The Secret Wife - Emily Shiner

Cara loves Michael. Michael loves Cara. But, Michael wants more than Cara can give him, and he'll stop at nothing to make his dream come true. The first step in his plan just involves a little bit of treachery, a dash of secrecy and a splash of... abduction?

Thank you Zoé for organising this tour! I'm not sure if it's just me but I always whiz through Kindle books and I finished this is two sittings over two days. Although, I was also completely captivated by the secrets surrounding Michael. For a look at what my fellow reviewers thought take a look at their social handles below to find them!

At this point it is difficult to fully shock me when reading a thriller because I've either seen, heard or read it all before. I enter a thriller novel but thinking of all the twists and turns it might take, guessing from the outset that this person is hiding something or this person isn't who they say they are. I guessed part of this thriller pretty much straight away, but Shiner expertly hid some major plot points right in front of our eyes that made for excellent reading.

Cara herself was an amazing aspect of the novel, her need to be loved and accepted by those around her became intense maternal instinct that wasn't questionable at any point. She was realistic in her personality, Shiner made Cara who we all aim to be in crisis but didn't make her the perfect character. Cara is flawed but her reluctance to look at what was right in front of her just made her more realistic, none of us would immediately think the worst of those we love, we'd delay the inevitable just as she did.

From the perspective of someone who is on medication for mental health issues, the aspect of Cara missing two pills and immediately feeling 'clearer' in her head did bother me. It takes two or three weeks (minimum) for any pill of that kind to take effect, and similarly, wear off. It isn't a major issue for the novel, it just pulled me out of the fantasy slightly. Although, with that being said, the change in Cara was written with amazing clarity. There is a clear distinction between medicated Cara and un-medicated Cara, Shiner did an excellent job of creating these alternate versions of Cara and Michael that are portrayed to the reader. Creating two characters is difficult enough, but creating four different personalities within them is exceptional work.

As thrillers go I was pretty impressed. The plot was well planned and the characters well developed, along with the twist ending where female empowerment became a key point I was very happy with my time spent in this novel.

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