Kate,Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable at college- friends who promised they’d be there for each other.But twenty years later , their friendship is about to take a deadly turn.
Kate married the gorgeous party boy,Aubrey married up and Jenny married the boy next door,but when one of the friends dies in shocking circumstances,will everyone assume it’s always the husband?OR COULD IT BE THE BEST FRIEND?
Michele Campbell’s debut its always the husband is quite a refreshing take on the famous suspense trope of the husband being the murderer in case of a married woman . I promise there would be no spoilers and let me dive right in —
Plot summary :
Kate – the fast one.
Jenny –the ambitious one.
Aubrey – she wants the best of both Jenny’s and Kate’s worlds despite struggling to strike the right balance. But she is determined to make the best of the exposure to the elite society and opportunities that an Ivy Leaguer is accorded. Two decades down the line, the three are married and settled down. And then one of them dies… Not surprisingly, there seem to be too many plausible motives – betrayal, passion, revenge…. The newest addition to this cocktail is even more dangerous which threatens the friends too… Which of the following motives proved to be the strongest that it resulted in murder – Or is it murder in the first place?
My reading experience :
The college years of the girlfriends has been dealt in great detail and is an engaging read.It contributes greatly to the development of the central characters-Aubrey , Kate and Jenny .While much thought has been given for the character development of the three, the other characters aren’t so well developed.When the moving finger picks out the next suspect , it seems a bit not easy to believe even if the motives attributed to them are perfectly sound.The host of secondary characters come and go only in relation with the central characters and are not very familiar to the readers . If you are actually going to accuse somebody , first give them enough space in the story .
Given Michelle’s in-depth account of the college life in the Ivy League campus ( given that she herself is a graduate from one ) , it would have been better if the second part of the story which is where the guessing game starts , too had enough details . Although it was a really great narrative , it missed out the compelling factor simply because few of the angles which had been touched upon (like the murder or suicide question ) didn’t have enough weight to actually keep the readers guessing . The victim simply hasn’t been characterized seriously as being traumatized or showing signs of extreme stress ( or much stress whatsoever) to actually take her own life . The psyche of the characters could have been better explored .
Despite these shortfalls , Michele scores strongly with the ” show – only – one -side ” of the narrative which finally starts to build the tension . The last 60 pages or so turned the regular whodunit into one heck of the story that leaves the reader shocked with the terrific twist at the end . Yes , the last few pages actually made all the impact that has people touting it as the next Gone Girl .
So , how would I rate the book? For me , the story has to strike the right chord with suspense element and getting the readers actually agree with your surmise of the moment which was clearly missing with it’s always the husband . Perhaps , a few more pages giving a good picture of the secondary characters and exploring the characters’ psyche in a little more depth would have made this book even more worthy of all the praise its raking right now . I guess ” the next Gone Girl ” is the highest form of praise right now . The wonder is there are too many books like that 😛
Rating : 3.5 / 5 ( The sheer brilliance with the narrative style and one jaw-dropping shocker is not going to make all the difference ) .
Picking up the book ? Would strongly recommend you to check it out (if only ) for the narrative . All you had worked out in your brain wouldn’t help much because you haven’t been shown the full picture . And when you finally get to see it guaranteed it would leave you stunned .
If you had picked up the book , how did you feel about it? Or are you planning to pick up it up now?? Drop in a word or two in the comments section .