Could you be married to a killer and not know it?
Tom and Beth are a perfectly married couple – everyone in their neighborhood either wants to be them or be their friend.
Their perfect life is threatened when the police knocks on their door and Beth finds out Tom is being questioned in connection to a murder. Could he be a killer? Did she really not suspect anything? Is anyone’s life that perfect behind closed doors?
The book through my criteria lens:
The story is told mainly through the POV of Beth, which I appreciated. She is a complex character, and I felt I got to know her and how she thinks, she remained consistent throughout the book. Beth comes from a broken family and has been determined to have a perfect family. She has vowed to offer Poppy, her daughter, all the stability she craved as a child never had. As a driven character, you wonder through the whole book whether she is turning a blind eye, completely innocent and unaware of Tom’s secret life or his accomplice. I enjoyed her unreliability, especially because I connected with her and invested in her story. I wish Tom had been grittier, more magnetic, eviler. More “serial killer-like,” whatever that means!
Hunter manages to keep a sense of foreboding and tension throughout the book, but the pacing was inconsistent. The beginning and ending were nail-biting page-turners, the middle not so much. In my opinion, it’s probably because of the other perspectives. None of them were as good as Katie, and I would have preferred if hers had been the only POV of the book.
I listened to The Serial Killer Wife as an audiobook produced by HarperCollins UK Audio. This production was superb; having three narrators was an excellent choice. James Macnaughton’s narration was everything! I genuinely believe he made Tom creepier than in the book. Sarah Paul and Kristin Atherton also brought so much life to book. I feel that the three of them did The Serial Killer’s Wife justice. Their chemistry and pacing were impeccable. I enjoyed the audio experience so much!
My personal feelings:
I realized that I might have a romanticized version of serial killers as I reflected on why Tom didn’t do it for me. Oops… Even though I wasn’t convinced women would fall for him and that Katie was out of his league, I still enjoyed the book because, to me, this book was about Katie and her journey. And, oh boy, was she a delightful character? Her determination to provide Poppy with a good life and be the best mom she could be was very touching.
**Minor Spoilers below** (click on the arrow)
- That ending got me so mad! I don’t want to spoil it, but it got me wishing for another fictional murder! What does that say about me? I don’t know, man! But if this isn’t a testament to how well Hunter developed her protagonist, I don’t know what else it could be!
I will read future novels by Alice Hunter. The Serial Killer’s Wife was a solid debut with a lot of promise. I hope to see more fleshed-out side characters in the future and “commitment to evil”! But I respect that not everyone wants to be in a serial killer’s mind; I don’t think I could.
My total rating: 4.42
Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to HarperCollins UK Audio, NetGalley and Alice Hunter for providing me with a copy of The Serial Killer’s Wife.
Until next book, be the hummingbird!