My Lovely Wife

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Oh, Samantha Downing! You can write one darkly twisted relationship!
Let's hope it's not based on a true story...:)

Who doesn't love a he-against-her plot, right? But this isn't just your usual Mr and Mrs Smith idea - this is more like you rave for them to get away with it TOGETHER first before you realize what's going on. Or rather before all the avalanche of plot twists hits you and you start seeing who's the really twisted one.

A whole new definition to "till death do us part!"

Brilliant, and well-written.

I literally enjoyed it in one sitting and cured my flu along the way.

Can't wait to see what else comes from this writer!

Thank you Penguin for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A murder mystery based around a family.  This story took many twists and turns and the true murderer was not exposed or expected until the last few chapters of the book.  Interesting take on what can happen if you start with just one mistake you try to cover up and the people it affects as other events unfold.  This mystery kept me interested until the end of the book, with quick page turning!  Easy reading and relatable.
Was this review helpful?
I was excited to receive a copy of this book for review, being hailed as "Dexter meets Mr & Mrs Smith".  A married couple with 2 teenage children have an extra curricular activity - one that they are wholly in together - murder.  Told from the husband's point of view only, whose name we are never told, we get the background on how he and wife, Millicent met, fell in love and ultimately came to be involved in the nasty business of murder.  

I read the first chapter - wow.  I was sure this book was going to be a super fast tension filled read, but unfortunately it doesn't quite get there.  The characters are very unlikeable, which in itself is fine, but I didn't feel they were developed enough for me to make me want to read more about them.  They were one-dimensional and instantly forgettable to me.  Millicent particularly with her rules and regulations for the children and family life, seemed a bit too rigid and straight-laced to have this whole other criminal side to her.  I felt the narration of all things domestic rambles on a bit - eg. 2-3 pages to describe how the couple climbed a maple tree to say I love you for the first time.  I skimmed quite a bit of the book from there on and had to push on to finish it.   I have never seen the TV show Dexter but I have heard great things about it, however, I think the characters in the movie, Mr and Mrs Smith were James Bond type spies and not a villainous murdering suburban couple with 2.4 children.  Unfortunately this book wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book is so difficult to review or even to put a star rating on. Because really, all the adjectives to describe this novel have negative connotations. It’s nasty. It’s sickening. And yet, my rating is still decent.  I did not hate this book. 

There is an originality to this thriller that I don’t think has truly been seen since Gone Girl. The plots have some considerable similarities, though we see everything through the eyes of the unnamed husband rather than alternating between the two. Taking the standard domestic thriller, it turns it on its head by presenting a married couple who masquerade in normality by day and do gruesome murders by night. The twists are truly shocking and there will be moments when you read this that you will just want to vomit or throw the book across the room. I will be struggling with the events for days after this. It’s a lot to digest. 

I would say if you are someone of a seriously squeamish or nervous disposition, maybe don’t read this. It’s a lot. This book is a lot. 

There are plot holes, of course, and the characters’ actions and behaviours become muddled when they do things that go against established motivation. As a debut novel, it feels a little rough around the edges, a little unpolished. The chapters often end on soap opera-esque realisation from the first person narrator, and Downing relies pretty heavily on just telling the audience what’s happening and the character’s discoveries rather than showing it through events. There are a lot of flashbacks and a lot of arbitrary scenes that don’t add much except padding out things we already know. 

Nevertheless, this is a very strong thriller and accomplished debut. It is very graphic and very dark, so if that’s not something you get along with, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, if you’re willing to read a book that takes a very dark turn very, very quickly, check it out. It might take a few more days or even weeks for my full thoughts on this book to manifest, but these are my reactions for now.
Was this review helpful?
Not my usual choice of reading material. Its full of twists and turns and is certainly engaging and  will have the reader gripped.  Glad i had the opportunity to read it.
Was this review helpful?
A very unusual story but compulsive reading. I found it quite strange that one of the main characters was never named. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing and an excellent ending . Well worth reading !
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars!

My lovely wife, is about a married couple with two teenage children whom to the outside world look perfectly normal but they're hiding a secret. When no one is looking they're searching out their next victim and then carrying out a murder of an innocent woman. 

Let me start of by saying that I read quite a lot of thrillers so it's hard to impress me when it comes to them, I often find them lacking in one thing or another or just to predictable. However with that being said I did enjoy my time reading this book, for a debut novel it was well written, it flowed great and kept me intrugued. The only issues I had was that I was expecting more of a twist, yes I didn't guess the twist in the beginning but I had guessed it part of the way through and given these characters are both sociopaths, it was almost laughable at times when the man was trying to seem like he was someone innocent when he too was evil. I found myself thinking oh crap he's getting caught then I thought, oh yeah he's also involved too. Overall it was pretty well written and if you enjoy characters who are messed up, you'll enjoy this
Was this review helpful?
Totally sick and twisted. This absolute gem of a psychological thriller had me hooked right from the start and I raced through chapter after disturbing chapter long into the night. On the face of it, it is the story of a perfect American married couple with two children, good jobs and a nice home. However the way they introduce excitement into their marriage is truly dark and horrific. As their desires become increasingly evil, they realise they are risking their perceived perfect lives. However it may be too late to stop the shocking chain of events as they spiral out of control. Can they ever revert to normality or will their family be damaged irreparably? Such a clever book with strong characters that encourage misguided empathy. With wonderfully conceived twists and shocks galore, this book will undoubtedly be in my Top 5 for 2019. 
Brilliant.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book about a husband and wife who are serial killers. The plot idea was good but I could not connect with any of the characters. The characters are not likeable and I struggled in places to keep reading.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
First of all I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK Michael Joseph for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Since there was a real buzz going on about this book, my expectations were high. I thought I was in for a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller. Unfortunately though, this story wasn't for me. 

