She wants what you have.
Author and Guardian crime reviewer Laura Wilson follows up The Wrong Girl and her much loved post-war DI Stratton series with another standalone novel, this time focusing on the woman who Has It All: beautiful country home? Tick. Successful and loving husband, busy earning megabucks to keep her lifestyle afloat? Tick. Adorable children? Tick.
So far, so smug, but the shine on the perfection begins to dim when the family’s self-satisfied Christmas Round Robin is returned to sender with a nasty little edit suggesting that all is not as it seems and when hubby is in the big city earning wifey’s spending money, he is also seeing someone else.
Instead of a) laughing it off as jealousy or a prank or b) discussing with her husband, our ‘heroine’ embarks on a mission to discover who this rival is and have it out with her. Hmm, good move? Possibly not. A not-so-meticulous process of elimination follows and when the suspect is invited to the house for a not so wise spot of afternoon tea and interrogation, things quickly get out of hand and matters take a decidedly Hickcockian turn.
This is a novel whose gathering pace is clever structured to echo the fear, paranoia and ultimately panic our wife goes through as events rapidly veer out of her control and everything she sought to protect comes apart.
A delicious slice of schadenfreude served with Wilson’s masterful plotting.