“After the horrors of the past, Louisa Williams is desperate to make a clean start. Her husband Sam is dead. Her children, too, are gone, victims of the car accident in which he died. Sam said that she would never get away from him. That he would hound her to death if she tried to leave. Louisa never thought that he would want to harm their children though. But then she never thought that he would betray her with a woman like Sophie. And now Sophie is determined to take all that Louisa has left. She wants to destroy her reputation and to take what she thinks is owed her – the life she would have had if Sam had lived. Her husband’s lover wants to take her life. The only question is will Louisa let her?”
This book absolutely blew my mind! Poor Louisa, the victim of an abusive husband has really been through the mill. After years of abuse and control in a loveless marriage, she finally escapes Sam when a car chase claims the lives of her husband and her children. Only Louisa survives and after months in a coma, and six months of intensive physiotherapy and psychotherapy, she is ready to start living again. The inquest rules Sam’s death “Death by Misadventure” despite his lover Sophie’s ridiculous declarations and protestations that somehow, it was all Louise’s fault. Sam wouldn’t hurt a fly according to Sophie, even though new evidence has proven he murdered his first wife Katie. Obsessed and pregnant Sophie can not accept this portrayal of Sam, as she claims she saw a different side to the womaniser. Depressed and alone, Sophie makes it her goal to ruin Louisa’s life, and take back what she feels she is owed – Sam’s money.
I finished reading this book last night and my heart is still racing this morning! This is one of the darkest, twisted tales I have read in a long time and I absolutely loved it. From the start I was totally absorbed in this book. Julia Crouch is a fantastic writer who really messed with my head with her characters, and messed with my emotions. The story is told from mainly two points of view, Louisa and Sophie, but is also split into flashback narrative, between present day and during Louisa and Sam’s marriage. This meant the story was unraveled slowly, but built up suspense and tension well. Going between the present and the past with Louisa and Sophie, the author paints two very different pictures with chilling repercussions. As the pace continues to simmer away it starts to build momentum until eventually it becomes an emotional, atmospheric, roller coaster of a story. When events unfold and get more sinister, the book just continues to throw up reveals and twists that were jaw dropping. A lot I didn’t see coming my way at all.
I loved the way Crouch created her characters. Initially, you are almost envious of Louisa and Sam. Their lives seem perfect. Beautiful house, he’s a handsome, successful alpha male, affluent lifestyle and so on. However, when the veil of domestic bliss is pulled back, the envy turns to disgust. Crouch has written a spectacular book. My Husband’s Lover is a lesson in domestic noir! This book will leave you breathless and speechless, and have you still thinking about it long after finishing it.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes heart stopping thrillers, overall five stars. Thanks to Julia Crouch, Headline and NetGalley for the ARC.