The Marriage Lie
By: Kimberly Belle
Publication Date: 12/27/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars Top Books of 2016 Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and their marriage is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will leaves for a business trip to Florida, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board, and according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers.
Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? What is in Seattle? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to find out what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she receives will shock her to her very core.
A special thank you to MIRA, the author, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Cover love- the paperback is stunning!
Talented author, Kimberly S. Belle returns following The Ones We Trust (2015) and The Last Breath (2014), with a deliciously domestic psychological suspense thriller, THE MARRIAGE LIE. Top 50 Books of 2016! “A page-turning” grip-lit. An exploration into the complex lies, betrayal, and dark secrets of a marriage. Do you really know your partner? A happy husband and wife living in Atlanta. Iris and Will Griffith, are approaching their seventh anniversary. They have their dream Victorian home on a quiet street in Inman Park (love the area), with the porch and working on a baby to complete their family. Will is headed out of town for a three- day business trip to Orlando, FL and gives Iris a beautiful anniversary ring, the night before. He is a Sr. Software Engineer with a consulting firm and has a conference to attend. Iris is a school counselor at the exclusive K-12 Lake Forrest Academy in a leafy suburb of Atlanta. They are a privileged and elite tribe of troubled kids with wealthy parents of surgeons, news anchors, socialites, and professional athletes. Soon the horrific news comes that Liberty Airlines Flight 23 has crashed, shortly after taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Seattle Washington. All 179 passengers are presumed dead. However, it was not Will’s plane. He was on his way to Orlando. Safe, correct? However, he is not answering his phone. Iris soon learns William Matthew Griffith was on that plane. How could this be? This has to be a mix-up. However, as Iris begins investigating, frantic with worry and fear over this unsettling news, she learns there was no conference for Cyber Security for Critical assets: An Intelligence Summit. He cannot be dead. It was not possible. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The stages of grief. How could a man headed to Orlando end up on a westward-bound plane? How could he have died? Could the conference have been moved to a different location? Was there another woman? Had he been cheating? Was he leading a secret life on the west coast? Iris finds he booked a one-way trip. He booked two tickets in opposite directions. Why? Iris goes from heartbroken to being furious. He lied. How could he do this to her? To them? Terror overwhelms her. With the help of her twin brother, Dave she begins digging into Will’s past. However, the question is, "does this lie override their seven years of marriage?" Does it erase their love? Will said he grew up in Memphis and moved to Atlanta straight out of grad school at the University of Tennessee. His entire life had been on the east coast, not west. His parents were dead, and he had no siblings. He never talked of friends or family. Besides his colleagues and acquaintances his only high school friend residing in Costa Rica. They had eloped when they married, with only her brother and his partner, James, and her parents, as witnesses. She knew his childhood wasn’t pleasant, but nothing something he talked about. How well did she know her husband? Iris is determined to get answers. A pilot error. What if Will is not dead? How could he leave her here all alone unarmed and clueless to fight this battle? She wants to defend him; however, she is unsure. She and her husband shared a home, a life, and a past. Their relationship had been built on trust and honesty. There had never been any reason for either of them to be jealous or suspicious. Until now. Who is this Corban Hayes showing up from Will’s gym? She does not even know this guy. How could she mourn a guy she longer is certain she knows? Could her husband be a wanted criminal, a serial killer, or a rapist, or a murderer? Nothing is as is appears. His job, his past, their life. Has it all been a lie? Money missing. Crazy messages. Something is not right. Does she want him to be dead, or face the fact he is not the person she married? Things start getting weird, and she and her brother Dave begin to uncover more about Will’s dark past, leading us to more twists and turns, and the explosive conclusion! (great ending!) From money, lies, deceit, blackmail, and betrayal. Innocent lives, justice, revenge. A