A marital thriller aspiring to the Gone Girl model offers some dark surprises.
Scott is a pen name for two collaborators, one a publishing professional, the other a screenwriter, and they seem to have done their homework. The book, already optioned for a TV series, is squarely aimed at a slot in the growing list of he-said, she-said mysteries. The novel focuses on spouses Paul and Rebecca, whose almost two-decade-long marriage flounders after his contracting business fails. She’s thriving as a pharmaceutical sales rep—a convenient job for a woman with Rebecca’s raging opioid addiction. They are not a likable pair. Both are inveterate liars, Paul about his adultery, Rebecca about her drug abuse. They swing wildly between intricate, amoral scheming and profound naiveté—at several points, the only thing more incredible than one character’s lies is that the other believes them so readily. Paul’s affair with an unhappy neighbor goes sideways about the same time Rebecca’s boss faces legal problems and the disappearance of his beautiful wife, whom Rebecca detests. Someone ends up dead, of course, and Paul and Rebecca must dispose of a body. But when a hidden corpse is found, it’s not the one they buried. The book has multiple first-person narrators and a plot that weaves strands through various timelines; through its middle portion it bogs down under the weight of all that but tightens up for a fast-paced final third that accelerates past some less than believable elements.
Although it’s as shallow as the grave an inconvenient body is buried in, this thriller does offer some nastily entertaining twists.