Rating: 3 Stars
The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft is the story of Betthany Reston, who loves her husband very much but is also having a secret affair. The affair has to remain absolutely secret because it’s not only Bethany who has a lot to lose. Her secret lover is married, and very famous. So, it is imperative that no one knows about them.
When her lover is murdered, following an argument with her, Bethany has to work very hard at hiding her grief from the world. She thinks she’s succeeding until she finds out that someone knows all her secrets. And, now they’re threatening to expose her as the killer. She knows she’s innocent, but there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. To prove herself innocent, Bethany must now find out who actually killed her lover.
The plot is interesting and the characters believable, except that the book gets increasingly boring as it goes on and on about Bethany’s quest to find the killer. Around the halfway mark, I just wanted to roll my eyes at Bethany and the determination of the writer to give her so many redeeming qualities to offset her audacity to conduct a secret affair!
There is no way to form any kind of opinion about the lover as he is only shown through the eyes of Bethany. The husband comes off as sort of loser in the beginning, and then more of a loser as the story progresses. The lawyer friend is like all lawyer friends in thousands of books that we have read. I began to suspect the killer quite early on in the book, and though I was suspicious of another character, I still bet on the one I first suspected. I was right.
It is unfortunate that we have had so many similar books about murders and mysteries, that there is hardly anything new to find anymore. I like books with twists and crazy endings, but it has to make some sort of sense at least. I would have been happier with the end if there hadn’t been an epilogue. The last chapter was enough to satisfy a thriller buff and maybe for someone to buy its filming rights. The epilogue completely spoiled the book for me, and that’s funny because the epilogue was what I had suspected from the beginning!
An average read that goes on for longer than it should.