamed she could be:  a killer.

We are told straight away that Jodi is or will become a killer by the end of the book, so much of my reading became a game of "is it now?"  which is odd.  I'm not used to cheering on a killer.  And she is so unlikely!  She is basically a doormat, and a stuffy, uptight one at that.  She reeks of pretentiousness and is not anyone I could ever like or feel bad for.  At best, I pitied her for being so naive.  But I didn't think she would really become a killer.

Todd, on the other hand, is an asshole.  He treats Jodi like crap, actually he treats every woman like crap.  He is a sexist pig who drinks too much and would scream "mid-life crisis" if this wasn't how he acted his entire life.  He has no idea what he really wants in life and becomes a door mat himself when anyone (the mistress in particular) asserts dominance over him.  (Imagine what it could have been like if Jodi asserted herself in any way whatsoever?)

ANYWAY, this is billed as a psychological thriller.  It is psychological alright, but I'm not so sure on the thriller part.  I was interested, engaged - especially toward the end - but everything was all laid out in the implausible ending.  At least, I didn't buy it as anything that could ever really happen.  It will make for an interesting book group discussion, I hope, but in the end I'm pretty much meh about the book.

*****
The Silent Wife
by A.S.A. Harrison
Penguin, 2013
326 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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