Easy to read B-grade mystery thriller.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
No. of pages: 298
Everyone has their secrets. But this one could destroy your marriage.
When Anna Blackwell opens an email from an unknown sender, the shocking image attached shatters her perfect world. A woman has been killed. And Anna knows who did it. The past is catching up with her.
Is it her turn next?
To protect herself and her husband Will, she must tell him the terrible truth about her first love. But as the secrets of her life unravel, Anna begins to realise that she is not the only one who has been living a lie.
Anna doesn’t know who to turn to: her best friend, her parents, her husband. But she knows that her ex-lover is dangerous and she must stop him, before it’s too late…
I’ve read a few titles from Shalini Boland so far and am really enjoying her writing, the books seem to be light mystery/thriller, fast paced and easy to read. Great weekend escape!
The first half of ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ jumps around the timeline in alternating chapters; then the second half is sequential… although it unfolds an interesting story, I would have liked the format to have been consistent throughout. Also, I feel there was a missed opportunity for a flashback at the end maybe, to something antagonist Fin said or did to foreshadow the novels events to bring the narrative in a full circle.
Our protagonist Anna is a little frustrating, she seems flaky and hides too much from the people around her. I get that Boland does this to create mystery and forge the plot, but I wanted to throw popcorn at the pages. Anna also exhibited some good instincts and wasn’t the stereotypical waif common in this genre, so that helped balance out some of my frustration. But on the whole I found aspects of her character unrealistic. It destroyed the fantasy… aw, poor me. Anna did have some character growth and showed grit towards the end, but there was something about her that didn’t quite sell the story. The altruist in me wanted to see justice for her bad decisions – and it would have made sense in the tone of ‘The Millionaire’s Wife.’
Will, Anna’s husband… umm. I want to say he’s a bit of a chump. The dude is lovely and all, but he’s whipped. Some of his reactions, the things that are done to him… mate run for the hills and never look back.
The big disappointment was antagonist Fin – I predicted his entire storyline a few pages in. Your everyday variety douchebag. Seriously it was like he had neon signs floating above his head flashing ‘Bad Guy!’ Even the blurb gives the plot away. Facepalm.
Anna’s bf, Sian came across as a lovely gal… until I was rolling my eyes. (read the book, you’ll understand.)
I had a big issue with plausibility – there were many character reactions and behaviours that didn’t sit well with me. The story felt intentionally crafted. I like my mysteries to unfold organically, get surprised, but I got none of that unfortunately (apart from the twist at the end.)
But there is a certain scene that had me sobbing. Boland can craft an emotional moment. After all is said and done, I do enjoy her writing. This read like one of those midday movies you caught when you were home sick from school.
The pacing for ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is fantastic and I read it in two short sittings. It had a bit of a spoony ending. This did not feel as strong for me in comparison to what I’ve read from Boland prior, I think it was the fault around some of the plain stupidity of a few characters.
Gagging for the cover art though – one of my favourites from this genre.
On the fence about recommending this one – maybe good for a teen demographic or those just dipping their toes into this genre, or die-hard Shalini Boland stans.
Overall feeling: Monday Midday Mystery Movie kind of vibes
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