Monday, September 20, 2021

The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson


Rose Yates moves back home with her young son after the unexpected death of her husband to a drug overdose.  Since she is a mystery author, Rose figures she can live anywhere and perhaps it's time that her family gets to know her son, Max.  But soon after she arrives, she starts to wonder what ever possessed her to make this decision.  Her father is still the wealthy tyrant who expects everyone in the family to obey him at all times while her sister is still cruel and cutting as is her daughter, Max's new playmate.  Rose had run from this home years ago after a family tragedy and she knows in her gut that coming home was a mistake. 

It turns out to be more of a mistake than she could have expected.  The tendrils of the long ago tragedy seem to be coming to life while Rose has captured the attention of a detective from her old hometown.  Detective Colin Pearson becomes suspicious of Rose after reading her most recent mystery.  In it, the husband in the story is murdered while his wife, the murderer, is able to pass the death off as an overdose.  Did Rose write the book as a subconscious confession?  Is this what happened to her husband?

Colin decides he needs to interview Rose.  She is initially willing to talk to him but as he returns again and again, Rose cuts him off.  This makes his suspicions grow and as things back home go badly he becomes more and more determined to use Rose to make his career a success.  Rose decides to leave the town again but things spin rapidly out of control.  Will the truth emerge this time?

Carter Wilson is known for writing compelling psychological thrillers.  In this novel, the reader is drawn into Rose's life and the way she keeps fighting back against the blows life constantly throws in her existence.  I listened to this novel and the narrator was perfect, conveying the increasing tension as old traumas emerge to demand attention.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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