Review: It’s Always The Husband

Book Title: It’s Always The Husband
Author: Michele Campbell
Series: None
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.

19 thoughts on “Review: It’s Always The Husband”

  1. You are SO right. This book was definitely marketed/promoted in an off sort of way. It wasn’t AT ALL what I was expecting. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but it was not the thriller I was looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really wanted to read It’s Always The Husband as I love reading novels about the husband & wife. I emailed the publisher in USA but didn’t hear a thing back not that I expected that they would reply or send me the book to the UK but thought I’d try. However much I really really want to read this book it’s too expensive to buy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m currently reading this and at 30% and I was getting a bit annoyed with the slow pace but you’ve made me want to continue. so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice review – I have this towards the top of my TBR and I think you’re review may help me out here a lot. I was expecting a solid mystery type thriller who done it book so I’m glad not to go into this one expecting that and be disappointed. Hopefully I’ll enjoy the book for what it is as you seem to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review Chelsea! I’m so glad I saw it.
    I’m 30% in and keep having a hard time not wanting to put it down and read something else. I’ll push on now as I am curious to see where it’s going!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I suspect that I will take a chance on this one, as I do love characterization with a dollop of suspense (in addition to fast-paced thrillers). I like to mix things up. So this one is on my list. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I fear your care in avoiding spoilers left me perplexed as to what this book is about. I love stories about school & college friendships but wonder what these women actually do in life- careers? children? If it’s not a thriller & not a domestic drama, what is its genre?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly Bill, after finishing the book I was left wondering what it was mainly about as well. There wasn’t much development as to why these girls become friends, as the “mean girl leader” gives off no reason why she should hold that power unless it’s solely due to her beauty? The ending was very soap opera drama and left a bit of a saccharine taste in my mouth. While I didn’t expect the “whodunnit”, it didn’t leave me with a feeling that I had experienced anything of depth or entertainment. It was technically a murder mystery I suppose, it just lacked the suspense, tension, and grit to hold my attention. Hope that makes sense.


  8. Great review. I’m about 2/3 of the way through it… questioning how and why these 3 girls were ever friends… didn’t seem even in college like they wanted to be around one another… Hoping for a stronger finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I actually saw somewhere (maybe Netgalley?) that this was under Women’s Fiction, which is probably why I’ve avoided it (even though it sounds interesting). I guess the title is sort of mis-leading??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet you did! I think what threw most of us off is when we received arcs in the mail the press release clearly marks it as a psychological thriller” and on Goodreads it is shelved under Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller. Usually I’m not bothered by a miscalculation like that, but I can see now why it bothered some readers.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s