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It's Always the Husband: A Novel Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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Praise for It’s Always the Husband
“Readers will be left in an adrenaline inducing ‘whodunit’ game, until the completely unpredictable conclusion. This book is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” ―Redbook Magazine (naming It's Always the Husband one of its “20 Must-Read Books for Spring”)
“Twists, turns, and a puzzling mix of suspects . . . will keep readers turning the pages.” ―Booklist
“It's Always the Husband has great character development, allowing readers to really get inside the minds of the characters until the very end, where a shocking twist leaves readers stunned.” ―Romantic Times (naming It's Always the Husband a “Top Pick”)
“Campbell’s debut novel is an intriguing whodunit that examines the explosive potential of secrets to destroy friendships, marriages, and lives . . . a page-turner.” ―Kirkus Reviews
"Demonstrating diabolical plotting chops and an ability to convincingly conjure settings, Campbell crafts a twisty page-turner." ―Publishers Weekly
“Secrets and scandals in an ivy league setting. What could be more riveting? Michele Campbell’s novel is a page-turning Peyton Place.” ―Tess Gerritsen
“A brilliant, twisting read that kept me guessing until the final page. A roller coaster friendship among three college roommates ends in murder years later–unless the husband did it. I read my eyes out!” ―Janet Evanovich
“A gripping, tangled web of a novel―it pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. I loved it! –Shari LaPena
"A skillful and addictive story of friendship, betrayal and ultimately love, It’s Always the Husband will keep you turning the pages until its dramatic end." –B.A. Paris
"A compelling and twisting story of friendship, buried secrets, and revenge, It’s Always the Husband gets deep beneath the surface of the ties that bind. Intricately plotted and driven by an undeniable momentum, Michele Campbell’s riveting story grabs on, holds tight, and haunts even after the book is closed. Don’t miss it!” – Lisa Unger
About the Author
A graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School, MICHELE CAMPBELL worked at a prestigious Manhattan law firm before spending eight years fighting crime as a federal prosecutor in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder?
When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
My Thoughts: In a story that begins with one of the women standing on the edge of a cliff, It's Always the Husband: A Novel takes us back and forth in time, from when the girls were roommates at Carlisle, in the Whipple House dorm. They became known as the Whipple Triplets, and oftentimes the moniker denoted their adventures, misdeeds, and dark habits.
Something happens one dark night: a death, lies, and a parting of the ways. The New Hampshire small-town setting kept me engaged, as did the consequences of that one night.
At first I liked Aubrey, feeling sorry for her plight and her attempts to measure up. Jenny was annoying, in that she often did whatever was necessary to be Kate’s best friend, with Kate’s father egging her on. But even she tried to do the right thing, only to be quashed in her attempt.
Kate was so damaged that I couldn’t imagine a scenario that would redeem her.
Twenty years later, I found nothing likable about any of them. The mystery would finally be revealed, and I kept guessing about who pushed one of them off the bridge as I read about the women in the present. There were plenty of suspects, and we watched behind-the-scenes machinations, only to be stunned in the end. Definitely a book that kept me reading, even as I lost interest in the characters before the final page. 4 stars.
Campbell kicks off the book with the central mystery: why is one of them on a bridge, and to whom is she speaking? Why does it seem as if she's in trouble?
And then the mystery .... stalls. Rather than develop the suspense, Campbell instead focuses her attention on developing the relationships between the three women, as well as between the women and their men friends. Yes, you need to see just how impure these relationships are, but you almost forget about the woman on the bridge, something not helped in the least by the fact that you begin to loathe - and I do mean truly loathe - every character in this book.
I tried. Goodness knows, I tried, Book People. I tried to like them. I tried to feel badly for the woman who's in danger. But it turns out that she's so immensely self-involved and self-focused that you want to toss her off the damn bridge, just to end your own misery. Not that the other two are much better. They may lack the selfish drug use and specious justifications for damage inflicted on friends and lovers, but those other two women are every bit as unlikable. Watching them attempt grief over a tragic loss feels like watching Nicole Kidman move her forehead: you are pretty sure it can't happen, but you give them mad props for a heartfelt attempt.
And then, about halfway through, Campbell brings you back to that woman on the bridge. You find out more about why she's there and why she isn't alone. You begin to suspect some characters, and you come back to the title: is it always the husband? And does Campbell mean this particular character's husband, or could it be the husband of another character?
I did enjoy the ending. When I got over my initial surprise (I had suspicions earlier, but Campbell throws other suspects into the mix), I laughed out loud. I kind of wanted to high-five this person for a job well done.
This is one of those books that I wanted to like more than I did. I kept thinking that there was a pretty good story in here, if only I liked even just one of the characters. For a thriller focused on an endangered woman to work, you need to empathize with someone. And yet that empathy never forms because every character is just so - I'll say it again - loathsome.
I would love to know your thoughts on this book. Am I wrong? What did I miss? I'm open to reading this again, so if I'm wrong about these characters, please let me know why.