The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
The Wife Upstairs
By Rachel Hawkins
Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Contemporary
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?
I listened to the audiobook for this one and the narrator was good. I really did not like the character of Jane in the beginning or really at all in the book. She was quite annoying and was only after herself for the entire book. But this did make for a good story - poor dog walker turns into one of the rich ladies in the neighborhood.
The mystery itself made up for the bad MC. The idea that there was this missing wife and the husband remarries so easily really had you wondering. Plus the title itself - the book really keeps you guessing on this one for a while. I really thought I knew where this book was going for the longest time and it did turn out differently than I expected.
Rachel Hawkins has a way of drawing you into a story and then leaving you a little disappointed in the ending - at least for me. As both of the mysteries both for the MC and for Bea get wrapped up, I still felt like I needed more. I binged this book in two days while it was interesting, had shocking moments, and kept me listening - there was still something that makes it feel forgettable. It's very Gone Girl mixed with Verity mixed with Behind Closed Doors. You never know who to trust or what drama will unfold next.
I really struggled with a rating for this book - while I did binge it and couldn't stop listening, I also didn't feel like it was the best mystery. Ended up being a 3-star read, maybe 3.5 stars tops. If you like the books I mentioned above, give it a shot - you might like it better than I did. I do think that Reckless Girls had a better vibe and more likeable characters to it.