The Fake Wife

An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with jaw-dropping twists from the author of THE SPLIT

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Pub Date 9 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 9 Nov 2023

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'I honestly believe this is one of the best books that I've read this year!' NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You're not who you say you are. But neither is she.

Olive Anderson has accepted that tonight she'll be dining alone, without her husband. So when a beautiful stranger appears at Olive's dinner table, telling the waiter she's her wife, Olive is immediately unsettled.

But the stranger wants to talk, and isn't this what Olive wants on this lonely winter night? To vent to a perfect stranger? She's too ashamed to tell her real friends the truth - six months into the marriage they all warned her against, her life is a living nightmare.

Perhaps Olive should have asked the fake wife who she's really married to. Perhaps she should have known this chance encounter had something to do with her secretive husband. Because there is a string of missing women connected to Mr Anderson, and by the morning, Olive will be the latest...

The Fake Wife is an unputdownable thriller that will shock and surprise you like the best television boxsets. If you enjoyed Netflix shows like Behind Her Eyes, The Stranger and Obsession you will love The Fake Wife.

Read what everyone is saying about The Fake Wife:
'OMG this latest book by Sharon Bolton is so good, definitely worth reading' Reader Review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'You'll never guess where this book is going' SAMANTHA DOWNING

'I swear the twists and turns you will not see coming!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Totally gripping, with characters who draw you in' JP DELANEY

'One thing Sharon Bolton knows how to do is write a compulsive page-turner, and The Fake Wife is just that' Reader Review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'A thriller that had me desperate for answers. I loved it!' HARRIET TYCE

'Sharon Bolton has written another cracker! The twists! The tension! The characters!' Reader Review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'I honestly believe this is one of the best books that I've read this year!' NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You're not who you say you are. But neither is she.

Olive Anderson has accepted that tonight...

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ISBN 9781398709812
PRICE £20.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 81 members

Featured Reviews

Omg! This book is outstanding! I honestly believe this is one of the best books that ive read this year!

The characters are amazing and they just make this story!

I swear the twists and turns you will not see coming! I felt like screaming at times during this, it was crazy!

I will definitely be reading more from this author because trust me they know how to write a best seller.

I just hope and desperately have my finger's crossed that this becomes a tv show because it would be fantastic.

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Should a kept it in his pants…. Now taste her revenge!
Incredibly satisfying thriller of woman scorned - great return to form for Ms. Bolton.

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Well, I wasn’t expecting that! Sharon Bolton has written another cracker! The twists! The tension! The friendship! I really liked Garry and Lexy’s pairing, I almost feel like they’re a duo in on and of themselves, I don’t want to give any spoilers but you will enjoy this thrill ride, but I will say the snow (the weather) has its own kind of charm and character itself.
I loved some of the characters’ names especially the Tricks’ I wish I were a Trick!

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4.5 rounded up

Olive Anderson, wife of Labour MP Michael Anderson, is dining alone at a hotel in Hexham when a stranger unexpectedly joins her for dinner and what’s more she pretends they are wives. Olives quiet evening of the solitary contemplation of her life turns into something very different and soon things spin out of control and enter into dangerous territory. Michael reports Olive as missing and DS Lexy Thomas and traffic cop PC Garry Mizon team up to try to solve what increasingly becomes a complex puzzle.

This is an excellent psychological thriller from the talented Sharon Bolton who has created a complex, highly intriguing and well-connected plot which moves at a fast pace. There are multiple twists and turns, a few of which pull me up sharply as they are so unexpected. This is one of the most immersive domestic dramas I have read in a while with situations and events that don’t seem to add up which inevitably has me all in, trying to solve the elusive conundrums. I especially enjoy have some aspects of the plot are kept very close to the author’s chest whilst others are easier to figure out.

The characters involved in these multiple triangles are carrying so many secrets it’s a wonder their spines aren’t curved with the weight and as for the lies…… There is deception heaped upon deception in piles as large as the externally gathering snowdrifts. Some deception could be said to be for the right reasons though vengeful actions may belie that.

The snowy December weather in the north east setting is used to great effect as it brings its own brand of danger, adding extra tension and suspense. Some of these scenes are so good I’m on the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the text.

