Book of the Day

The Widower’s Wife by Cate Holahan

The Widower’s Wife

By Cate Holahan

Crooked Lane Books
ISBN 978-1629537658
Published August 9, 2016

Buy it here!

The Widower’s Wife

Killer Nashville review by Danny Lindsey

The Widowers Wife, a thriller by Cate Holahan features an interesting blend of third person/first person viewpoint. The events leading up to Ana Bacon’s death are related in first person as they occur. The subsequent insurance investigation trails her death by some 4 months, and is written in third person. The book features an intricate plot that leaves the reader wondering which thread will unravel, and what it might disclose.

When does an accidental drowning arouse suspicion? In this thriller, when the insurance investigator is a former policeman turned private eye. Ryan Monahan just can’t put his finger on it, but with millions of dollars at stake, he follows his hunches. Monahan is a private eye straight out of the Peter Falk as Columbo mode, complete with the obligatory “just one more question” as he interviews witnesses.

All signs point to an accidental death, but something still bothers him. Was it depression that drove the young wife and mother to jump? Or was the husband shopping around for a newer model? Was she having an affair with her boss, or was he a would-be lover, blackmailed by her? And was her husband, an unemployed and disgraced Wall Street trader, the manipulator behind her death?

The plot is filled with twist and turns, each seemingly the right path only to cross another, equally plausible answer. As the two viewpoints come closer to the same time and place, even more surprises await the reader. It’s difficult to put down – don’t begin it late at night or the next day will be rough.

While Holahan’s mixing of person is unique, buried nuggets can be found throughout the volume. An example is “For someone like her, the stares of men had to be like sunrays: something that happened in daylight and not worth noticing unless overly hot or oppressive.” The reader will come across them, and cannot help but pause and read them over, adding to the overall enjoyment.

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year private sector career, he’s (maybe) finally settling down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services manager for a Huntsville, AL based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives, and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.