Book Review: It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Its Always the Husband - Michele Campbell

It usually is always the husband but was it the husband this time?

Book Description:

It’s Always the Husband…unless it’s the best friend.

Kate, Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable at college – friends who promised they’d always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, their friendship is about to take a deadly turn.

Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door, but when one of the friends dies in shocking circumstances, will everyone assume that it’s always the husband? Or could it be the best friend?

IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND is the gripping debut which will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

Some books you just want to read because of the title – for me, It’s Always the Husband was one of those books. In domestic thrillers, it is often the husband, so I was curious to see how Campbell would tell this tale, was it in fact the husband or was the title chosen to mislead us?

For me this book can be split into two halves – the first half focuses mainly on the three friends, Kate, Aubrey and Jenny, during their time at college. We get to know these three women in their younger days, know their characters and this sets us up for what we believe they may or may not be culpable of later on. Initially, I found the college days of these ladies really interesting but after a while the repetition of drink and drug fuelled outings became a bit repetitive – the characters had already been established and I felt there was no need for such a long telling of these younger days.

Then one day it all goes wrong for these ladies, and the second half of this story takes place 20 years later. I think the second half of the novel was much better, it was more gripping because, as the reader, I felt more engaged. There was a murder to solve and so many suspects, each one you feel had a motive to commit murder, but a suicide could be just as likely, and this leaves the plot wide open. I was backing and forthing on who I thought was guilty; this uncertainty was heightened by the officer leading the investigation into the death of said person as you felt he had an agenda of his own.

When a book has such a huge time jump and you first meet the characters as teens, I think it’s important the author conveys these characters as the adults you believe they would have grown into to keep things believable. And Campbell did that very well, the three friends were well-distinguished characters and I had no issue with the believeabilty factor.

I suppose, where I really struggled with this one was the pacing; at times it was just too slow and, in the first half, quite repetitive. The pace did really pick up in the second half and this was much appreciated and made the read feel more like a psychological thriller, and I was pulled into the plot. But still, I think the story could have been shorter because towards the end of the novel I was ready for it to end.

I really like the idea for this novel and I like the way all the pieces connected but it was just fell short in its delivery. I wouldn’t discourage anyone who wants to read this novel, I’d say go for it, especially if you’re a fan of a slow burner, you may well enjoy it a lot more than I did.

This book is available to buy from:Amazon UK / Book Depository

*My thanks to the publisher (HQ) for granting me access to a copy of this title via Netgalley*

4 thoughts on “Book Review: It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

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