Julie is devastated to learn that her husband, Paul, is having an affair. It seems her life can’t get any worse - until she comes home to find his dead body in their bed.
When the police establish he was murdered, Julie is the obvious suspect.
To protect her son from the terrible situation, Julie sends the teenage boy to his grandparents in Edinburgh while she fights to prove her innocence.
With all the evidence pointing to her, the only way she can escape conviction is by discovering the true identity of her husband’s killer.
But who really did murder Paul?
The truth is never straightforward…
What did I think?
I haven't read any of Leigh Russell's acclaimed crime novels but I'll definitely be adding them to my wishlist after reading The Adulterer's Wife. Although I had my suspicions early on about what had happened, and I'll not say if I was right or not, I still really enjoyed the book and found myself being thrown off the scent a little bit by the clever way that Leigh Russell had drawn her characters.
Paul makes the fatal mistake of leaving his mobile at home one day when it pings with a message and his wife, Julie, feels the bottom of her world fall out. As Julie scrolls through the other messages, the evidence is overwhelming: Paul is having an affair. Julie thought he was playing squash on a Tuesday when he was actually playing away with a woman named Bella. When Paul rushes back home to retrieve his phone, Julie hides it and says she hasn't seen it. Rather therapeutically I have to say, Julie takes the SIM card out and smashes the phone with a hammer. Then she stupidly destroys the SIM card - nooooooooooooo, I yelled, you need to keep the evidence! She hadn't even checked his photos.
So phone and marriage destroyed, Julie pretends that everything is ok for the sake of her son, Dan, who is taking his exams. Once Dan's exams are over, Julie plans to kick Paul out. On a night out with her friends, alcohol loosens Julie's tongue and she tells her friends about Paul's affair. Julie is in quite a state when she gets home and when she wakes up the next day she finds Paul dead in the bed beside her. Julie doesn't even shed a single tear; they have been married for 19 years, surely she should feel something! It made me wonder whether Julie was so emotionless because she had killed Paul in a drunken stupor - the police certainly think so. Julie protests her innocence but as the evidence mounts up against her, she turns to several people for help but it's clear that not all can be trusted.
It's odd that I enjoyed the book but I didn't like Julie at all. I really couldn't cope with her lack of emotions when her husband died and perhaps can see why he ended up having an affair. I loved the feeling of Julie running out of time like sand through an hourglass as she tried to escape the clutches of the police. Once they got their hands on her she'd be going to jail as there was enough evidence to link her to Paul's death. The book really made me think about trust and how we take it for granted that we can trust those closest to us but so many people are multi-faceted and you never know which face is the real one.
All in all, I think The Adulterer's Wife is a fast-paced, compulsive domestic noir style thriller.
I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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About the author:
Leigh Russell, author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel crime series, has sold well over a million books worldwide.
Her novels have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Turkish. Reaching #1 on Kindle, her books have been selected as Best Fiction Book of the Year by the Miami Examiner, voted Best Crime Fiction Book of the Year in Crime Time, a Top Read on Eurocrime and shortlisted for the John Creasey New Blood CWA Dagger Award, long listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and a finalist for the People’s Book Prize.
Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. She serves on the board of the Crime Writers Association, chairs the Debut Dagger Judges, and is a Royal Literary Fellow
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