"Although I would never call myself a mystery/thriller fan, lately I have found myself on the hunt for psychological fiction that will captivate me in the manner of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. I do happen to be a sucker for debut authors, so when Susan Crawford's first novel The Pocket Wife arrived in a recent ARC box, I decided to give it chance.
Dana Catrell has a history of bipolar disorder. With her son away at college and her husband becoming increasingly distant, she finds herself moving closer to another episode of instability. She's not quite ready to call her therapist despite her husband's insistence. Waking to the sound of an ambulance wail and very little memory of what she did that afternoon, Dana is horrified to discover that her neighbor Celia has been brutally murdered—and that she is the last person to have seen Celia alive. Vague memories of a fight with Celia have Dana questioning if she unknowingly committed the murder, but the detective in charge of the investigation isn't willing to close the case that easily. He may also be Dana's only hope for holding onto her sanity.
Written primarily from the viewpoint of a person who fears she may have lost her grip on reality, and the possibility of being conveniently tucked away by her self-absorbed husband, it was impossible to not to connect and feel empathy for Dana, but she never ventures into the pathetic. The introduction of other potential suspects and plot twists made for a complex storyline that kept me turning pages well past the time I should have gone to bed. It all led to a conclusion that surprised me and left me hungry for my next psychological suspense fix.
A powerfully written and satisfying read, I recommend The Pocket Wife, not only to fans of Flynn and Hawkins, but also to those who enjoyed S. J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep."
- Kathy Clevenger, Baker & Taylor
[Indie Review- Customer/Staff Reviews from other Indie Bookstores]
"Penn Cage is the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi, and life is pretty good for him, his fiancee, and his daughter, until a call from the district attorney sends his world reeling. His father, Tom, a respected and beloved family physician, is accused of murdering Viola Turner, who worked as his nurse during the turbulent 1060s. As Penn tries to save his father, he is forced to confront the brutal and violent past of his hometown during the fight for civil rights. With strong characters and a taut story line that spans 40 years, Iles delivers a blockbuster that will leave readers hungry for the next two installments in what will surely be an epic trilogy."