twisty gripping ride and with each turn, you do not know whom to truth. Reliable? The author does an outstanding job of weaving the mystery and suspense with the deep dark secrets for a wild adventurous ride. Psychological suspense and family drama with a perfect marriage on the exterior, yet beneath the façade; a marriage with dark secrets and lies with fatal repercussions. A chilling and haunting tale. Also a nice tie in with the student Eva. Those with money and those without--when money does not always provide happiness. An ideal choice for book clubs and group discussions (as always, Belle includes an extensive guide). A thought-provoking question: To what extent does a person’s past influence or define one’s future.? There are many emotional complex decisions and moral dilemmas sprinkled throughout the novel. The what ifs; if faced with similar circumstances? As always I enjoy re-visiting with the cool parts of Atlanta which I lived for many years, the Historic neighborhoods, landmarks, restaurants, and the wonderful Atlanta Beltline. I could imagine myself back there! Belle's descriptions are so vivid. I loved Dave, Iris’s twin brother. Kimberly adds just the amount of wit and humor with the psychological suspense and mystery, for a nice balance. I knew the first book I read by Belle, she would be an author to follow. Each book is unique, crossing several genres- love her writing style! For fans of domestic suspense: Sandra Brown, Paula Treick DeBoard, Kate Moretti, Susan Crawford, Laura McNeill, and Paula Daly will enjoy this twisty look "behind closed doors" of a marriage. Review Links:
Praise for The Marriage Lie
"The suspense builds rapidly from there as Iris pulls back Will's layers of deception and solves the mystery of what the circumstances of his death meant for their marriage. A compelling adventure."
"...numerous skillfully executed twists will force readers to constantly shift their allegiances from character to character, never entirely sure who to trust or what's really going on. A surprising and fast-paced read."
"With plot twists around every corner, Belle isn't afraid to keep her readers guessing until the very last page of this heart-pounding story of one woman's desperate search for answers."
"After a plane crash claims her husband’s life, questions about his death surface as Iris Griffith follows a trail of cryptic clues to discover if Will was the man she thought she knew. Taut and briskly told, The Marriage Lie is a smart mystery that takes readers on a wild ride. Fans of domestic suspense will adore Kimberly Belle."
--Mary Kubica, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL
"The Marriage Lie is the definition of a page-turner. Every chapter ends perfectly hooked, every emotion is laid bare to experience along with Iris. We feel every one of Will's carefully crafted lies. We don't know who to trust, who to root for, who is dangerous, and the effect is dizzying. A pulse-pounding good book."
--Kate Moretti, NYT author of THE VANISHING YEAR
"Perfectly paced, highly suspenseful, and heart-rending, The Marriage Lie kept me enthralled right up to the shocking final twist."
-A. J. Banner, Amazon #1 bestselling author of THE GOOD NEIGHBOR
"Unimaginable loss leads to shocking revelations in this suspensefully layered and emotionally gripping novel. Belle steers a twisting course that will have readers breathlessly turning the pages.”
-Sophie Littlefield, award-winning author of THE GUILTY ONE
"A beautifully-written, perfectly-populated, edge-of-your-seat story, The Marriage Lie is not to be missed!”
-Susan Crawford, author of THE POCKET WIFE
About the Author
Home is where the laptop is.
I grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Back then I couldn’t find an ounce of beauty in the blue ridges and green valleys and roaring streams, couldn’t find an ounce of appeal in the winding country roads. I was slave to my wanderlust. The summer after high school, I fled to Atlanta to attend Agnes Scott College, a small liberal arts school for women and a four-year pit stop on my quest to see the world.
It was in Atlanta I met the Dutchman, who whisked me off to the Netherlands. What was meant to be a six-month stay turned into twelve freezing but fabulous years, during which I began checking off the countries on my to-see list. Two decades later, I’ve still not seen them all.
Living abroad changed me in ways I can’t count, and though I don’t have the passport to prove it, I am in my heart and soul half Dutch. I know the culture, I speak the language like a native, I love that country like my own.
Ten years ago, the Dutchman and I moved back to Atlanta with our two children, but every chance I get, I hop a plane to Amsterdam, so I can stick my toes in sandy Dutch soil. And of course, wherever I go, the laptop also travels. Read More
More from Kimberly Belle
She has made my Top Book List for Three Consecutive Years! Read More