The characterisation is excellent, and there’s a good variety of those who are most certainly not likeable, to the very colourful, to the extremely likeable characters of Lexy and Garry. The latter is an absolute diamond in my book, he can be my superhero any day of the week. These two are relentless and brave in the race to find Olive and they definitely could be said to go the extra mile. Wouldn’t it be great to see these two feature in another novel?

Overall, this well titled novel is highly entertaining and compelling and keeps my attention throughout. Even though parts of the plot are dark, the author manages to give us laugh or two along the dangerously icy road to an excellent conclusion.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Orion Publishing Group for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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A favourite crime writer, Sharon J. Bolton's latest psychological thriller is her usual trademark gripping and suspenseful read that had me turning the pages as fast as possible. Olive Anderson is a senior oncology nurse, who has been married to Michael for 6 months, an MP with 2 children, living on a farm with his dead wife, Eloise's mother, Gwendoline Warner. The ex-military Michael is a very good looking man, a man known as 'the sexiest man in parliament', so no surprise Olive is envied, but the marriage has turned out to be more difficult than she anticipated. On a work trip, Olive has booked into a Hexham hotel on a winter's night, where she is joined by a stranger for dinner, a woman with a wedding ring, they pretend to be wives, only for events to shock and spiral out of Olive's control.

Olive is reported missing by a frantic and worried Michael, on the case is DS Lexy Thomas, and she insists on bringing in traffic cop, PC Garry Mizon, who secretly loves and grows flowers. He is a man who comes from generations of police officers, has failed the detective tests twice, known for making mistakes, but is the best driver, and had gone to school with the beautiful Olive. Olive had nursed the late Eloise in hospital when she was dying from ovarian cancer. In a narrative that shifts from past to present, we begin to be given a glimpse of small pieces that will begin to give insights over time into the bigger picture. There is the strange disappearance of Maddy Black and oodles of intrigue, all of which will form a dangerous case for Mizon and Thomas amidst the terrors of a freezing wintry background.

Just to warn readers, this holds more sexual content that is usual for Bolton, otherwise there will be much that feels familiar to fans of the author, a twisty, multilayered storyline of murder, gangsters, buried secrets, deceptions, lies, relationships, and revenge. Forming their own close relationship are Thomas and Mizon, forced to be maverick detectives, racing against time as they unearth the clues to try and find out more about Olive and what happened to her. Mizon in particular at long last demonstrates he truly has the skills to become a detective. Fans of Bolton and those who enjoy dark and tense psychological thrillers are likely to enjoy this. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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Politician's wife Olive Anderson plans on spending the night alone in a hotel to get a break from her husband ,step-children and his deceased former wife's mother who still shares their home. An enigmatic stranger joins her at her table in the dining room , engaging her in a strange role-play pretending to be her wife. Intrigued, Olive joins in and her planned quiet night ends up being anything but.

This is a very entertaining tale full of secrets,twists and surprises,there's plenty of action, quite a few laughs a race against time thread running throughout and even a touch of erotica.
This is as close to a cozy crime thriller as Sharon Bolton has ever written, there's even a bit of romance, but a bit of "language" and the occasional quite graphic violence mean I'd hesitate to put it in that category.
That said it's a great read with interesting characters and an involving plot.

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What a brilliant read. Sharon Bolton's books are the best. I loved the relationship between police. I just couldn't stop reading.

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The fake wife bit of this book is the start of the story, a story that goes from what appears to be a chance meeting in a hotel restaurant followed by a one night stand to kidnapping, dangerous driving, murders and many layers of intrigue and deception; all excepted when there is a politician involved...

PC Garry Mizon, the 'forever' traffic cop and flower grower was my favourite character together with Lexy Thomas the Detective Sergeant allocated to the case.

Olive is the lead throughout the book and the story is told mainly via her events - present and past.

Michael, well he's the politician, so not much more to say, is there?

We also have Maddy and Eloise, Michael's ex-wives. Gwen, the ex mother-in-law and her granddaughters.

After a rather cringeworthy and slow start, the story really takes off and we're treated to many layers of intrigue as we get more information about Olive, Michael, Maddy and Eloise - oh, and the meddling Gwen.

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I love Sharon Boltons books so this was a must read and it did not disappoint!
The first few pages are a bit slow going but stick with it as you'll be hooked within a few chapters.

