Nearly three years ago I read Sam Carrington’s debut Saving Sophie. I can’t believe that The Missing Wife is her fourth novel! That’s pretty impressive. I’d like to thank Sabah Khan at Avon for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. And Sam is so popular, she’s got lots of bloggers on her tour ready to shout out about The Missing Wife.
You think you know those closest to you. You are wrong…
A sleep-deprived new mother approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing Louisa wants to do is celebrate.
But when her friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Louisa’s Facebook friends, Louisa is faced with a room full of people she hasn’t spoken to in years – including someone she never expected to see again: her ex-boyfriend, Oliver Dunmore.
When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers the night differently. Someone knows what happened to Melissa, and Louisa is determined to find them. But the truth could be closer, and the deception more devastating, than she’d ever imagined…
There’s so much I can relate to with Louisa. I had my third child in my late 30s and the sleep deprivation was unbelievable. I too had to write down feed times to keep an eye on them although my son was quite effective at letting me know when he was hungry! I can drive but I was afraid of doing so because I didn’t feel safe – I was that tired. So I also walked when I had to but mostly I stayed home with a screaming, puking baby. It was hell. So I connected with Louisa pretty quickly.
By setting The Missing Wife in a small village in Devon, the sense of being isolated and trapped is intensified. Apart from her husband and teenage daughter, Louisa only has one real friend – Tiff. But Tiff puts that friendship in jeopardy when she throws a surprise 40th birthday party for Louisa and includes an ex-boyfriend on the invite list. Has any good come from inviting exes to parties or any other events?
Right from the start it’s clear that something’s not quite right about Oliver. Louisa has enough problems with her mind playing tricks on her with the sleep deprivation. But Oliver’s reappearance has triggered old, buried memories. Sam Carrington skilfully takes us through Louisa’s growing paranoia until Louisa can’t trust anyone – not even herself.
One thing I did miss with this book is the police. Sam Carrington has a couple of wonderful detectives called DI Lindsey Wade and DS Mack who have appeared in her previous novels. Although they feature very briefly, I would have loved to have seen their take on the case of ‘the missing wife’. By keeping it to one point of view, the book is gloriously claustrophobic but I missed Lindsey’s very down-to-earth and direct approach.
Ultimately, I think this book is about trust. Not just who you can trust but whether you can trust yourself. Our memories of past events are often our own interpretation of what’s happened rather than a real factual account. So with more secrets and devious behaviour than a Cabinet Minister, can anyone be relied upon in The Missing Wife? You’ll have to read it to find out. A first rate psychological thriller.
You can find out more about Sam Carrington and buy her books here.
About the Author
Sam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband, two border terriers and a cat. She has three adult children and a new grandson! She worked for the NHS for fifteen years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree she went to work for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. Her experiences within this field inspired her writing. She left the service to spend time with her family and to follow her dream of being a novelist. Saving Sophie, her debut psychological thriller, published in September 2016. It became a Kindle eBook bestseller, with the paperback hitting The Bookseller Heatseeker chart at #8. Sam was named an Amazon Rising Star of 2016. Her second psychological thriller, Bad Sister, published in 2017 followed by One Little Lie in July 2018. The Missing Wife publishes in June 2019 with her fifth due on 12th December.