THE WIDOWER'S WIFE by Cate Holahan
Kirkus Star


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A dogged insurance investigator suspects that a perfect wife’s accidental death was anything but. He doesn’t know the half of it.

Even after they both lost their jobs, Tom and Ana Bacon seemed to have it all—good looks, a great home, a wonderful 3-year-old daughter—until Ana fell from the deck of their cruise ship into the waters of the Caribbean a few months after taking out a $5 million insurance policy with a double indemnity clause. Three months later, Tom’s waiting impatiently for Insurance Strategy and Investment to pay up, while Ryan Monahan, a statistics-smitten investigator who was retired from the NYPD by a gunshot, is determined to do his best to make sure his company doesn’t have to. His job won’t be easy. Although he had a strong motive to kill a wife who may have been worth more dead than alive, Tom’s also got a strong alibi: three people saw him at the ship’s pool when his wife went over the side. Nor is it easy to believe that Ana, who’d just discovered that she was pregnant, would have killed herself, even with 5 million reasons, even though her body has never turned up. Holahan (Dark Turns, 2015) alternates chapters detailing Ryan’s patient, thorough investigation with flashbacks to Ana’s point of view in the days leading up to her death, or maybe just her disappearance. It’s a structural cliché that hardly ever works, but this time it does thanks to Holahan’s uncanny skill in pacing her intertwined stories and doling out complications in both of them with a master’s hand.

The result is one of those rare thrillers that really will keep you reading all night, especially if you pack it to take on your next Caribbean cruise.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62953-765-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2016


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