I recently noticed that I have a hard time connecting to unlikable characters. It was the same with this story. The two main characters are a hard working married couple who raises 2 teenage children and live in the suburbs. 
So far so good, only there is something very wrong with this couple. Millicent and her husband, whose real name isn't mentioned once, have killed innocent women. Not by accident but intentionally. They enjoyed it, got away with it and now they are hooked and long for more victims. 
The mere plot of the story is pretty bizarre and I had trouble wrapping my head around the question why this couple started and continued to select, abduct, torture and eventually kill women. 
I often longed for the perspective of Millicent, who was the one in control. Where did her urge to hurt others come from and how come her husband is so submissive? Clearly both are damaged and disturbed and are in a dysfunctional relationship, but I longed for more of a psychological explanation for their behaviour and actions. Their motivation didn't really become clear to me. All in all I didn't warm up to this story, it was too far fetched for me. Nevertheless, this book received many enthusiastic reviews from other readers, so when in doubt, please check it out and decide yourself.
Was this review helpful?
Meet Mr and Mrs Ordinary: married for fifteen years. Two kids, one of each, one of whom is smart,  the other is a smart-arse. Ordinary people, ordinary lives, except....

Beautiful, gorgeous, sexy Millicent and her husband, who narrates the story, still love each other very much, but maybe their marriage lacks a little excitement and so they take on some little extra curricular activities. No, not pottery classes or dry-stone walling, just a little murder – just to liven things up.  She does the planning, he researches, and then she goes in for the kill. When Dad goes out at night on his research missions, their son, thinking an affair is afoot, blackmails Dad, who obviously can't tell him the truth.  The daughter, terrified a serial killer will come for her lets her school grades drop and sleeps with a knife under the mattress.

This really does have the “twist” we're often promised.

I  enjoyed this, with its dark, tongue-in-cheek humour. There are a few holes, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. It's fun, it's twisted and you can't help but like the villains who, after all, just want to make life more interesting – don't we all.

My thanks to Netgalley for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
A really good first novel. A story written from the point of view of an unnamed man. A story about murder and madness. A story that really messes with your head.  A story with many twists and turns, you know they are coming but cannot necessarily work out what they may be!
Was this review helpful?
I’d like to thank Penguin UK-Michael Joseph and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

A man picks up a woman, tells her his name is Tobias and that he’s deaf.  But he has a comfortable life with a wife and two children, so why does he need to tell lies?  This is unlike any novel I’ve ever read as the story is told by the man whose name is never revealed.

When I started reading I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy ‘My Lovely Wife’ as I thought the characters were quite unpleasant but as I got further into the book I couldn’t put it down as I desperately needed to find out what was going to happen.  This is a very dark and chilling thriller that soon had me gripped.  It's full of suspense and intrigue, twists and turns, and a final shocking twist in the final chapter that I wasn’t expecting.  This is a thriller not to be missed!
Was this review helpful?
I got invited to view this book and had to take a minute and rate it, because it’s an amazing thriller!!  While, I read this book a while back, I couldn’t not take a second to mention just how riveting, creepy, twisted, and full of suspense & surprises it is!  With a debut this amazing, I look forward to what Downing comes up with next!!! 
Will be using in a challenging, showing both USA & UK versions, and highly recommending to the members of Chapter Chatter Pub!!
Was this review helpful?
My Lovely Wife is a great page-turning thriller. I loved reading a book from the side of the psychotic serial killer, an unusual and really interesting perspective. The foreshadowing of the twists and turns was a bit heavy handed so nothing at all came as a surprise. This actually increased the tension for me as I knew what was coming and it made me feel like a helpless bystander who couldn't look away as a Juggernaut slides out of control. A lovely, light read of murder, madness and mind games.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this book and have recommended it to everyone I know.  Read it in a couple of days, totally gripping.  My Lovely Wife surprised and shocked me, the author's writing flowed effortlessly.
This is a brilliant original read which I thoroughly recommend to all who like a good serial killer thriller.
Was this review helpful?
A chilling thriller which gripped the reader from the beginning.  A dark and disturbing story which took many twists and unexpected turns although slowed a little in the middle but that only added to the suspense with an unexpected ending which leaves the reader wondering.  I didn't take to the main characters at all, living in a gated community in America as they seemed very disturbed, callous and devious couple.  Well written book that will keep the reader guessing.
Was this review helpful?
What an unpleasant story with unpleasant and unsympathetic characters.  It was not in the least enjoyable to read, I only read to the end so that I could give a review on here.  Unfortunately I had to give at least one star.   It was reasonably well written with short chapters, which is always appealing.  An interesting study in how our behaviour affects those closest to us.   Also in selfishness.  I sincerely hope there is no follow-up, the ending leads to believe there could be.  I would not recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. I was intrigued by the first chapter about why our (unreliable?) narrator and  protagonist would be pretending to be Tobias, a deaf man. We soon find out! He and his wife get their kicks from murder, but they are loving, caring parents whose children come first, or do they? Does the narrator's wife allow him to sleep with potential victime or has"Tobias" got a ot to hide? 

We learn the history of the couple and their family through a series of flashbacks, The "twist" towards the end is pretty predictable, I think it is intended that you spot it early on but enjoy the ride to get there and see how it plays out. A good page turner when you want something "light", well, as light as murder can be.
Was this review helpful?
Seemed good for the first few chapters but it failed to develop enough for me. The character were not at all likeable nor did I feel sympathy for the husband which I think I was supposed to do to a certain extent. 
Difficult to learn much about anyone’s thought pattern as all written as if husband telling the story. That’s not in itself a deal breaker as I’ve read other books written like this but it didn’t work in this one.
Was this review helpful?