Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The fall of 40-something housewife Marie Evans off a cliff above the Three Forks River in Estes Park, Colo., kick-starts this uneven domestic thriller from Chaney (What You Don't Know). According to Marie's husband, Matt, the couple were hiking when she slipped off a cliff, but nearby campers report having heard a woman scream for mercy shortly before Marie went missing. Matt maintains his innocence, but Denver homicide detectives Marion Spengler and Ralph Loren have their doubts-particularly once they learn that 23 years earlier Madison, Wis., police suspected Matt of murdering his first wife. As recovery teams search for Marie's body, Spengler and Loren investigate the Evanses' marriage. But after a strong start, the plot loses momentum. Though the complex female characters intrigue, crass male stereotypes monopolize the narrative, robbing the tale of depth and verisimilitude. Twists abound, but poorly established stakes lessen their impact, and a subplot spotlighting Loren's dark past distracts from the central mystery. Hopefully, Chaney will do better next time. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Gernet Co. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Marriage is murder in Chaney's creepy new tale of deadly domestic woe.In 1995, Janice Evans is married to Matt, working long hours at an old folks' home while Matt attends school, and although Janice loves her husband, Matt is trying her patience because he's cheating. Flash-forward to 2018, and Matt has been married to the lovely Marie for more than 20 years. Matt has tried to put his past behind him. After all, it's not his fault Janice was killed by an intruder who attacked them both while they slept. Matt and Marie have two daughters in college and, like most couples, have had a few rough patches. A romantic hiking weekend is just the thing to put the spark back in their marriageuntil Marie plummets off the edge of a cliff into Three Forks River at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. Matt, of course, is immediately a murder suspect despite his protestations. He insists Marie fell, but something doesn't add up to Denver Homicide Detective Marion Spengler. Even her much older partner, the very rough around the edges Ralphie Loren, smells something rotten in paradise. When a body is finally pulled from the raging river, all hell breaks loose. Chaney (What You Don't Know, 2017) alternates past and present, creating an unbearably urgent narrative, and she has a shockingly firm grasp on the barbs and ennui of long-term marriage. Readers will be convinced they know what happened, but as the nature of Marie and Matt's relationship is revealed, watch out: This duo is one of a kind. There are no one-dimensional characters here. Matt is the least developed, but even he, in all his boorishness, has hidden depths. Loren is a fascinating, crass, undeniably sharp cop hiding a painful secret; he's haunted by past cases, and Chaney doesn't skimp on the harrowing details. But it's the women who are the stars. The nuanced Spengler, a very competent detective as well as a wife and mother, is still feeling her way in a man's world, and Marie is a force of nature, destructive and altogether relatable in equal measure.A perfectly paced, shock-studded chiller from an author to watch. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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