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Review: Mary Kubica, The Other Mrs.

4.5 stars

I'm a big fan of Kubica's works, having been inspired by her writing in my own career, so I did a jump for joy when I received an eARC from Harlequin and NetGalley for review consideration.

This may just be Mary Kubica's best novel. 

The marital bliss only runs across the surface for Sadie. Her loving, handsome husband, their two kids, successful careers--none of it is as it appears. When Will's estranged sister commits suicide and leaves him an estate--including custody of her sixteen year old daughter--they try to make a fresh start and move the family to the small island town on the coast of Maine.

Their world is upturned when the first murder since the 1980s happens a few doors down--with neighbors claiming to have seen Sadie arguing with the victim shortly before. There's only one problem: Sadie has never met the woman and is determined to find the real killer. 

All of the ingredients of a good murder-mystery thriller, and yet The Other Mrs. is so much more. Exploring degrees of depression and mental illness, Kubica finds a creative angle to tackle the suspicious spouse trope. I will admit: at first, I was disappointed to see the plot line stray to DID. As someone who had to study Sybil in school, countless crime dramas featuring multiple personalities, and most recently Glass (although, this one, too, was also well done, IMHO), it seemed like a cop out. However, Kubica doesn't rest on her laurels following the straight line of expectations. Yes, Sadie suffers from DID, but her husband is also manipulating her condition, a skilled liar exploiting her vulnerability for his own psychotic plans that span decades. 

It's hard to imagine the husband being the more despicable of the two, but by the end, it's difficult not to see him as anything but a monster--and I loved that outcome. 

The Other Mrs. is also compulsively easy to read. It was an engrossing page-turner, full of delightful narrative voices and beautiful pacing. 

I highly recommend The Other Mrs.. Add this to your TBR for un-put-downable 2020 titles.