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Saturday, 25 November 2017

‘The Guilty Wife’ by Elle Croft

Published by Orion Fiction,
25 January 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-40917542-1 (PB)

If one of the prerequisites of a really good psychological thriller is that it makes you turn the pages, then The Guilty Wife is a really good psychological thriller. But I would go further than that and say it is an excellent one – not only was I turning the pages, but I was turning them faster and faster.

The book has a good premise – Calum Bradley, the famous but secret lover of the main character, Bethany, is murdered. Bethany is happily married to Jason, so she can’t grieve openly. But someone knows her secret, and the threats to expose her soon begin. With evidence piling up pointing to her as the killer, the only way she can protect herself is to prove she is innocent. To do that, she must find out who murdered Calum.

Not too far into The Guilty Wife I realised that the tension was building slowly, and the story had drawn me in and gripped me – I didn’t want to put the book down... it was a case of ‘just one more page, just one more chapter’. The red herrings were coming thick and fast in this game of cat and mouse. There is deceit and there is betrayal. The plot is tightly woven, the characters believable. In fact, just about every character comes into the frame for the murder, and a good case can be made for each of them to be the killer, but Elle Croft writes with such a deft touch that we are wrong-footed every time.

I found the ending of the book satisfying, bold and enthralling, a breath of fresh air in the psychological thriller genre. And, dare I say it, well set up for a sequel. Bring it on.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Elle Croft was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling around the world with her husband. She works as a freelance social media specialist and also blogs about travel, food and life in London. The Guilty Wife is her debut novel.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter, when she was eight. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, was published by Killer Reads in April 2016.  To read the review click on the title.

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