By: Kimberly Belle
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: 06/25/2019
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ Q&A with Author
Top Books of 2019 From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who, in a fight for survival, must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved. Beth Murphy is on the run… For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.
As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.
Praise for Dear Wife
An Apple Books "Best Book of June!"
"[T] his domestic thriller messes with our understanding of how well we can truly know someone else. . . . Belle has a flair for quick and sassy first-person narration—her writing style is as sharp as her characters." —Apple Books Review "40 New Thrillers Out This Summer That Make The Perfect Vacation Reads." —Bustle
Multiple plot twists keep the reader guessing all the way to the stunning conclusion, and the link between Beth and Sabine comes as one of the book's bigger surprises. Belle once again displays a knack for high suspense. —Publishers Weekly "Everything is not quite as it seems in this quick, satisfying read.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Subtle, insidious, clever... DEAR WIFE is spellbinding. I was hooked from the first page. You’re going to love Kimberly Belle’s latest outing. And you aren’t going to see it coming...”
—JT Ellison, NYT bestselling author of Tear Me Apart
“Kimberly Belle’s DEAR WIFE is a powerhouse psychological thriller, filled with all the twists and turns of a woman crafting herself a new identity while escaping an abusive marriage. Masterfully written, Belle has outdone herself with this thrilling and emotionally complex tale. This one shines.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts
“DEAR WIFE had me at hello. From the moment I met Beth, a smart, tough woman on the run from her abusive husband, I couldn't stop reading--and that was before the twists started coming fast and furious. Written with heart, humor, and a hefty dose of truth beneath the thrills, DEAR WIFE is a wild and massively entertaining ride.”
—Amy Gentry, author of Good as Gone and Last Woman Standing
“An enthralling plot with compelling characters that make it impossible to pull yourself from the page. Belle has hit another one out of the park!”
—Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You
“Kimberly Belle is astonishing. DEAR WIFE is an irresistible page turner, the riveting story of a wife on the run. And yes, it’s twisty, and full of secrets, and jaw-droppingly unpredictable. But what makes this read special is that it’s also a deeply revealing portrait of a modern marriage. DEAR WIFE is so emotionally compelling it will haunt you long after you race through the pages.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author of Trust Me
“This is Kimberly Belle at her best. The pacing is perfect. A brilliant, terrifying thriller. My heart pounded the entire time I read it.”
—Kaira Rouda, bestselling author of The Favorite Daughter
“In DEAR WIFE, Kimberly Belle expertly takes you on an adrenaline-filled, twisty roller coaster ride that’ll keep you guessing about who’s missing, who’s lying, and, ultimately, who might get away with murder. Compelling and addictive!”
—Hannah McKinnon, author of The Neighbors
Q&A With the Author
DEAR WIFE is cleverly constructed, twisty, fast-paced, emotionally explosive, heart-pounding suspense, characters to die for, superb writing, and razor sharp! Be prepared to be "blindsided." The talented author exceeds all expectations and then some. Loved this book.
My initial IG and Twitter post after reading: "WOW!! 🎬 Blown Away "Hotlanta"#thriller The BEST of 2019. @KimberlySBelle knocks #DEARWIFE "out of the park" 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Her BEST yet!" My favorite book this year.
A woman escapes an abusive husband.
She plans every move, with limited resources.
She must one step ahead of him.
He is smart and calculating.
Will she leave enough clues to trap him and beat him at his own game?
After all, the monster taught her everything she knows.
This multi-level masterpiece is much more than a modern day marriage, domestic abuse, psychological thriller, and a woman on the run.
DEAR WIFE is brilliantly crafted with colorful characters woven in and out of this woman's life. There is a deep meaningful human spiritual and emotional connection, as those cross paths for a reason. No matter the race, class, or color - people experience problems. There is the dark evil side of human nature, and there is a good side. Belle explores both, in the least expected places.
To name a few: from an illegal Mexican gal, a drag queen, housekeeper, a Reverand, a church, a boarding house, former prostitute, identity document forgery specialist—plus we have a cop, realtor, hacker, a software salesman, husband, lover, sister, and a mom.
All these well-developed characters are connected. Some nice. Some not. Some guardian angels in disguise. We never know other's past and what goes on behind closed doors- as for why this genre is so popular.
As in many cases, and I speak from experience, women (victims) in this situation must put others out of their reach to protect them and themselves. The abuser keeps them from others. The victim does not trust others and has very few close friends or family.
This novel is a perfect example of how we must trust others in some cases (no matter their past), to survive. A story so realistic, it could be ripped from today's headlines, versus a fictional account.
What makes this thriller a "stand-out" is not only the clever writing, the riveting heart-pounding suspense, vivid descriptions, the intensity, the highly creative plot, but the "excellent" character development.
Fear is an ongoing theme in this riveting suspense, and often we use fear to hold us back due to uncertainty. (we all can relate).
“Not every question has an answer. Not every problem has a solution. But if you’re open for it, there is grace in uncertainty.”
. . . . “Uncertainty leaves us open to doubt, yes, but it also opens us up to splendor and joy and wondrous surprise. To the beauty of hope. Nothing is certain, nothing is known, but it is in the moments of our greatest uncertainty that miracles happen.”
Think thriller crosses "This is Us." The author has done her research (even the cop procedural, hacking, guns, medical, church, religion, psychological, etc.) Not many writers can master this. Author, Michael Robotham (huge fan) has this unique quality, and now we have another . . . Kimberly Belle.
I have been a fan since her first book and read each of them. (Being an Atlanta gal, I love books set in the town). However, I will say, DEAR WIFE hands-down, "is on another entire level." It speaks volumes.
I am dying for everyone to read this book. 📕 I cannot say enough. I almost want another follow-up book with these characters. These characters will haunt you and linger well after the book ends. I am still thinking of them. Movie-quality guys! 🎬
To sum up, thriller author, Kaira Rouda has the narcissistic personality "down" and Kimberly Belle has the domestic "deceptive/marriage" down. They have locked in these respective titles, and readers have come to expect the "best" and are never disappointed.
This story resonates with me in many ways. Compelling and entertaining. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts.
Stay tuned for my upcoming Q&A Elevator Ride with Kimberly, coming June 25!
A special thank you to Park Row and NetGalley for an early reading copy.
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About the Author
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of four novels of suspense. Her third, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller and has been translated into a dozen languages.
A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Kimberly worked in marketing and nonprofit fundraising before turning to writing fiction. She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (facebook.com/KimberlyBelleBooks), Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), Instagram (@KimberlySBelle) or via her website at kimberlybellebooks.com.