THE GOOD WIDOW, BY LIZ FENTON & LISA STEINKE
PUBLICATION: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING; JUNE 1, 2017
About the book:
Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs, it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.
Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…
Holy crap I truly have no idea how to contain myself enough to write a review for The Good Widow! An amazing suspense thriller, The Good Widow introduces teacher and wife, Jacks (Jacqueline) as she is notified of an accident that has claimed the life of her husband James. The first problem, that accident was in Hawaii rather than in Kansas where James had told her he was going on business. The next problem comes when she is informed that her husband was not alone in the rented Jeep when he had his accident. Another big problem is when a man named Nick appears at Jacks door introducing himself as Dylan’s fiance – the same Dylan that died in the accident with James.
I’m trying to imagine anything worse than two police officers appearing at my door informing me that my husband is dead. However, to learn that he was also having an affair and his mistress died along with him, that would basically rock any person to their core. Granted, James and Jacks’ marriage wasn’t perfect, but no one wants to learn all of these horrible secrets about their spouse while mourning their death. Nick tracks Jacks down and shares his own heartache and confusion about his fiance being with James in Hawaii in the first place, much less dying in an accident. Jacks initially sends him away but eventually agrees to accompany James to Hawaii to find out about the lovers’ vacation and try to determine how serious their affair had been.
A prominent character in The Good Widow is Jacks’ sister Beth. Honestly, I wasn’t really a big fan of hers. Not having a sister it may just be that I don’t understand the whole “sisterly bond” thing, but I felt like she was way overbearing. Beth had not liked James when he was alive and her distrust and dislike seemed to carry over to Nick once she learned about him and what he and Jacks planned to do. I think she meant well in everything she said and did, but something about her just bothered me.
Speaking of characters, the authors’ characterization in this novel was fabulous. Jacks, Nick, Beth, James, and Dylan were all so well developed that I could easily see their faces or hear their voices while reading about them. My impression regarding all of the characters changed several times well reading, just proving how intricately the authors’ peeled back layer after layer until each character was honestly exposed – some in good ways, some not so good.
Considering the blurb lays it all out there regarding James and Dylan having an affair and then dying in an accident together, I was pleasantly shocked at the surprises as the plot developed. Obviously, there will be twists here and there but rarely was there more than a page or two to go by without something new coming out about someone or some incident. I cannot express the depths of my love for suspense/thriller/mystery novels that truly shock me, and The Good Widow is one of the best I have ever read. I was completely floored as the conclusion to this novel neared, never expecting the events and information that were revealed.
For lovers of this genre, The Good Widow is an absolute must read that you will not be able to put down. I cannot recommend this enough and commend the co-authors for creating such a fabulous, suspenseful novel.
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
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Learn more about Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke by visiting their web page.