I decided to pick up this November 2020 Book of the Month selection since the author has a new book coming out at the end of this month. I was pleasantly surprised by Pretty Little Wife and am now looking forward to reading Darby Kane’s new book, The Replacement Wife.
The world sees Lila Ridgefield as a just Aaron’s pretty little wife. But not only does she harbor secrets of her past, Lila discovers her husband has secrets of his own. Lila takes action and kill him. Instead of receiving notification of his death, she finds that his body has disappeared. Shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?
Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems. A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….
With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.
For some reason unknown to me, I was not expecting Pretty Little Wife to be all that enjoyable. Perhaps it is because it is a domestic thriller with the word “wife” in the title. At this point, I am skeptical of any thriller with the word “woman”, “girl”, or “wife” in the title. They are so many, quite a few of which have been disappointments. I was happily surprised to find Pretty Little Wife to be full of suspense, twists, and surprises.
I typically do not like to compare books to one another, but I will say in this instance that Pretty Little Wife gave me Gone Girl vibes, despite having a very different plot. Now if you did not like Gone Girl, do not hold that against Pretty Little Wife. When I make that comparison, I guess I am really saying that both books are filled with suspense, have twists you will not predict, and are domestic thrillers that involve a disappearance.
Pretty Little Wife is labeled as a debut novel; however, it is the author’s first book under this pseudonym. Kane writes romantic suspense under another name. It is clear that she is a novelist from the expert manner in which the plot is built and the story is written. The story is complex and just when you think it is over, you are thrown for another loop.
The way in which the Pretty Little Wife is constructed left me feeling conflicted in a good way. Should I cheer for Lila who tried to kill her husband after what he did? Or is she also deserving of justice? Regardless how I felt about what she did, Lila was a fierce and fascinating protagonist. I think that this is one of the elements that really sets Pretty Little Wife apart from other domestic thrillers.
I was also excited to discover that the book takes place in Ithaca, New York, where I went to undergrad. I will say that the setting does not play a big part into the story. But I love when books take place in a city or location with which I am familiar.
My only real criticism is that the final twist was over too quickly and left me needing to reread it in order to fully comprehend what happened. I find that this takes a bit of the satisfaction of the climax away.
Overall, I really enjoyed Pretty Little Life and highly recommend it. I am looking forward to reading Kane’s new novel once it is released.
Pretty Little Wife
Mysteries & Thrillers
December 29, 2020