It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell Book Review

48995881_1738783039559046_6037020380743335936_n.jpgThis was a book that I had such high expectations for. The concept, the set-up and, for the majority of the plot, I was present, unable to put it down. Unfortunately when it came to the end, I felt like it didn’t hit the mark. I read this on my flight home (5 hours of pure stress and no sleep) and was engulfed in a world of mystery, suspense and intrigue. The three leading characters were carved into distinct, problematic and troublesome humans, muddling their way through a harsh world. It was easy to find elements of them that you could sympathise or even empathise with. The pace was well thought out and evenly space for around 3/4 of the book. The narrative itself switched between present and past tense, which is a common technique to build up suspense, so I wasn’t surprised or particularly impressed by it.

Summary (from GoodReads):

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump. 
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

If you haven’t read this book yet I recommend not reading any further as I’ll be discussing some spoiler-filled sections. If you have, join me and discuss this novel below.

The concept of this book is established in the title. There is a stigma that when somebody dies, the first suspect is always the significant other. They are the people that get called in first/interrogated and dragged in the news as potential murderers. I assumed this book was to address that this stereotypical idea, more often then not, isn’t true, and there was going to be an interwoven story where a surprise character ended up being the actual killer or it was all accidental. Instead I was met with the stereotype being confirmed to be true. It was Griff. I don’t think I’ve been this disappointed in an ending for a while. Comparing the pace of the beginning of the novel to the last few chapters, there is an immense difference. They felt rushed, and almost not thought through. (Of course that is just my own assumption, I wouldn’t be able to really say what it was like writing it.) But to have this big build up as to “who did it”…and it ending up just being what the title said…the husband. I think I would have preferred any other ending. Even the twist with Tim and Aubrey would have sufficed. That being said, that was another massive plot that never get explained. Were they a part of Griff’s plan? Tim stated that Kate fell off the bridge accidentally, but when Griff turned up to the bridge and hit her in the head with a rock, it seemed to be implied Aubrey and Tim were long gone.

This was my main issue with this book; the unneeded minor plot points and rushed storylines that didn’t add up or tie-in together. For instance, I felt that the introduction of the new police cop was unnecessary. I thought he was a solid character that would twist everything on its head and fight the injustice being placed in front of him…but instead he just gets brushed away at the end? Fired? No rebuttal from him at all? Ethan and Aubrey don’t really get mentioned either at the end, what happened to him and her, or Tim and Jenny for that matter? So many plot lines just got created and then left behind so I was left feeling unfulfilled.

In conclusion, I felt that this book was such a good concept and the initial part of it was so well written but then it got lost after the backstory of the death of Lucas is revealed which was such a shame.

Language/Style: 7 points
Story: 6 points
Plot: 6 points
Characters: 7 points

Total: 26/40

Favourite Quote: “Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises on its own?”

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