The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton. (2020).
**2.5 out of 5 stars**
Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies…
Nina and Marie were best friends until Nina died from a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to make her three promises. Trusting Marie was her final mistake. Because Marie has always envied Nina’s perfect life – loving husband, adorable kids, beautiful house. Marie has an agenda of her own, and she’ll do anything to get what she wants. But what Marie doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding her own explosive secrets…secrets that threaten everything.
I was looking forward to this one because I absolutely loved the author’s debut novel (The Perfect Girlfriend); it was one of my favourite reads of 2018. I saw pretty mixed reviews for this one but had no hesitation in reading. Unfortunately, I’d have to side with those that didn’t really enjoy this book much. It felt like it was trying to be really clever except it ended up feeling a bit far-fetched really. The other issue was the lead character, Marie. She clearly had issues and an obsessive relationship with Nina which led to an obsessive relationship with Nina’s family. But to be frank, she was just really unlikable and her personality was horrid. I’m all for unreliable narrators and having the ‘bad’ character as the lead, but there has to be something relatable/likeable/redeeming about them and I didn’t find any of that with Marie. As to the secrets and so on…it just wasn’t a great storyline. As more details are slowly revealed it was quite obvious where it was all going.
Overall, this one was pretty disappointing particularly in comparison to the author’s previous book. I’d still give her next one a try because that’s how much I loved her previous one.