The perfect marriage. The perfect house. The perfect secret…
As I step through the cherry-red door of my new home, I know I should feel like the luckiest woman alive. I have a handsome husband, a beautiful daughter and now the house of my dreams. And to everyone else my life looks perfect…
When the neighbours stop by to welcome us, I tell them my name is Stephanie Hamlin and, under the watchful gaze of my husband Richard, I introduce him and our curly haired little girl Poppy. I smile as wide as I can and desperately hope I can fit in to this exclusive place with its pretty communal gardens. Because I’ve risked everything to be here.
Behind closed doors I try to relax, to unwind in the huge clawfoot bath and forget about my complicated past. It’s hard being the new couple on the street when you’ve got secrets.
Because the truth is, my charming husband isn’t really my husband.
And I’m not Stephanie Hamlin…
An absolutely gripping psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the last page. If you love Behind Closed Doors, My Lovely Wife and The Perfect Couple, you’ll be hooked.
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 300
Date of Publication: September 27, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
With a perfect marriage - not...the perfect couple - not...the perfect house. Well, one out of three is correct. Stephanie Hamlin, husband Richard and baby Poppy are about to move into a beautifully renovated house in an exclusive neighborhood. The thing is, Stephanie and Richard are not married. And Poppy is not there little girl. The manner in which this fabricated family move into the house is the mystery that goes from bad to worse in this latest book by Alison James.
Stephanie and Richard are trying settle into the new house in a low key manner. However, they have a welcoming new neighbor named Jane Headley. Stephanie is not so appreciative of Jane noticing that they have moved in and is more than a bit rude. Therefore, Jane is then rather surprised when Stephanie ends up knocking on her door and all but pushes Poppy into her arms and asks her to babysit. Jane agrees, and ends up watching the baby a few times, but she still does not see much of Richard.
As the story progresses, the nefarious nature behind Stephanie and Richard's activities begins to come clear. The story is full of intrigue as Stephanie, Richard and his brother create a plan, begin to follow through with it, all while not caring about any consequences that might face them.
In this book, while Jane's suspicions grow by leaps and bounds, she pushes and pushes in order to figure things out. Meanwhile, the other characters who are not who they portend to be continue on an irreversible past. Kudos to Alison James for writing such a different story with difficult characters, lots of twists, even pacing, devastating secrets and a satisfying read. Definitely another winner for me.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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