Dear Wife: A Novel - Book Review

Dear Wife: A Novel

Author: Kimberly Belle
Genre: Fiction - Thriller - General
Publisher: Harlequin
Date Published: June 25, 2019
ISBN-10: 0778308596
ISBN-13: 9780778308591

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Book Review of :  Dear Wife: A Novel


Dear Wife is a suspense-packed thriller by Kimberly Belle. It is a brilliant contemporary mystery that grabs the reader’s attention on the first page. Beth has planned for months to escape her violently abusive husband. “No more tiptoeing around your temper, no more dodging your blows.” As she runs and hides to escape the abuse, she refers to her nemesis as “you”. She has carefully calculated the price of freedom.

Chapter Two introduces Jeffery who returns from a trip to find his wife, Sabine, missing. Is she too running? She has taken nothing. Only her car is missing. Knowing that the police often suspect the husband first, Jeffery reluctantly calls to report her missing.

Detective Marcus Durand is assigned the case and further twists the plot. He will stop at nothing to find this woman and close the case in spite of his superior’s insistence that he back off.

On the run, Beth changes her look and obtains false ID. She moves around leaving a false trail and becomes a great liar. She states that she has watched ‘you” lie, by telling the truth when at all possible and not embellishing with detail. “Lies multiply, contradict, proliferate.” By sticking close to the truth a person doesn’t trip over the simplest answers. She also knows basic self-defense: “Straight punch to the throat, knee-kick to the groin, elbow to the nose. Basic moves, simple techniques every woman should have in her arsenal, both potent and effective.”

The author’s intriguing characterization is evident as she introduces Jorge. He’s a four-hundred pound milky-white man scarfing down a burrito the size of his forearm. His eyes are thin slits; his cheeks squeezing them shut. He’s shoveling down a bucket of refried beans slathered with cheese and shoves a whole taco into his mouth as he grunts.

Then there is Derrick, Jeffery’s brother who he says “likes to pocket my shortcomings and failures, store them in his basement-brain like dormant Molotov cocktails. Weeks or months or years from now,…he’ll toss one into conversation just to see the fireworks.” The reader will easily relate to Miss Sally, Martina, and other minor but distinctive characters as well as the emotionally complex principal characters: Beth, Jeffery, and Marcus.

Dear Wife is a psychological thriller that keeps the reader spellbound with a multi-layered, fast-paced race through the lives of the three emotionally compelling characters. The reader will be shocked at this portrait of contemporary marriage and the women trapped by violent abusive men. The enthralling plot is an irresistible page-turner and hard to put down.

Reviewed by: Carole W

About Kimberly Belle


Kimberly Belle is the international bestselling author of five novels of suspense. Her third, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller and has been translated into ten languages. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Kimberly worked in marketing and nonprofit fundraising before turning to writing fiction. She lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and currently divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.


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