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Showing 1-10 of 207 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 306 reviews
on March 12, 2014
This author must have a fabulous publicist! There has been a lot of buzz about this book and it sounded really great. Sadly, it falls very short. I did finish it, but before I was very long into it, there was sort of a "so what?" feeling.

None of the characters are likeable so it's hard to warm up to them. Even the female detective (Sam) who is investigating the doctor's death is a mess. There doesn't seem to be any part of her life that is working. She has bounced around careers...even went into law enforcement because she saw a sign in the police department that they were hiring. Her live-in boyfriend treats her with what I considered verbal abuse. So as she investigates the three women married to the same doctor, her disdain for them seems hypocritical.

By the end of the book, Sam says that she, too, could have fallen for John Taylor but part of the issue I have is that it is not really clear WHY any of these women wanted him. His first wife liked the status but she talks of him with disgust and even helped arrange the details of his marrying other women. He is described (by the women who supposedly loved him) as controlling, demanding, overweight and not very attractive. Go figure.

It seemed like the author was trying to find a way to tie it all up so she introduces a FOURTH woman into the equation...not a wife but a fiancée. Yikes. And then the ending (and reveal of the murderer) is complicated and stretches credibility.

If you see the publicity about this book you'll probably be tempted to buy it. Hope you like it better than I did!
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on August 2, 2015
If one chooses to write a book involving police investigations ,then one should find out some elementary things about the subject.Police officers don't use subpenas to interview witnesses or obtain videos. They cannot issue subpenas. Maybe she is thinking of search warrants. The Palo Alto PD hardly hires off the street as depicted here."Wrongful death" is a tort term.Surreptitiously recoding a suspect is not illegal or inadmissible in evidence at least in the book's context. The multiple bigamy setup is intriguing but the bigamist is not. And the conclusion is pure supposition a not supported in the preceding pages. All in all not a very satisfying book.I cannot imagine a more boring afternoon than discussing the 25 points the author raises at the end.
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on September 27, 2016
Alice LaPlant is a good writer who can interest a reader in the first few pages of a book. I was hooked right away when I realized the story is told from the point of view of four different women in each chapter. The story revolves around John Taylor who is a respected doctor who does plastic surgery on children who are deformed in some way. Three of the women are his wives and the fourth is the detective investigating his death. No, John Taylor is not a man who has sister wives living in the same house.

The story is well crafted with interesting characters who are not your average people. There are several unexpected twists and three quarters of the way through the story I still didn't know who killed John Taylor. My favorite character is Samantha Adams the detective who won't give up. She is young,smart and delighted to be taken out of burglary division to head up this case. There is a weird dream at the end of the book I didn't understand and that is why I gave the book a four star rating.
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on February 6, 2017
Top grade for originality. We are all familiar with the notion of bigamy, even though most of us don’t know any bigamist. But being married to three women ? And then a fourth woman who suddenly appears, and will, perhaps, supersede all the others ? One is allowed to wonder why this devious, loveable, sexually hyperactive, married man does not simply have three lady friends on the side. Finding a rep or a truck driver in such a situation should not be too hard. It would, however, water down the originality of the novel.
Not top grade for the conduct of the plot. It is interesting, no more. It certainly does not keep you on the edge of your seat.
Bad grade for the conclusion, as it is quite simply… inconclusive.
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on December 7, 2014
Having loved, Still Alice, I was really looking forward to her Circle of Wives. The premise was interesting: three wives for a non-polygamist(regarding religious belief) doctor. It was difficult to empathize with any of the characters since characterizations were quite wooden and situations bordering on preposterous.

I did read to the end to see how the situation would resolve itself. After all, there had been a mysterious death---well, the women encounter each other at the doctor's funeral, as it were. A young female detective tends to be the most interesting of the characters.
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on August 22, 2014
I love books with multiple viewpoint characters. It’s delicious fun to delve into the psyche of those around us. Isn’t that one reason we love to read? To gain access to others secrets? Especially their dark secrets.

This book is written in first person, from the three wives who were married to the dead doctor and the viewpoint of the young female detective who is trying to solve the case as the doctor has expired from “suspicious circumstances.”

Each one of the characters has their own distinctive voice. One sounds intelligent, another slightly hick and yet another downright sinister. You start to realize as the story goes on that there are some unreliable narrators.

I give the author a lot of credit because writing in first person, you have to be able to make each character sound unique. Alice LaPlante did this wonderfully. I especially liked the straight-laced first wife who was a highly unlikeable character. Unlikeable is good if the author can make them interesting. After all, wasn’t Hannibal Lecter interesting?

The author kept me guessing until the end and the book wrapped up nicely.

Highly recommended.
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on April 8, 2014
I had the pleasure of meeting Alice last night. She came to our book group to discuss her writing process.

Her book is set in Palo Alto, so I enjoyed reading about places I've been. The female characters were well developed. Our book group had a lively discussion about why a strong woman would have accepted the restrictions their bigamist husband put on them to be with him. His first wife is a character that I pitied. Why would a woman care more about appearances than having a intimate connection with her partner?

Anyway, this book is good for book groups and for those who want a fun read.
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on April 8, 2014
I love a good mystery story, but "A Circle of Wives" was much more than a whodunit. The premise was fascinating, but what I most enjoyed were the characters. Writing about each distinct woman in the first person was masterful. Ms. LaPlante was brilliant as she completely switched dialogues from a society grande dame to a country girl from Tennessee, and a couple in between. I adored MJ and her colorful sayings. My favorite was "Butter my butt and call it a biscuit!" I loved your first book, Ms. LaPlante, the second one even more and anxiously await the third.
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on June 2, 2017
A quick, easy and pretty much boring read. No plot twists, very predictable ending. In short, I was disappointed.
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on March 11, 2014
A husband dies a prominent Dr. His wife arranges the funeral all looks proper but at the funeral there are two other women also married to this dr..His first wife knows about them&had agreed to this arrangement.the other two wives are in shockNow as the lies unfurl we realize the life of lies this dr.lead a young det. takes over the case&starts to believe it was a murder.this young detective involved in her own problematic relationship begins to probe to find the truth of this drs.life&the women who thought they were married.I could not put down this book an absolute a+ read.
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