- Title: The New Husband
- Author: D.J Palmer
- Publisher: St Martin’s Press
- Length: 384 pages
- Release date: 4/14/20
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐ maybe
Happy slightly late book birthday to The New Husband! My advanced copy came through a giveaway not associated with the publisher, but all opinions are my own, as always.
Here is the description from GoodReads:
Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone―presumably drowned while fishing on his boat―she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.
Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.
Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.
So yes – the book opens with Glen vanishing off his boat, the family dog adrift alone on the lake and blood everywhere. Then we have a very slow approximately 175 pages to learn all about Nina, Simon, and the kids Maggie and Connor. I don’t even remember those pages and I read them yesterday, if that says anything. The last 200 pages though were absolutely blisteringly fast – and even though, even my HISTORICALLY TERRIBLE at guessing the plot actually guessed EVERYTHING way ahead of time… It was an interesting ride.
One of my biggest shockers was to find out that the author, D.J. Palmer, was a man. I honestly thought it was a woman because he does a pretty good job at writing in a teenage girl’s head. Maggie, the 13 year old daughter, carries the first person POV in her chapters and they were my favorite part. Nina, the mother, might be blind and making questionable if not outright stupid life decisions, but that girl is smart, trusts her gut, and handles herself remarkably well for someone that age. She was bullied by just about everyone and not only handled it with grace, but turned out quite alright.
The narrative/plot goes from a small amount of gaslighting to murderous psycho level pretty quickly. I love my psychos as much as the next person and Simon was definitely certifiable. I am relatively new to domestic thrillers but getting the hang of them, and this one falls in the predictable range. If I can predict it, it’s predictable, trust me. I was still interested in finding out how things happened but every single gaslighter box was checked. Isolation, manipulation, kids targeted, and then where does Glen (the ex husband) fit into things?
You’ll have to read it to find out. Other than the boring and forgettable start, my other issue was that it was hard to tell how much time was passing between chapters sometimes. The whole span of the book is only a few months but things seemed to spiral RATHER quickly.
The last voice we hear in the novel is Maggie’s, and among other things she tells us not to judge people unless we are in their shoes and faced with their decisions. After spending almost 400 pages judging Nina and everyone else, I had to laugh. Nina was tough and brave at times, I’ll give her that.
I think the newer you are to domestic psychological thrillers, the more you’ll enjoy this. If you like very good doggies there is one of those too. That said… A ⭐⭐⭐ for me.
Thanks for tuning in!