Judith D Collins
The Other Widow
By: Susan Crawford
Publication Date: 4/26/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars Top Books of 2016 The author of The Pocket Wife explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense. Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs. It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .
Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.
Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.
As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge . . . closer to each other . . . to a terrifying truth . . . to a shocking end.
A special thank you to Harper Collins and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Susan Crawford returns following her riveting debut The Pocket Wife landing on my Top Books of 2015 "Best Eye-Catching Cover and Best psycho- contemporary debut "(Bipolar), with THE OTHER WIDOW three women connected by tragedy—an exploration into the dark secrets of marriages, a mystery of domestic psychological suspense-lies, infidelity, obsession and betrayal.
A delicious "Chick Noir" exploring fears and anxieties of women. The dark side of relationships, intimate danger- do you really ever know your husband or partner?
Set in Boston in the cold winter, we meet three women --flashing back and forth with different perspectives: Dorrie: Grabbing a cup of hot chocolate at Starbucks, she is now in the Audi with Joe (her boss) of Home Run Renovations. Black ice, slick roads, cold winter night---after a desperate phone call on his burner phone—he wanted to meet. He is ending their affair. “It isn’t safe.” The car spins out of control, blood. She is frantic and hears her mom’s voice in her head, to leave. She grabs her burner phone and calls 911. Torn; decides it is best to leave the scene. Around the corner she hears voices, sirens, people. She makes sure the ambulance, cops and the EMTs arrive. Joe is dead. She was there. She also has a daughter and a husband. A life. She has to do what she what she can to hold on to her life, if it means walking away from the wrecked car and the man she loved. She drops her burner phone in the trash. She sees the driver side of the door is open? All of a sudden she sees a car headed toward her. She slips and falls and keeps running through the night. Karen: Joe’s wife---She and friend Alice have just finished a late dinner at a restaurant near Alice’s small bookstore. A snow storm. She admits to her friend-- she suspects Joe is having an affair. She has read his emails. Emails in the middle of the night. As she is leaving, she sees a car in the snow, a dark sedan—a car which could be Joe’s. Smashed into a tree. By the time she gets home, her phone is ringing. Maggie: At age 34—years old, former military serving Iraq, cop on leave with the Boston PD, she left on her own, has PTSD --Only Hank, her old partner knows. She is one of the youngest investigators at the company. A (boring) job at an insurance agency, Mass Casualty and Life. Due to the crazy weather, her phones are ringing off the hook, with the claims. She has a case—a wife took out a substantial life insurance policy on the deceased just weeks before he dies. Now she is involved with the cops on this one. Hank her old partner was the responding officer. Will this make her want to return to her old job? Can she keep her brain from exploding with screams and blood, broken people, broken lives, and broken minds? A loud noise will have her heart racing. How well will she hold up under intense pressure? Dorrie is confused by the accident and why Joe’s airbag did not function properly. The car door open after she left the car before the EMT arrives. Now someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. Karen is grieving, even though she suspects Joe may have been having an affair. She also feels someone is watching her--stalking. Strange things begin happening to her. The business was losing money, Joe was acting crazy, and totally obsessed with a tragic house fire, and the emails. She feels her entire marriage was a lie. Then there is Edward, Joe’s partner—acting strange. An old friend, Tomas- An envelope. Maggie, of course is suspicious about the insurance claim, with her razor sharp detective skills. People do all kinds of crazy things when they think they’ve lost what they spent their entire lives building. Weird things begin happening with Dorrie. The coat she wore the night of the snow storm accident- she leaves on a hook at the office. Strange things with Karen. Wow, lots of secrets--Dorrie, her husband, Karen and her husband. Maggie even has secrets. What was Joe involved in and why was he afraid? Had he tampered with the finances? Had someone tampered with his car? So many pieces of a mystery - one night during a snow storm—a train, a car. Two women-- the widow and the other widow the night Joe died—and one determined to solve the mystery and save the day, for an explosive ending. Crawford keeps you guessing, peeling back the layers of all the characters with something bigger scheme, playing out in the background. Keeping you page-turning to find the identity of the killer. A complex mystery domestic psychological suspense with a twist. The author uses highly-charged contemporary topics in both her books, relating to women. I loved, Maggie Brennan’s (soon to be detective) character. She is sharp, witty, flawed, and a great cop. Hank is funny—love these two. A lot of intrigue surrounding her background. These two would make for a nice series—crossing over into detective crime, reminding me of Tami Hoag’s Kovac and Liska-which I adore. Hopefully we will see more of Maggie (back on the force) and Hank. Despite her fear of making the wrong choice, Iraq, and everything --she comes through. Widows are all the rage these days; enjoying the mysteries surrounding the lives of “marriages” and the dark secrets revealed after the death (both from husbands and wives). Chick-noir, seem to be a new wave of psycho-thrillers—the dark fears of the "unknowns" of a partner—either sex or money tend to be involved, or old obsessions. For fans of Paula Treick DeBoard, Liane Moriarty, Laura Lippman, and Paula Daly. Can’t wait to see what’s next! More Maggie, please.
About the Author
Susan grew up in Miami, Florida, where she spent her childhood adoring her older sister, reading mysteries in a hammock strung between two Banyan trees, and collecting lizards, baby skunks and other odd, exotic creatures.
She later moved to New York City and then to Boston before settling in Atlanta to raise three amazing daughters and to teach in various adult education settings. A member of The Atlanta Writers Club and The Village Writers, Susan works for the Department of Technical and Adult Education and is a member of her local planning commission.
She lives in Atlanta with her husband and a trio of rescue cats, where she enjoys reading books, writing books, rainy days, and spending time with the people she loves. Susan's first novel is The Pocket Wife. Website
Top Books of 2015 Best Eye-Catching Cover
Best psycho- contemporary
THE POCKET WIFE by Susan H. Crawford,
an absorbing psychological thriller debut-an exploration into the mind of a troubled woman, as she questions her actions of reality versus fiction. 5 stars