Book Review: The Wife by Shalini Boland

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Thriller


It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Zoe was sitting in her hotel room, in her perfect white dress, looking forward to the moment when she would make kind, handsome Toby her husband.

Then, there was a blank.

They said she must have fainted, overcome with emotion. But nothing felt quite right afterwards. Did something happen in that missing time?

Now, Toby and Zoe have two beautiful children and a perfect life. They’re planning their ten-year anniversary party for their family and friends. The invitations have been sent, the food ordered. They’re going back to the grand hotel where they got married.

But as the anniversary gets closer, it becomes clear not everyone is looking forward to celebrating. Zoe catches Toby lying about where he’s been. One of her best friends seems to be ignoring her. And someone is spreading stories that might stop the party from happening at all.

Zoe is increasingly sure that she doesn’t have the full story. But does she want to know the truth, if it will destroy everything?

My verdict: Oh my god I loved this book! I’ve decided now that Shalini is the queen of thrillers. This book had everything; manipulation, estranged family, a vindictive mother in law and a cat and mouse archetype where Zoe is determined to find out what happened o her wedding day. But, somebody doesn’t want her too. It’s a choice of who does she trust? That is one of the biggest themes in the book as well as infidelity, dishonesty and revenge. It’s like a dominos effect A series of mysterious events kept happening to Zoe and we as readers thought she was going absolutely bonkers.

This book is told through dual narratives including flashbacks and false memories and after reading this book it made me question whether all we are told by those we trust is true. Honestly this book was a rollercoaster of emotions as we discovered alongside Zoe what happened and it was one of those books I couldn’t put down. The scenario itself reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock films with the unreliable narrator and red herrings. Just as you start to piece together the clues the author immediately throws you a curve ball questioning all your assumptions you’ve made through reading. I love the characters, even the bad ones they are so well written but they almost jump off the page. They all had a part to play in this cover-up and a conflict of interest where we never really knew the characters true agenda until the gut wrenching climax. I could easily see this being turned into a BBC drama. This book has all the hallmarks of a brilliant thriller and I love how Shalini prolonged the mystery to the very last second where even I could not predict the novel’s ending. The narratives overall message tells us that even the tiniest of white lies can spiral out of control affecting not one person but everyone around them. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read what I consider to be another home run for Shalini Boland!

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