EXCERPT: I hit my blinker and merge onto the Muskogee Turnpike, and for the first time in seven long years, I take a breath. A real, full-body breath that blows up my lungs like a beach ball. So much breath that it burns.
It tastes like freedom.
Four hours on the road, two hundred and eighty-three miles of space between us, and it’s nowhere near enough. I still hear the clink of your keys when you toss them on the table, still tense at the thud of your shoes when you come closer to the kitchen. Still feel the fear slithering, snake-like, just under the surface of my skin.
You have three moods lately: offensive, enraged or violent. That moment when you come around that corner and I see which one it is always inches bile up my throat. It’s the worst part of my day.
I tell myself, no more. No more tiptoeing around your temper, no more dodging your blows.
Those days, like Arkansas, are in my rearview mirror.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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.
MY THOUGHTS: To all my bookworm friends: why did no one tell me about this author? Why didn’t anyone say, ‘Sandy, you HAVE to read this….?’ Huh? You left me out in the cold! Shame on you.
I read Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle in one sitting, a knot of excitement? apprehension? sitting low in my belly. An hour after finishing, I am still trying to get my breathing under control.
This is a superb book. There is a palpable air of menace, but there is also something darker lurking underneath that flipped me upside down when it was revealed. Yes, I thought I knew, I thought I had it all figured. I was smug in my certainty, and yet I still felt that frisson of excitement, of apprehension, of danger. ‘Good writer,’ I thought. Only, I didn’t realise just how good.
The story is told from three points of view: Beth Murphy, on the run from an abusive husband; Jeffrey, husband of missing realtor, Sabine; and Marcus, dedicated family man and cop in charge of investigating Sabine’s missing persons case. The chapters are short and to the point, the pace relentless.
If you are going to pick this book up, and you should, clear the rest of your day, because once you start reading, you won’t want to put this down.
Compelling, suspenseful, twisty and dark. I loved this! I will be reading everything this author has written.
THE AUTHOR: Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including her forthcoming domestic suspense, Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to HQ Fiction via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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