Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Book Review: The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

Title: The New Husband
Author: D.J. Palmer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 14th 2020
Print Length: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary Domestic Thriller
Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen's gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—so she can't confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie's middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina's teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted—or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she's not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

I love a good thriller, so when I found out about The New Husband by D.J. Palmer, I was all over it! This was a book that I knew I had to read. Luckily, I was not disappointed at all.

Nina's husband Glen disappeared after going out on his boat. No one was ever able to locate Glen's body although Nina presumes him to be dead. About two years later, Nina finds love with Simon Fitch, a teacher at her daughter's middle school. Simon is absolutely perfect for Nina, but Maggie, Nina's daughter, knows something is very wrong with Simon. Is Simon actually who he says he is or is Nina over her head?

I found the plot for The New Husband to be entertaining even though I also found it fairly predictable. While the plot is similar to other books, Palmer does a fantastic job at adding his own voice to the story. There were a couple of little plot twist I didn't predict to be fair, and the pacing was done brilliantly. I felt like every loose end was tied up by the end of the book and was explained very well. The descriptive use of text has me transported right into the middle of the setting for every scene in The New Husband.

The characters in The New Husband all had plenty of depth and were very fleshed out. I loved Nina, but so many times I wanted her to really pry more into Simon's background instead of taking him at face value. It was easy to see why she wanted to trust him since she was in love with him though. I loved how Nina's curiosity eventually got the better of her, and she did start digging up info on Simon. Simon seemed like a complete psychopath to me. I loved how well he was written, but I was constantly second guessing everything Simon said. I wanted to be wrong about him. I loved how Maggie was willing to investigate Simon from the get go. Something about him didn't sit right with her, and she acted on it. Whenever everyone else was jaded when it came to Simon, Maggie saw right through him. I did feel that Maggie sometimes acted younger than her actual age though based on how her thoughts were written.

Trigger warnings include profanity, gas-lighting, mentions of sex (although not graphic), gun use, alcohol use, violence, attempted murder, and murder.

The New Husband will definitely leave you on your toes as well as turning the page wanting to know more. Although the plot is fairly predictable, it has a great cast of characters who hold their own. I would definitely recommend The New Husband by D.J. Palmer to those who love a story that sucks them right in!
(A special thank you to the publisher for sending me a paperback ARC of The New Husband by D.J. Palmer. I was not required to write a review.)

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