Book review of ‘The Serial Killer’s Wife’ by Alice Hunter

They’re saying he’s a monster.

And they’re saying she knew.

Every marriage has it’s secrets…

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

If you’re looking for a real page-turner to get your teeth into, look no further… Alice Hunter presents us with ‘The Serial Killer’s Wife’. I place this psychological thriller firmly within the ‘just one more chapter’ section of my bookshelf, and it led to me reading well-beyond my bedtime on more than one occasion.

We’re told the story, which takes place over fourteen years, from both Beth and Tom’s points of view, and there’s some lovely, subtle characterisation with both of these somewhat unreliable narrators. Their ‘normal’ marriage depicted in the novel’s exposition doesn’t last long, as Tom is asked to assist police with their enquiries within the first few chapters, and it’s at this stage that we start to see holes in their accounts and cracks in their perfect marriage. Their daughter, Poppy, (rather annoyingly referred to as ‘Polly Poppet’ throughout) is the one shared concern in their life. After all, what 5-year-old wants a serial killer as a daddy?

At first, I found this to be rather slow-paced in comparison to other thrillers. There’s a lot of build up to the ‘good stuff’, and I felt that I was living through Tom’s arrest in real time. However, stick with it, because there are plenty of twists to come towards the end, and they’re definitely worth hanging around for.

I’d place this on the gentler end of the thriller spectrum, but it’s a good ‘twisty’ read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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