Domestic noir is best done when controlled by an unreliable narrator, and the Wife Between Us is chock full of unreliable narrators and characters that blend and merge and diverge throughout to craft a compelling psychological thriller that will keep you turning the page.
The characters you need to know are Richard, a successful finance guy, Nellie, his young bride, Vanessa, Richard’s ex-wife, and Emma, whom you’ll discover later, oh, and you can’t forget Maureen, Richard’s overbearing sister. These characters go places you’ll never expect, and that was one of my favorite things about the book. Some marriages are just beginning. Others have ended in a burning flame. What really happened? Who is to blame for the dissolution of Vanessa and Richard’s marriage? Those are some of the questions that unfold in this narrative, but I can’t say more without giving one of the biggest plot points away!
As a domestic noir/psychological thriller, this book has a lot of the main themes going on. We’ve got unreliable narrators, multiple points of view, gas lighting, secret affairs, a sense of being watched, a therapist, and fertility issues. It does often feel overwhelming how much is going on, especially with the switching between the past and the present so freely within each paragraph, but it is handled well.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for lovers of domestic noir and unreliable narrators. It’s a suspenseful look at a marriage from every angle and the epilogue will leave you spinning!