The Silent Wife

In A.S.A. Harrison’s novel The Silent Wife we learn very early on that Jodi Brett will kill someone. She’s been living with Todd Gilbert for 20 years and they have built a life together that seemingly benefits them both. It becomes apparent quickly that their ideal romantic relationship dissolved into a convenient roommate situation well before we met them. They are a couple living near each other other without liking each other very much. Jodi appreciates solitude and the home she created. Todd appreciates an orderly home and the freedom to spend a lot of time away from it.

Harrison tells the story in “He said, she said” chapters. Neither of them are invested in their relationship, but neither wanting to give up. Jodi is a therapist who picks her clients based on certain criteria that measures how severely fucked up they are or not. She doesn’t want to take on any clients that she probably won’t be able to help. Todd develops property and owns his own successful company. Todd finances their lifestyle while Jodi provides the class and culture.

Its interesting to know that there will be a murder hundred’s of pages before it happens. It left me constantly wondering how it was going to happen since I was pretty sure I knew that Todd would be the victim. Todd took risks in his work and his love life. For Jodi to take the commitment and risk needed to commit murder, she has to devolve from the ostrich in the sand that we meet at the beginning to someone who’s willing to lie, cheat, and kill.

A.S.A. Harrison wrote an intriguing story that can be read quickly and enjoyably. Great, quick read!

Read February 2014

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Dark Places

Dark Places is the second Gillian Flynn novel that I’ve read, and I just love her! She twists and turns the plot until the reader is totally confused about who did what and when and how. Her novel em>Gone Girl examined a fucked up couple and how psychopaths can make life hell. In Dark Places, Flynn examines a family where 3 members died in the Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas by the hands of Libby Day’s brother. Or so we’re told. Flynn starts the story 25 years after the massacre where Libby Day remains fighting the demons of that night and living off the generosity of strangers who sent money to help her survive the tragedy.

When the money starts running low, Libby faces the past for the first time since the court trial. With the financial help of the Kill Club, a group of serial killer fans, Libby tracks down people from her past to try to reconcile new memories of the night her mother and 2 sisters were killed and she lost toes, finger, and innocence. Libby is the only witness to her family’s murders and she testified about her older brother’s involvement in the murders and satanic cults, having him convicted and serving life in prison.

Libby’s present story mingles with her brother’s tale leading up to the 1985 murders. Ben Day was a young kid with almost no friends. The Day’s poverty affected him more than Libby and her sisters and he reached out to whomever would accept him. Libby meets up with all of Ben’s former friends and we learn how Ben was convicted of the murders.

Flynn created a story with so many plot twists that we get to experience the emotional roller coaster with Libby. Did she falsely remember her brother’s voice that night, were there satanic rituals in Kinnakee, and ultimately was her brother guilty? Flynn allows us into her world which is a dark, exciting place filled with psychopaths and murderers and no one is truly innocent.

Read February 2014

Let Me Go

Let Me Go is the newest in Chelsea Cain’s series about Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, who has tormented Archie Sheridan for over a decade. In Kill You Twice, the previous book in the series, Gretchen escaped the Oregon State Hospital, outwitted Archie, and left with no trace.

Let Me Go picks up ten weeks after Gretchen’s escape. Cain focuses this novel on several days leading up to Archie’s birthday and Halloween. Archie’s love life appears to have picked up nicely since the last novel and he continues his tryst with his neighbor who bears a striking resemblance to Gretchen, which both Archie and Rachel use as part of their seduction. Susan Ward, the former Oregonian reporter, remains in Archie’s life but her resentment towards him colors their relationship. And of course, even when not in sight, Gretchen remains a constant lover for Archie, whether through memory or tormenting.

Cain is able to dissect Archie’s misguided relationship with Gretchen using the other woman in his life. Ultimately Gretchen will not allow any other woman in Archie’s heart and uses Archie’s birthday as an excuse to give him a gift to remind him once again that she is never far from him.

I still haven’t read all the novels, but this novel flashes back to Gretchen and Archie’s original seduction and Archie’s fall. Cain makes it clear that Gretchen had him in her sights from the beginning and will do whatever she needs to in order to keep him.

Archie’s love triangle problems are placed on the backdrop of another serial killer operating on an isolated Lake Oswego island. On this island, Archie must revisit his drug addiction and his protectiveness towards Susan to survive a Masked Ball weekend at an infamous drug lord’s party.

Once again Chelsea Cain twists her way to the finale with the reader following her the whole way. I thought it was interesting how little time passed from the beginning to end of the story, but the amount of detail is incredible. Cain is a true storyteller with a very morbid mind!

Read January 2014