The Other Widow
by Susan Crawford
• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
The author of The Pocket Wife explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense.
Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs . . .
It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .
Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.
Insurance investigator Maggie Brennan is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.
As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge . . . closer to each other . . . to a terrifying truth . . . to a shocking end.
Since his death, she lies awake, remembering silly things, like standing in the automatic doors at Target, watching as he disappeared, bit by bit, running across a rainy lot to get the car, the blinking lights, the careless, swishing sound of the glass doors… Cruel of him, she thinks, to die the way he did, with another woman there beside him in the car. Who was she? The question plagues her.
She could have loved Tomas, with his seductive accent, the way he said her name. Karen, the way he breathed it, like a poem, the way, no matter what was going on in his life, he always seemed to have time for her.
Funny how she didn’t realize Joe was cheating until his little twit literally spelled things out for her in black and white… People, Karen had decided, can only project what they would do. It’s the thief who worries most that he’ll be robbed, the peeping tom who pulls his shades down tight.
Written from a third person POV, The Other Widow was an intriguing, slowly built, compelling, and engrossing story. I remained interested, invested, and engaged throughout while I developed and discarded various theories. Ms. Crawford cleverly devised several different loosely tangled threads and misdirections to keep the reader primed and guessing as to the actual culprit and their motivation. As I read, I changed my mind three times before deciding to just hope, “Oh please, don’t let it be Samuel!” The tale was multi-layered, richly detailed, and smartly nuanced with suspense as well as uniquely flawed and conflicted characters. Each of the three protagonists was struggling with their own stagnation, personal issues, insecurities, guilt, damage, and regrets. This was my first experience with Susan Crawford and left me with the desire for many more to come. I was provided with a review copy of this marvelous book by HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.
About Susan Crawford
Susan Crawford grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in English and a minor in psychology. She later moved to New York City and then Boston before settling in Atlanta to raise three daughters and work in the field of adult education. A member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the Village Writers, Susan teaches at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and dabbles in local politics. She lives with her husband and a trio of rescue cats in Atlanta, where she enjoys reading books, writing books, rainy days, and spending time with the people she loves.