By: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 5/16/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver—brillliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.
But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.
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Michele Campbell’s debut, IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND —is a suspenseful and intriguing twisty "whodunit" and "howdunit" of dark secrets— a web of deceit, keeping you guessing to the final conclusion.
Three college roommates at Carlisle College in New Hampshire — Aubrey, Jenny, and Kate are linked by a tragedy.
Each girl has their own desires, dreams, fears, and troubles. The complexities of friendship and acceptance. Love/hate relationships.
Kate is the wild rich girl with a father’s connections and a stepmother who gets in her way. Her family is connected to the college. Their name is on the buildings.
Aubrey is poor — on financial aid. No social friends (her family was white trash). She just wants to escape her home. Not sure how she will fit in. She is sure her life is about to change. She would make her roommates love her no matter what it took. Kate was the friend she had been waiting for her entire life.
Jenny—a townie. She grew up her in New Hampshire. Her parents own the local hardware store. She is ambitious. She soon uses Kate to move up the ladder.
Everyone is using someone.
The girls’ relationships become complex, as most do where there is a threesome. One is always left out or playing against one another. A third wheel. Each has their own agenda. Guys. One which dated the other girl years ago. Jealousy.
They say your freshman roommates become your best friends for life (or death).
“I no doubt deserved my enemies but I don’t believe I deserved my friends." – Walt Whitman
From booze, drugs, sex, jealousies, guys, lies, secrets, greed, and betrayal. If you play with fire, you eventually get burned.
Aubrey makes a decision to commit suicide with Kate, except Lucas dies instead. He had dated Jenny back in high school and Kate flaunts sleeping with him. Aubrey does everything Kate wants (her idol).
Aubrey’s mom dies and more drama here. All the while Jenny is sucking up to Kate’s father spying on Kate, yet using him for her own selfish needs. Kate has her own issues and manipulative behavior.
Of course, this tragedy links all three girls through their lifetime. A dark secret.
Then later they are all back in the same town, now married. Kate is married to a rich guy, Griff. She is using him until he loses his money.
Aubrey is married to a doctor and pines for Griff. Jenny, now the mayor and married to Tim (Lucas’ cousin). These people are acting as though they are back in college.
They each have their own reasons to keep their secret. Until greed gets in the way. Again, as adults, they are each still playing their sadistic games.
When one of them actually dies at the same bridge where Lucas fell to his death twenty years earlier, suspicions point to each of them. Each person and their spouse have their own individual motives.
With many suspects, marriages are threatened, as well as friendships and families, crossing moral lines.
A twisty-page turner keeping you glued to the pages to determine the identity of the killer. These are some manipulative girls! With friends like these, who needs enemies?
There were lovers, friends, enemies, and others who had a motive. Could it possibly be the husband?
When the book begins you feel sorry for and sympathized with Aubrey. By the end of the book, you despise her, along with the other two. Not a lot of likable characters here.
Demonstrates how events and crimes from your younger years are carried into adulthood damaging future relationships, friendships, and marriages.
As other reviewers mentioned, I preferred the second half of the book, when the gals are older and the suspenseful fast-paced twisty turns.
They are the same self-centered people; however, they have advanced to murder, bribery, infidelity, revenge, and cover-ups with the assistance of their husbands.
A clever ending.
Looking forward to seeing what comes next from this newfound talented author.
“I can be on guard against my enemies, but God deliver me from my friends!” ― Charlotte Brontë
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.
May Top Reads
“Readers will be left in an adrenaline inducing ‘whodunit’ game, until the completely unpredictable conclusion. This book is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.”
—Redbook Magazine (naming IT”S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND one of its “20 Must-Read Books for Spring”)
“Demonstrating diabolical plotting chops and an ability to convincingly conjure settings, Campbell crafts a twisty page-turner.”
“Twists, turns, and a puzzling mix of suspects . . . will keep readers turning the pages.”
“IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND has great character development, allowing readers to really get inside the minds of the characters until the very end, where a shocking twist leaves readers stunned.”
—Romantic Times (naming IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND a “Top Pick”)
“Campbell’s debut novel is an intriguing whodunit that examines the explosive potential of secrets to destroy friendships, marriages, and lives . . . a page-turner.”
“Secrets and scandals in an ivy league setting. What could be more riveting? Michele Campbell’s novel is a page-turning Peyton Place.”
—Tess Gerritsen, #1 bestselling author
“A page-turning whodunit that will speak to anyone who’s ever had a frenemy.”
—Ruth Ware, bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin Ten
“A brilliant, twisting read that kept me guessing until the final page. A rollercoaster friendship among three college roommates ends in murder years later — unless the husband did it. I read my eyes out!”
—Janet Evanovich, #1 bestselling author
“A skillful and addictive story of friendship, betrayal and ultimately love, IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND will keep you turning the pages until its dramatic end.”
—B.A. Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors
“A compelling and twisting story of friendship, buried secrets, and revenge, IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND gets deep beneath the surface of the ties that bind. Intricately plotted and driven by an undeniable momentum, Michele Campbell’s riveting story grabs on, holds tight, and haunts even after the book is closed. Don’t miss it!”
—Lisa Unger, bestselling author of The Red Hunter
“A gripping, tangled web of a novel—it pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. I loved it!”
—Shari LaPena, bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
About the Author
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases. A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels. She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her. IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND is pure fiction and not based on any of these relationships, nor is it based on any academic institution she has ever attended or lived near.
Michele currently lives in New Hampshire. Read More