The Other Widow
William Morrow Paperbacks, December 2016
From the publisher—
Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs . . .
It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .
Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.
Insurance investigator Maggie Brennan is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.
As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge . . . closer to each other . . . to a terrifying truth . . . to a shocking end.
I think one of the pitfalls of focusing a story on infidelities and their consequences is that it’s difficult to feel much empathy for the adulterers and I did, indeed, have a distinct lack of connection with Dorrie and the dead Joe. Besides the issue of what they’re doing to their families, you have to wonder why people in such a situation would rather follow such an unproductive path than either end their unhappy marriages or try to repair whatever is wrong. Certainly having an affair solves nothing.
Dorrie puzzled me, too, because of her immediate response to the accident. Blind panic sets in, largely because she’s so afraid of being found out and that’s understandable if weak, but she seems to be so unaware of the evidence she left behind. Still, I did sympathize with her to a point, kind of even more than Karen, Joe’s wife who studiously ignored all the signs and has her own secrets. Not knowing about a spouse’s affair is one thing; pretending it doesn’t exist is something else.
The character that really meant something to me is Maggie, the insurance investigator who becomes involved because of the large policy on Joe. This is a woman with a lot of baggage but she’s also intriguing with her background in the military and law enforcement. Her intelligence and sense of something being wrong are what made me want to keep reading, to go along with her as she searched for the truth behind Joe’s death.
Generally speaking, the plot was a bit clunky and had a few too many threads but, on the whole, I wanted to stick with it because I did want to know what really happened and how things would be resolved, plus there were a number of leads to follow to get there. While the ending left a few things hanging and some of the characters were unlikeable, The Other Widow is an interesting read.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, December 2016.
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Amazon // Indiebound
About the Author
Susan Crawford grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in English and a minor in psychology. She later moved to New York City and then Boston before settling in Atlanta to raise three daughters and work in the field of adult education. A member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the Village Writers, Susan teaches at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and dabbles in local politics. She lives with her husband and a trio of rescue cats in Atlanta, where she enjoys reading books, writing books, rainy days, and spending time with the people she loves.
Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Follow the tour:
Tuesday, December 6th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, December 7th: Buried Under Books
Thursday, December 8th: Books and Bindings
Friday, December 9th: A Literary Vacation
Monday, December 12th: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, December 13th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, December 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, December 16th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, December 19th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, December 21st: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, December 22nd: FictionZeal
Wednesday, December 28th: Laura’s Reviews
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