Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane
Narrator: Xe Sands
Published by HarperAudio on December 29, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 9 hours, 27 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….
With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.
I decided to review Pretty Little Wife because of the genre and the narrator. I didn’t realize I also have enjoyed the author in the past as well, in a different genre.
There are two main points of view here. We get the thoughts of Lila, who is the suspect, and wife of the missing man. The other thoughts are of Ginny, the police detective, who investigates the missing persons and homicides with her young partner, Pete. Both women are subject to some misogyny and other prejudices, even though they are extremely competent.
I thought this was a very well-written story with great character development. Lila is a bit of an unreliable narrator because she only divulges what she wants you to know, which is far from everything. And there is SO much happening. Slowly, as the police investigate we get more pieces of the truth, and each is shocking or puzzling. Each fact turns what I believed on its end.
Lila’s past, as well as those of her husband and his brother, eventually become known. They are horrifying, part of the warning about violence, and yes it is violence against women. Ginny is very smart and has good instincts. Lila is just trying to set things right. Both of them do quite well.
Xe Sands is one of my favorite narrators so I choose audios to review like this when she is the narrator. I think her voices are well performed for both male and female characters. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
- Series on Saturday: Audio series @Rachel_Aaron @vikasadam @AndreaPenrose @KevinHearne @luckylukeekul @KelleyArmstrong #KateHandford @veschwab @booknarrator @HoJay92 @BaileyCarrVOICE #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 10, 2023
- Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub - June 8, 2023
- 🎧 All The Sinners Bleed by SA Crosby @blacklionking73 @alazarrewhite @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I had no idea that Darby Kane is the pseudonym of HelenKay Damon! Great review, Anne? I passed this up for audio review but was able to get the audiobook from the library.
It’s tough to get everything I want for audio review. I try not to take things if I can’t review them sort of soon. I really, really liked this one. Nothing is quite what you think.
Sounds like a winner here, and I really am intrigued by seeing that it implements two experiences of dealing with prejudices. Unfortunately its something all of us relate to. And Xe Sands is one of my all time favorite narrators to listen to.
I definitely think it is a winner although there is more violence than some people want to read, or mention of it. But that’s a great point in how they deal with different prejudices. This was really engrossing for the thought process.
Oh, I am so glad to see that you enjoyed this one. I bought a copy of this from BOTM and am looking forward to reading it.
It’s VERY good. The contrast of the two women, both treated poorly and it is a twisty story.
I’m on the wait list for this at the library. Dimon has been hit or miss for me but I’m hopeful about this one.
I hope you will love it as much as I did. I found myself rooting for a criminal who I didn’t like very much. So it was very twisty.