The Ex-Husband by Samantha Hayes @bookouture

You thought you were safe. Until he moved in next door…

I haven’t lived here long. The house is small and a little rundown, but each piece of faded floral wallpaper I peel away feels like unwrapping the second chance I never thought I’d get. I’m finally free to wear what I want, and I don’t flinch when I accidently burn dinner. My new home is warm, and the kids are safe inside. Anywhere would feel idyllic after the nightmare marriage I’ve just escaped.

But then I see my ex-husband Craig stroll past my window and let himself into the house next door. Fear chokes me. How did he find me? Does he want me back, or to destroy me for good?

As the removals van pulls away, Craig tells me it’s just a coincidence, that we can all get along and be good neighbours. But at night I lie awake listening to the sound of laughter and lovemaking through the thin wall that separates us, wondering if his new girlfriend is safe. And in the morning, I rifle through his trash, trying to guess his next move. I know how crazy I look, but I’d do anything to protect my children.

Weeks later, when the night air fills with smoke, and this quiet street dances with blue and red flashing police lights, all the secrets behind our two closed doors will be revealed. But after everything that’s happened, will anyone believe I’m innocent.

OMG what did I just read?! I absolutely adore Samantha Hayes books and have been a fan for years but this has to be her best one yet!! I physically couldn’t put it down and was still reading it at 2 in the morning as the twists just got bigger and better with every turn of the page! Make sure you clear your entire day when you pick up The Ex-Husband because it’s the most addictive book I’ve read this year!

The storyline was very clever here. We’ve all heard about nightmare neighbours from hell but what if that neighbour were your ex and his new partner? And he wants you all to get along for the sake of your children but your past abusive relationship makes it hard to trust anyone let alone the man you moved away from… Leah has a good life and is thriving after her divorce. She has her own business, lives in the same village as her parents and has developed a live of gardening and growing her own vegetables-she even keeps chickens! But that ideal life is shaken when one day she watches a furniture van unload next door and realised that her abusive ex-husband is now her next door neighbour. And as the plot progresses, it becomes very difficult not to feel very uneasy as everyone seems to believe the lies Craig is spreading about her. It is affecting her new relationship as well (which seems to be over before it really began) so will she ever be free from the hold Craig has over her?

I actually found myself getting really angry and frustrated whilst reading this which isn’t like me at all! But as Leah’s support network disappeared I found myself feeling so helpless on her behalf! Craig is a vile character with a narcissistic personality and so perfectly portrayed that my emotions just got the better of me! To evoke that level of frustration is so clever and has the plot line developed, I found myself wondering how long it would take for Craig to get his comeuppance or if he even would! And as the plot line delivered twist upon twist before delivering a couple of whoppers towards the end, I began to wonder if I had got it wrong…

The Ex-Husband is a brilliant book-it’s a gripping psychological thriller with a compelling storyline and some gasp out loud twists. I highly recommend it!

Samantha Hayes grew up in a creative family where her love of writing began as a child. Samantha has written eight thrillers in total, including the bestselling Until You’re Mine. The Independent said “fantastically written and very tense” while Good Housekeeping said “Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping.” Samantha’s books are published in 22 languages at the last count.

When not writing, Samantha loves to cook, go to the gym, see friends and drink nice wine. She is also studying for a degree in psychotherapy. She has three grown-up children and lives in Warwickshire.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.