I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour today for The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and my review copy of the book.
Nina, in the final days of her illness, asks her best friend Marie to look after her family when she’s gone. And Marie does everything she can to step into Nina’s shoes after her friend’s tragic death. She tries to do the best by Nina, tries to be there for Nina’s young children, tries to support Nina’s grieving husband, tries to keep their lives on track despite their terrible loss.
But when Marie discovers a dark secret that Nina had kept concealed, she is forced to confront the past.
Tense, heart-breaking and utterly gripping, The Last Wife explores the real nature of love and friendship – and just how fragile every relationship can be in the face of the secrets we hide from each other.
How far would you go to fulfil a promise to your oldest friend?
The Last Wife was a highly anticipated read for me having previously enjoyed The Perfect Girlfriend and once again Karen Hamilton has delivered! She’s an expert at creating complex and unreliable female narrators and in The Last Wife, we meet Marie who’s about to discover that sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for…
Marie was a difficult character to take to and as we discovered more about her relationship with her best friend Nina, I found that I liked her even less! She has promised her friend that she will look after her widowed husband and her children after she dies and Marie will do everything she can to keep that promise! But when she discovers a secret from Nina’s past, she realises that their friendship is based on hidden lies and her “help” takes a rather sinister turn. I have to admit that I did feel a bit sorry for Marie and also felt extremely guilty that I was also making assumptions about her like everyone else was! To be honest though, this is a book stuffed full of thoroughly disagreeable characters but I absolutely loved it!
There was no way I was going to take a stab in the dark and guess which way this gripping psychological narrative was heading. Marie became more determined the more she uncovered about the past but was praying that that determination would be used for good! I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not that happens!
Karen Hamilton has once again kept me glued to my seat with a twisty, dark storyline and characters we love to hate. The themes of friendship, jealousy and possession crisscrossed through the past and present to bring this compelling read to a shocking (but brilliantly conceived!) conclusion. And I didn’t want it to end! The Last Wife not only lived up to my high expectations but smashed them to tiny little pieces!
An utterly fabulous psychological thriller from start to finish!
Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thriller The Perfect Girlfriend.
Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband. The Perfect Girlfriend was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller in paperback. The Last Wife is her hotly anticipated second novel.