Book Title: It’s Always The Husband
Author: Michele Campbell
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Domestic Suspense, Fiction
Date Read: 05/09/17
Pub Date: 05/16/17
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
This was a read that requires a difficult review. I’m torn down the middle as the first half and the second half seemed like completely different books. While scoping out reviews via Goodreads, I have found what seems to be a central thought regarding this story; the book appears to be marketed to the wrong crowd. If I hadn’t been made aware that my expectations were leading me in a false direction, I probably would have been sorely disappointed in this book as well. This isn’t a criticism toward the author; she has no say in how the publishers and PR decide to project her work. I’m hoping by addressing an uncomfortable subject that this will lead the right readers to pick up this book and enjoy the story as is.
Right off the bat I could tell that Campbell has experience in the Ivy League circuit; her knowledge is abundantly evident in her writing and she crafted three of the most privileged characters I have experienced in years. I was completely sold on the credibility of this story; my only issue with the first half was that the pacing is a bit slow. The characterization is heavy here, and I appreciate that, but the lack of plot development almost made me put it down. However, right at about that 50% mark we start taking off and things get rolling! I was completely sucked in for the final half; the ending was not predictable but I had to sleep on it and wrestle it a bit before I really took to it. Once I sat on it, I appreciated how the author weaved together the ending and could see evidence of such from the beginning. This was a fantastic example of how unlikeable characters pitted against each other can really ramp up your pulse and keep you from turning out the light due to needing to read “just one more chapter”.
As I mentioned above, I think readers who are expecting breathtaking suspense and high paced action will be disappointed; this is not the book for you. Those who enjoy heavy characterization with lighter suspense and a dramatic ending will thoroughly enjoy this; I’d go as far as classifying this more as domestic fiction with a side of suspense. Hopefully this clears the air for some future readers and draws the right person to devour this deliciously deceitful book. As it’s a quick read, I can see It’s Always The Husband being a solid choice to bring on your summer vacation.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here on the blog.
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’s 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.