Do you ever read a book and not even know where to start with the review? Because that’s exactly how I feel about The Silent Wife. It’s a bummer that this is the only piece of fiction Harrison completed before her death, because it’s a slim but potent tour de force. Harrison has that gift of sucking you into a story with such an ebb and flow you don’t want to put the book down even when it’s well past your bed time, but more than that, I honestly had no idea how this story would end until I was on the very last page. No exaggeration.
Okay, let’s back up a little. At the beginning of The Silent Wife, Jodi and Todd seem to have an enviable marriage: they have a luxurious condo, where they share luxurious meals every evening and enjoy a seemingly flawless relationship. But as the story progresses, we start to see the cracks, and soon it becomes apparent the illusion of their happiness is maintained only largely through Jodi’s silence. As the cracks grow larger and threaten to shatter all they share, both parties begin to take extreme measures as they battle for what’s rightfully theirs. When they’re both playing for keeps and there is no quarter, just how far will they go?
The blurb for The Silent Wife promises that it “ensnares the reader from page one” and that couldn’t be a more accurate description. If you love psychological thrillers than don’t start this book late at night, because you’ll be unable to put it down until you’ve finished. (Luckily it clocks in around 300 pages, so that’s not too daunting of a task.) Much of the time when I read a thriller novel I hit a point where it’s fairly easy to suss out where the characters are headed and how it all will end, but I really was on pins and needles until the last page. I really had no idea what would happen to these two until I closed the book, and that’s what pushed this book up into five star territory. Hence, the exclamation of “Damn!” that opens this review, because that kind of thrill ride is rare, especially once you hit a certain saturation point in a genre.
If you’re a fan of Gone Girl then this is a must-read (and I don’t say that lightly, as a huge fan of Gillian Flynn). If you’re looking for your next one-sitting read for the pool or for a day off when you can just relax with a book and a bottle of wine, this is it. But if you’re looking for a casual read to carry over a week, move on, because this book is not your number.