Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of Jane Corry’s compelling psychological thriller, ‘My Husband’s Wife‘. I’ve read all of Jane Corry’s books now, and I think she’s an excellent writer! Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
What if your life was built on a lie?
When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.
But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who’s accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for.
But is he really innocent?
And who is she to judge?
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Contains repeated references to murder throughout, including all the grizzly details relating to the court case. Explores the theme of child neglect and abuse. Contains references to incest. Explores the theme of mental illness, including a scene describing a suicide. Explores the theme of substance abuse, particularly alcoholism. Contains scenes of a sexual nature throughout, and explores the theme of infidelity in great detail.
‘My Husband’s Wife’ is Jane Corry’s first novel, and was released in August 2016. Since then, she has also written ‘Blood Sisters’ (2017) and ‘The Dead Ex’ (2018). Corry is a writer and journalist, and she spent years working as the writer in residence at a high security prison for men. This experienced helped to inspire her novels.
The novel has received positive praise, from the likes of fellow authors such as Elizabeth Haynes: “A rollercoaster of dramatic twists … chilling and suspenseful”, Mark Edwards: “A blockbuster of a psychological thriller”, Mel Sherratt: “A clever tale of secrets and lies”, Katerina Diamond: “Kept me guessing till the very end” and Rowan Coleman: “A fascinating tale you will think about long after turning the final page”.
‘My Husband’s Wife’ tells the stories of newly-married Lily and young Carla. When lawyer Lily takes on her first murder case, she finds herself captivated by her client, a very dangerous man. And is Carla, the girl next door, really as innocent as she claims to be?
The narrative is told from the first-person perspectives of Lily and Carla. The reader is given an in-depth insight to their thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are also sections included from an unnamed, omniscient narrator. Part One begins in the year 2000, and Part Two jumps forwards in time to 12 years later. The narrative is fairly easy to follow, but is still very effective.
Carla is probably my favourite character in the novel, simply because I found her to be absolutely fascinating. We begin the story when Carla is a young girl, who lives next door to Lily and Ed with her mother. Carla is a lonely child who is forced to fend for herself a lot of the time, and she takes a really liking to Lily and Ed. Carla is a seemingly innocent character, but it soon becomes clear that she has a really dark streak. 12 years later, Carla comes back on the scene and is hungry for revenge. She’s a very realistic, three-dimensional character, and I really enjoyed reading events from her perspective.
Lily is another excellently-written character. She’s finally settled down with husband Ed, and she takes on the murder case to try and make a name for herself. Lily finds herself drawn to the dangerous criminal she is defending, and she does all she can to clear his name. Her work begins to affect all other aspects of her life, and very quickly her life begins to spiral out of control. But there’s much more to Lily than first meets the eye, and it soon begins clear that she has some dark secrets that she’s buried deeply. Lily is a very believable, relatable character.
Lily’s husband Ed is an artist who is also struggling to make a name for himself, and is struggling to bring in any income to the household. His relationship with Lily is very destructive, and they must work hard in order to keep their relationship going. When Carla comes along, she inspires him to paint and makes him feel alive again. Ed soon proves himself to be a selfish, manipulative character, who is only concerned with his own well-being. I didn’t really like Ed as a character, but he was fascinating to read about.
Other characters in the novel include: Carla’s mother, Larry (Carla’s mother’s partner), Davina (Ed’s ex-girlfriend), Ross (Ed’s best friend), Joe Thomas (Lily’s new client), Tony (Lily’s colleague), and various other family members and colleagues. There is a relatively small cast of characters in the novel, but they all bring something fresh and exciting to the story.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here.) Much of beginning of the novel centres around a court case for murder, and it explores many of the grizzly details relating to the case. The theme of child neglect, in particular, but also child abuse, is explored within the novel. Trauma, relating to the suicide of Lily’s adopted brother, is explored in great detail in the novel. An exploration of mental illness and the grizzly details of the suicide scene are included. It also touches on incest that the adoptive siblings experienced. The theme of substance abuse is explored throughout the novel, particularly alcoholism. Finally, the novel includes repeated scenes of a sexual nature, and the theme of infidelity is explored in detail. There are quite a lot of trigger warnings in this book, but they are all explored with appropriate sensitivity. If you feel like one of these issues may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, the situation for everybody spirals out of control. Lily’s past comes back to haunt her, and her relationship with her client becomes more dangerous than ever. Carla’s back and she’s hunting for revenge, but she becomes trapped in a difficult situation. This can only end badly, right?
So, let’s talk about the ending! There’s a very dramatic end scene, in which the characters find themselves in a life-or-death scenario. They must fight to do what’s right, and question their own moral judgements. The ending is jam-packed full of action – I physically couldn’t look away! Personally, I found the ending to be a bit too far-fetched and dramatic, although I was pleased with the way in which the novel was resolved.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly ones that are more domestic-based. Corry’s writing is exceptional and her characters are brilliantly-written, and there was just the right amount of suspense included throughout. My only criticism is that this book was a bit too dramatic and far-fetched, and at times it felt like I was watching a television soap. But I’d still highly recommend this book!
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Happy reading 🙂