An MPs wife meets a mysterious stranger then disappears.

Shocks, plot twists and page turners, this reads like a fast paced TV series.

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Olive Anderson, wife of an MP, is dining alone at a hotel when a mysterious stranger begins to flirt with her. Unable to resist the stranger's charm they return to Olive's room from where Olive is abducted. Michael Anderson, Olive's husband, becomes worried when he can't contact his wife and approaches the local police to help track down her movements, all the while trying to keep the situation out of the glare of the media.

When I started reading The Fake Wife by Sharon Bolton I really wasn't sure about the book. The first few pages seemed a little strange, the situation almost surreal. However, I'm not the type of person to give up on a book after just a few pages so decided to give The Fake Wife a little longer to embed itself. Alongside this, I've read and loved all the previous books by the author so why should this one be any different. I'm so glad I did persevere, I was gripped by about a third of the way through.

As the book opens we have two alternating stories. Olive Anderson is staying in a hotel alone. She's initially put out by the stranger who sits at her table but ends up flirting, leading to a night of passion. It then turns out that the stranger had planned the whole thing so as to be able to kidnap Olive. Leaving the hotel they end up driving through a snowstorm and crashing. With the car upturned in the middle of nowhere, the abductor dead and the storm raging, it is a race against time for Olive to free herself before she catches hypothermia.

Alongside this, we also meet PC Garry Mizon, a traffic officer from a long line of police officers. Unfortunately, Garry isn't as successful in his chosen career as his ancestors and tonight is no different. Garry makes a disastrous error of judgment during a raid, resulting in him being sent back to the station. This means Garry is the only officer available to drive DS Lexy Thomas, newly arrived at Cleveland Police, to meet with Michael Anderson when he reports his wife missing.

I loved the interactions between Garry and Lexy. Garry is a true gentleman, old beyond his years and a fish out of water as far as the police force is concerned. Being new to the area Lexy hasn't heard any of the stories about some of Garry's disasters so is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. She also finds his local knowledge invaluable and many of his hunches pay off.

While Garry and Lexy try to track down Olive, not knowing if she's left the hotel of her own free will or been abducted, the story switches back to Olive. You have a real sense of the panic she is going through, knowing that unless she is able to free herself she will die. You also begin to wonder if there are links between the abduction and the police raid at the start of the book. Olive's husband has always been vocal about the prosecution of organised crime.

As the two threads become entwined we slowly learn about the death of Michael Anderson's first wife and it becomes clear that neither Michael, nor Olive, have been entirely truthful. The story becomes like an onion as layer upon layer is peeled back, revealing shocking events and the whole reason behind Olive's abduction.

One of the reasons I loved the book was the setting. It was great to read a story where the places it takes place are familiar. My hometown plays a central part in the story and I found myself smiling along as I read.

I am so glad I stuck with this book. As the conclusion rapidly approaches all of the plot lines come together and you can feel yourself cheering some of the characters on. You are also holding your breath, hoping against hope that the outcome for one or two of the characters will be favourable.

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Wow what a book thank you ever so much for the opportunity to review. I could not put it down. Would definitely recommend to others

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#TheFakeWife #NetGalley
PC Garry Mizon, the 'forever' traffic cop and flower grower was my favourite character together with Lexy Thomas the Detective Sergeant allocated to the case.
Olive is the lead throughout the book and the story is told mainly via her events - present and past.
Michael, well he's the politician, so not much more to say, is there?
Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for giving me an advance copy.

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Olive Anderson is dining alone at a hotel when a glamourous stranger joins her table, pretending to be her wife. What starts as a thrilling game quickly turns into something dangerous. But as much as the fake wife has her secrets, Olive just might have more . . .

One thing Sharon Bolton knows how to do is write a compulsive page turner, and The Fake Wife is just that. Twist after twist are piled on the reader, meaning I read the whole thing in a (very late) night. Are some of the plot points far fetched? Perhaps. But the central character of likeable traffic cop-turned investigator Garry Mizon - who happened to go to school with Olive - grounded the action.

A highly recommended thriller. 4.5 stars rounded up.

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I loved this gripping story, it captivated me from the start, couldn't put it down great storyline and characters.
Would recommend this book

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