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Book Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

I didn’t like it.

That’s it, that’s the review…..

Okay, I’ll write a bit more.

First things first, I know that by now I should be able to give up on books that I’m not enjoying. I know that life is too short and all that, but I just can’t do it.

  1. I tend to read on a kindle and the part percentage of an unfinished book on display will drive me insane. Yeah I know I can delete the damn book; I don’t like doing that either.
  2. I need to know how it turns out and IF it gets any better – more often than not, it doesn’t.

I don’t get why I can’t give up books. TV shows I’ll ditch in no time. As soon as I feel a TV programme is disappointing me, that’s it, it’s gone without a second thought…

  1. The Fall – I’ve tried twice, it’s too slow I can’t get into it.
  2. Sons of Anarchy – boring, unlikable characters.
  3. The Walking Dead – I started to hate Rick, could tell you how each series would pan out and generally, how is it still being made?

Anyway, I digress back to this book.

I don’t like slating books, I love books, I love stories. I appreciate there will be people that do not agree with me on this one, but My Lovely Wife did not work for me, at all. I found it a bit silly.

Okay, so it’s billed as a psychological thriller about a husband and wife.

They live in an exclusive gated community in Florida, they have two children, careers, a routine and are bored.

So, looking to spice up their painfully boring lives (and my God they were dull) they decide to go straight to stalking, kidnap, torture and murder because why take up a hobby like surfing or walking when you can go straight to pyscho?

The story is told through the eyes of the husband – I’ve just realised we’re never told his real name. We first meet him while he’s pretending to be a deaf man named Tobias, he’s picked up a woman in a bar, he and his wife Millicent are looking for their next victim.

Anyway, this nameless dude describes meeting Millicent and their life together. She’s an estate agent and he’s a tennis coach at an exclusive health club, though he cancels more lessons than he actually teaches.

I get that with a story like this, you aren’t meant to like the characters, mission accomplished. Millicent was bloody awful, I don’t know how he or the kids put with her; she had ALL the rules in place over what kind of food they ate, what they watched, screen time. Rules, rules, rules and more rules – their home sounded like a prison, i don’t understand how he didn’t tell her at any point to chill out.

Unnamed dude also wasn’t very smart.

 It was painfully obvious where this was going. I knew early on that she was gearing up to set him up and I didn’t get how he couldn’t see it; he was so easily played by Millicent and did all her bidding. I suppose they do say love is blind.

When it came to the finale of the book it just – for me – felt a little too easy. The showdown was too neat and too quick.

So good points? It was well written and moved quickly, I did like the pace of the book. Downing succeeded in making me absolutely hate Millicent, I wanted to slap her or scratch her green eyes out – provoking that kind of reaction about character is an achievement. I’ll read other books by Downing.

The story just didn’t hit the mark for me. I can be notoriously fussy when it comes to any kind of thriller, so maybe that hasn’t helped here.

I know some have loved this book, others not so much – neither side is wrong, we all have different opinions. I’d say the fact it’s marmite is a success in itself because either way it’ll make you feel something. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan.

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

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