Tuesday, 6 September 2016
The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent
review by Maryom
Fran Hall half-wakes one night as her husband, Nathan, comes home from the pub and climbs into bed beside her ... then, an hour or so later, she wakes fully to a scream. Finding the bed beside her empty, she goes downstairs and out into the dark farmhouse yard, where a shocking discovery awaits ... Nathan's dead body slumped in a ditch!
This psychological thriller starts on a high note, grabbing the reader's attention and curiosity, and pretty much stays that way.
As their secrets come tumbling out, Fran and Nathan soon prove to not be the ideal happy couple they seem, their move from London to the countryside something forced by Nathan rather than a joint decision and even the whole basis for their marriage suddenly seems to be in question.
The story is told from Fran's point of view, so, while the police seem to only be investigating her as a possible suspect, we don't really know what information they have or what other lines of enquiry they might be following. She believes the police are just wasting time, not following up on all possible leads, and so decides to investigate things herself, to track down the shadowy figure she spotted across the fields on the night of the murder. .. but, to be honest, Fran seems so confused and uncertain about events of that night that it's possible to believe she could be hiding something crucial to the investigation from both police and reader, or suffering from amnesia.
The atmosphere of flat, empty wintry fen-land is wonderfully captured, there are plenty of red herrings and dead ends, and a surprise ending, all of which add up to an excellent domestic noir style thriller.
Maryom's Review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Sphere
Genre - adult psychological thriller