Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Other Mrs. Miller

The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson
Penguin Random House; 7/16/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780525539247 

The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson is a recommended domestic thriller.

Phoebe Miller, 32, inherited a fortune from her father, David Noble. Her father also left her with the fallout from his years of sexual misconduct. Already an unhappy woman, Phoebe has now isolated herself in her suburban Lake Forest, Illinois, home where she drinks too much and tries to avoid going out in public. She has also started a log recording the time the car with a delivery company's sign on it parks in the cul-de-sac. She feels like the woman inside is watching her and may be a reporter. To make matters worse, her therapist husband Wyatt wants to have children; she's no longer interested and becoming increasingly fed up with Wyatt.
Then a family moves in across the street and it changes Phoebe's world. Vicki Napier is an outgoing, excitable woman who is quickly becoming Phoebe's best friend. The problem is that her eighteen-year-old son, Jake, is becoming Phoebe's lover while Vicki's husband seems to be an alcoholic with a temper.  The woman in the car is still watching the drama unfold, but Phoebe is too busy to keep track of her any more.

The novel is divided up into two parts, with part two decidedly different from part one, but most of the same players involved, and it starts with a major twist. Someone has been murdered, but the real question is who is responsible. Everyone is a suspect and trust is fleeting. Part two requires you to suspend disbelief and keep with the story for the resolution, even though the twist is unbelievable. The writing helps pull it all together.

While none of the characters are particularly likeable or trustworthy, and the plot becomes increasingly improbable, Dickson does manage to keep your attention on the narrative in spite of it all. It was relatively easy to ignore many of the coincidental occurrences that were required to keep the plot moving forward. You also have to accept Phoebe's affair with an 18 year-old. This is one of those novels that is engaging and will hold your attention, but you do have to accept the premise put into place and go with the action as it unfolds.

This would be a good choice for and airplane book or vacation read. It's an entertaining way to pass the time.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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