Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Betrayed Wife

The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O'Brien
Kensington: 7/30/19
eBook review copy; 464 pages
ISBN-13: 9780786045075

The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O'Brien is a so-so novel of psychological suspense. 

Dylan and Sheila O’Rourke are married with three children. She knows he's not perfect, but he has supported her through hard times and cares about her. He was supportive about moving to Seattle after her rough patch and they are doing well now, right? Or is Sheila just doubting herself and seeing things when she feels like she's being watched, followed, and receives strange texts. She even tries to be as supportive as she can when sixteen-year-old Eden turns up, claiming to be Dylan’s child by another woman. Her mother has died and Dylan is her only remaining relative.

Right from the start a woman dies, so you know there is going to be some kind of suspense. Next we are introduced to Sheila, who is anxious, being followed, hearing noises, and keeps referring to her difficult times. Teenage son Steve is a good character, but the other two children are forgettable characters. Then Dylan shows his lack of morals and we learn about his serial affairs. And Sheila knows about him, but stays with him. At this point it is hard to keep reading this rather pedestrian novel of suspense because it feels like we have heard this story before: cheating husband, loopy wife, illegitimate child, and a deranged lunatic on the loose.

The narrative is mainly told through the point-of-view of Sheila, Dylan, Steve, and Eden. It does keep you reading, mostly while shaking your head and muttering about... well, the whole plot. I kept reading just to see what happened, how Eden was involved, who the crazy neighbor was, and if Sheila finally got a backbone and told Dylan bye-bye. Perhaps I need to avoid books with serial philandering unfaithful husbands.  I'm not sure it was totally worth powering through, especially when I got to the ending.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.

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