31 July 2016

Review: THE LOVING HUSBAND, Christobel Kent

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1067 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (April 7, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 7, 2016
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B010QDG7GQ
Synposis  (Amazon)

Can you ever truly know the one you love?

Fran Hall and her husband Nathan live in a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens with their two children. One February night, when Fran is woken by her baby, she finds the bed empty beside her and Nathan gone. Searching the house for him she makes a devastating discovery.

As Fran finds herself under intense police scrutiny, she and her two small children become more isolated as she starts to doubt whether or not she really knew Nathan. Was he really the loving husband that Fran had trusted him to be?

As police suspicion grows the questions for Fran begin to mount. Is there something that she is hiding from them - something that she has kept hidden from everyone, including her husband?

From the author of The Crooked House comes another stunning psychological thriller about family, secrets and the lies we tell ourselves. For fans of Gillian Flynn and SJ Watson, The Loving Husband draws readers into a marriage where nothing is as it seems.
My Take

This is another of those hard to write reviews as I don't want to spoil the discoveries that the reader makes as they get into the book. The police do not seem to believe what Fran can tell them about her husband's last night, and it does seem that she really knows pathetically little about him and his work. He has always been very disarming about what he actually does, and when we find out the truth it is quite shocking. All Fran really knows is that Nathan grew up in this area and that something has drawn him back to live here. Nobody though seems to recognise his name and the details they reveal about what happened in the squat that he lived in are very scant.

Fran is surprised to find that the police don't seem to believe her side of the story, and then someone starts stalking her. A man can be seen standing outside the house at night, he leaves chocolates and messages on her car window. You do feel that Fran really knows who he is, but the fact that she won't talk about it results in a number of red herrings. Fran has two children - the 4 month old baby Ben, and a 5 year old Emme who talks about the "bad man".

This really is a book where everyone has secrets. Fran is not sure she can even trust the police who seem to have their own agenda. And there are things that Fran doesn't want to tell them.

It is one of those books that doesn't really hang together as well as it should. The introduction of the character of Nathan's sister Miranda late in the book is obviously done to solve a few of the plot problems. And yet you read on, because you really want to know what the full story is.

My rating: 4.3

About the author
Christobel Kent was born in London in 1962 and now lives in Cambridge with her husband and four children; in between she lived in Florence. She worked in publishing for several years, most recently as Publicity Director at Andre Deutsch. Her debut novel A Party in San Niccolo, was published in 2003.

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