Title: The Second Wife
Author: Rebecca Fleet
Publisher: Doubleday, Transworld
Publication Date: 5th March 2020
Everyone brings baggage to a new relationship.
When Alex met Natalie she changed his life. After the tragic death of his first wife, which left him a single parent to teenage daughter Jade, he’s determined to build a happy family.
But his new-found happiness is shattered when the family home is gutted by fire and his loyalties are unexpectedly tested. Jade insists she saw a man in the house on the night of the fire; Natalie denies any knowledge of such an intruder.
Alex is faced with an impossible choice: to believe his wife or his daughter? And as Natalie’s story unravels, Alex realises that his wife has a past he had no idea about, a past that might yet catch up with her.
But this time, the past could be deadly . . .
I am always up for reading a twisty psychological thriller so I was really intrigued by the premise of The Second Wife. The story follows Alex, who comes home one night to find his house on fire and is faced with some very unsettling questions about how well he really knows his wife, whom he found happiness with after the tragic death of his first wife and whom has apparently been keeping some pretty big secrets. It is an addictive and unputdownable novel that I absolutely raced through, desperate to figure out what was going on.
The Second Wife throws the reader straight into the intensity of the action of the house fire and I loved that I really had no idea whose side I was on or which characters to trust. The story is told in two timelines: one taking place in 2017 following Alex and his wife and daughter in the aftermath of the fire and the other takes place in 1999 and follows two sisters caught up in a dark situation and the complicated relationship they have with each other. As the book progresses, we find out more and more about how these timelines are connected. The structure works beautifully – at the end of every section I was desperate for it to continue so I could find out more which is always a sign that a dual timeline has worked.
The Second Wife managed to really surprise me at times so I don’t want to give too much away but at it’s core this novel explores what people are prepared to do for someone they love and how romantic obsession and familial bonds can drive people to extremes. I was holding my breath as The Second Wife raced to it’s tense conclusion and I was completely swept up by these fascinating characters. Highly recommend.
I received a copy of the book through the publisher and Random Things Tours. Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour. My review is my own honest opinion.