I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these past few weeks, so I was dreading diving into this book out of fear that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to. But, I’m delighted to say that within the first few chapters my apprehension quickly melted away and I was completely wrapped up in Stephanie and Sophie’s quest to discover what happened to the late Elizabeth Sinclair. The Dead Wife is quick paced, full of all the right drama – M. K. Hill grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Title: The Dead Wife
Author: Sue Fortin
Publication Date: July 12, 2019
Genre: Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Themes: Murder, Journalism, Romance, Family Dynamics
My Rating: 4.5/ 5
SINCLAIR WIFE DEAD! HUSBAND CLEARED!
Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family’s holiday park.
It’s been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.
Elizabeth’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. And the truth will come at a deadly price…
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2Vk9Z84
I adored this book because somehow it manages to be light and airy while simultaneous injecting a healthy dose of dark and twisty and never once feeling out of place. The two threads play beautifully off one another balancing paranoia with humour, sadness with hope, and intrigue with romance which creates a really enjoyable and exciting reading experience. We have a young travel journalist sent to investigate the grand re-opening of an infamous resort where two years prior the wife of one of the owners passed away under mysterious circumstances, a desperate mother determined to find the truth out about the death of her daughter, and the son of a business empire that wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive clutches of his family. I’d say that’s a pretty good recipe for an exciting read – even before suspicious and dangerous events stark dogging our heroine’s tracks!
It’s helpful that Stephanie is a journalist rather than a police office as she can break protocol with far fewer consequences and a lot less red tape than if she were a police office investigating Elizabeth’s death. And it really helps that Steph is a cute, unassuming little firecracker because who in the Sinclair family would talk to a cop with all of those skeletons in their many, many closets? Of course, the police aren’t entirely out not the picture with Steph’s mom having been the DCI on the case. Lynch’s official line and cryptic warnings creates a fair bit of tension and moves the plot along nicely, especially when it feels like Steph’s investigation is grinding to a halt.
I enjoyed Stephanie’s tenacity and spunk, how she sought to make the most of every situation that she encountered – from doing her best promotional work for the Conmere Resort, to taking on Sonia’s case to find the truth about her daughter’s death, and finally in accepting Harry’s offer for extra work when she so desperately needed the funds to stay solvent. I’m sure Stephanie’s need to balance the desire to pursue her photography full time with keeping one’s head above water is one that many will be able to relate to. That, or the steamy whirl-wind romance with an heir to the Sinclair estate and the man that she is supposed to be investigating. Hello forbidden fruit!
Harry struck me as a bit of a modern day Mr. Darcy. He’s introspective, emotional, and unbelievably wealthy. He blows hot and cold on so many fronts oscillating between friendly and standoffish, caring and cold, kind and accusatory, as well as empathetic and detached. Not to mention that he takes after a girl with an inquisitive heart wanting for means, against his better judgement to boot, and simply can’t resist the temptation.
Now, lets be real here, the romance in The Dead Wife takes off in true fairy tale style. We are talking a damsel in financial distress completely loosing it for a broody, handsome and wealthy prince in just under three weeks – just wow! Now lets keep in mind that Stephanie has a good bit of baggage from her divorce and Harry’s packing a few cargo containers worth of his own after the death of his wife… If having to watch Frozen on loop with the god-kids has taught me anything, it’s that Steph needs to have a conversation with Elsa, Anna, and the reality stick. Also, I loved it.
I appreciated too, that Elizabeth wasn’t a perfect victim to be held up on a pedestal. Not that her actions ever warranted her demise, but she quickly became a character that was easy to both love and hate. Her boredom, ambition, manipulations, and scheming was so easy to get wrapped up in – and I can only imagine the rage inspired in the Sinclair family when they discovered the depths of her interference. I appreciated how both Harry and Sonia acknowledged and understood Elizabeth’s flaws, and never tried to glorify her after death. Sonia’s dedication to finding the truth was honest, heartfelt, and really pulled at the heartstrings.
While it was pretty clear that one of the Sinclair’s was responsible for Elizabeth’s death, I certainly wasn’t expecting the culprit in the end. Any one of the four could have been responsible, with each having plenty of motive, so it quickly became a matter of sussing out not only who had more motive but also the personality to act upon their dark desires. We have fierce mama Pru, secretive and controlling Dominic, volatile and emotional Owen, and the cuckolded then widowed Harry. Hill just keeps feeding out those misleading clues that eventually all come together in the end, but first leads you in about 200 circles. So good!
All together this is a gripping and engaging read. There’s never a moment where you’re wanting for action and all of the characters are developed and unique. The interplay between intrigue and emotion will have you constantly guessing what comes next. If you like a good psychological thriller with a little love in the mix, The Dead Wife is an absolute must read!
About The Author
Sue Fortin is an award-winning USA Today and an Amazon best-selling author, an international bestseller and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three.
Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she now lives with her husband, children and grandchidren.
Social Media Links – Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/suefortinauthor/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter : www.twitter.com/suefortin1
Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources and Sue Fortin for inviting me to join in this tour and for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.