Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife was chosen as the May pick for Criminally Good Book Club, and what a great pick it was!

Book Description

This is a story about a married couple. They met, fell in love, had two beautiful children. So far, so ordinary. 

You might think you’ve read stories like this before.

You’d be wrong.

By the end of the first chapter you’ll be hooked.

At page fifty you might not sleep until you finish.

And when you turn the last page, you’ll ask yourself one question:

How well do you really know the person you love most?

My Thoughts

Now, there’s a synopsis to grab your attention! My Lovely Wife is a fresh psychological thriller that will grip you from beginning to end. With its short chapters, you’ll fly through this novel, and be rewarded with a fun, clever and twisted domestic thriller!

What puts this novel apart from others in its genre is the narration, so often the women/wife is the narrator but here, the story is told solely from the husband’s perspective and this worked really well for several reasons. Firstly, it paints the female as the villain which is not something we see often, not that the husband is squeaky clean – given that they’re a couple who engage in some very dark extra-curricular activities! All we know about the wife, Millicent, is through the eyes of her husband; taking away the wife’s perspective allows you to form your own ideas of what she’s like, and this is actually what makes you invested in this the plot because it makes it hard to guess what she will do next because you never get to know her personally.

The plot then doesn’t become too weighed down by the character’s pasts, it is very much a ‘present day’ novel, allowing you to get swept up in all ‘the crazy’ and boy does it get crazy – but in such a clever way!

You can see the author had a vision for this book, and based on my reading experience, it was well executed! I really enjoyed the writing style, the way the husband phrased certain things gave you an understanding of his nature, and who’s in control, without the need for excessive descriptive detail – this added to the ‘present day’ feeling, and kept the momentum of the plot going strong from beginning to end.

The couple’s children, Rory and Jenna, also play a significant role in the plot, which shows how the actions of the parents, despite them thinking their activities were kept secret, impact the children. Rory wasn’t the most likeable, but I don’t think he was meant to be, but he was, more importantly, a typical teenager, who acted in a believable way, giving the plot more validity. He and Jenna played a role in the direction of this plot and this was great in showcasing the family dynamics.

Did I figure out the plot, nope! Was I entertained, yep! My Lovely Wife is an addictive read, you’ll change your opinions of characters along the way, and be engaged in all that occurs – this is definitely a psychological thriller I’ll be recommending!

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

*My thanks to the publisher (Penguin UK) for providing me with a copy of this book*

28 thoughts on “Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

  1. Yes! I love “bad women” of books; all too often men are allowed to be villainous, where women are relegated to being merely “unlikeable” (which is usually just code for not-playing-by-the-rules). This one sounds really interesting, a great twist on the spate of domestic “crazy woman” thrillers we’ve seen of late. I swear I could’ve seen it somewhere else with a different cover, though…? Or maybe I’m getting it confused with something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You probably have, the US cover is very different, white background with a women’s face and a knife on the cover. And I completely agree, the notion that women can be villanous is not something we see often in thrillers, they’re so often the victim.

      Liked by 1 person

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