W&C: The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family.

As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadies must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

I wanted so badly to like The Other Mrs. but I just don’t. It’s not Kubica’s writing really – her style is well-evolved and digestible. It’s just that the story is kind of awful. And riddled with holes.

I also didn’t feel any form of sympathy for the main characters, except maybe the kids. Sadie is whiny and a little too dense to have wound up in the position she’s in. She doesn’t stand up for herself for most of the book and then is shocked when other people fill her silence with their own narratives. Will’s character shift comes out of nowhere and makes the whole ending seem rushed. Almost as if Kubica was tired of writing the story and just wanted it to end.

Ironically, it was only the last twenty pages or so that actually had me interested. The entire rest of the book is filler with side plots that don’t have a resolution and characters that are picked up and dropped without explanation.

It all makes me want to read something else from Kubica – one with the same willowy style but with a much, much better plot.

Photo and synopsis from marykubica.com

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