Review | THE STARTER WIFE by Nina Laurin

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
ISBN-10: 1538715716
ISBN-13: 978-1538715710
Pages: 352
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: Signed TPB
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. “Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

My Thoughts

I had added this title to my GR TBR shelf back on May 23, 2019, after seeing many comments about it in some of the Facebook book groups that I am a member of. There was a giveaway for it in another group that I am a member of, Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers and was notified I was a winner. YES!!!!

Eight years ago, Byron Westcott, Professor of Literature, lost his wife, Colleen to suicide but her body was never found. Even though he was considered a possible suspect at the time, the police announced they were closing the case due to lack of evidence that it was anything other than a suicide. Friends of the couple, right before Colleen’s death, saw that she was not emotionally stable and appeared to be either overindulging with alcohol and/or drugs.

Claire Greene is touring the college for her MFA and meets Byron and is instantly attracted to him feeling that it is love at first sight, even though there is a 20 year age difference. Six months later they are married and on all accounts, believes she has a perfect life. Until recently things just aren’t the same. She then receives a phone call from a woman, that she believes is Colleen and she is now on a mission to find out what happened to her.

But soon after, Claire is exhibiting the same delusions and paranoia that resembled what Colleen experienced the last few weeks of her life.

Reading the entire book felt like a tennis match, I kept going back and forth with my thoughts on who was the victim and who could possibly be a suspect of nefarious acts. At every twist and turn in the book, and there were many, I would change my thinking as to what the real truth was. After reading the 4th page before the ending, I audibly gasped. I still had 3 pages to read!! And those final 3 pages left me stunned.

Without giving away spoilers, I finished the book with a few unanswered questions, which is why I gave it 4 stars!! I felt that the ending wasn’t satisfying, however, the suspense was so intense that I read this book in 2 sittings.

I will be checking out Ms. Laurin’s previous novels as I also saw many positive comments on those books.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
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