Written by Alafair Burke
Review written by Diana Iozzia
“The Wife” by Alafair Burke follows our main characters, Angela, Jason, and Corrine. Angela’s husband, Jason, has just been accused of sexually harassing a college student of his. Corrine is the detective at the Special Victims Unit who is investigating the case. We also have a small perspective from Angela’s mother, which I thought was the most interesting one. The story develops into a whirlwind of confusion, revenge, sacrifice, and anger.
We begin with interesting perspectives through unreliable narrators. The dialogue is catchy and interesting, with a great narrative. The prose is well-written and interesting to read. The detail put into the story does not feel unnatural. However, I did feel this book picked up and was like a tornado with whirling excitement, but then a calm pond in other sections. It was very exciting, and then very slow.
The chapters were short, but always ended with a dramatic last sentence. This is not a very intriguing device to me, because I understand it’s meant to be an interesting cliffhanger. For example, “It would be four days before I realized how naïve I had been”.
I particularly like the additional narrative device that is written into the story. We read police reports from Corrine that she writes up after every interview, every visit to each location. It gives us insight into the Special Victims Unit protocol and her own thought process. I like the e-mails we have between certain characters as well.
There’s a backstory we read of Angela’s that explains how she can be too trusting, too naïve, but I think it’s an unnecessary plot point. This book takes on too many thriller / drama tropes, such as the tragic backstory that builds this character into who she is now. And then, typical to the trope, the climax / twist / reveal always relates to this backstory and the strength / weakness she developed.
I absolutely love the plot reveal / twist. I think it was unpredictable and very well-written. I highly recommend this book and would absolutely love to continue reading books by Alafair Burke.