Book Review: Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

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Publish Date: June 25, 2019

I read once that abusers can pick out their victim by the way they walk.” — Dear Wife

Parrish 2

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.

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.

Parrish 3

I binge read this book in two nights. At first I was hesitant to dive into a tale about domestic violence because the topic can be hard to read, but I was quickly enthralled because Kimberly Belle is a master at writing psychological suspense.

Beth (a fake name, of course) is on the run from her abusive and controlling husband. She has masterminded a clever escape plan sprinkled with plenty of bogus clues on her whereabouts. But who is she really, and what is her story? One woman is on the run, and another is missing. Is this related? Is Beth the missing woman?

The story is told from multiple perspectives and in the beginning it comes from many – Beth, Sabine, Jeffrey (Sabine’s husband), Marcus the detective, and a few others. But as the story progresses, the perspectives narrow down to only a few people. There is one short line that is delivered 85% into the book and BOOM, it all came together for me on how everything ties together.

I rooted for “Beth” and wanted her to succeed in ditching her awful husband. The buildup of the story reminds me not to make assumptions about characters and their connections. I was completely fooled by the evidence presented, and I loved the trickery – it’s very well written.

This book is about strong women, infidelity, love, control, domestic abuse, secrets, facades, and technology. I loved the technology aspect of the story, and how cell phones, computers, ATM cards and cameras can track individuals. No one can remain completely anonymous anymore. It’s a fascinating perspective on how a digital footprint factors into crimes and missing persons.

I like how the author portrays the women characters as strong, smart, creative and courageous. The men are weak, confused, controlling, and even sappy.  It’s an empowering story about domestic abuse and brings light to this subject. In the typical Kimberly Belle style, she drops little bombs at the end of the story that made my jaw drop and I was unprepared for the big twists at the end. Well done.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 5 Stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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