This book was a roller coaster of emotions. I wanted to read it based on the “Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith” description I was seeing everywhere but I have to say that it didn’t feel like either of those to me. While there is murder and a husband and wife dynamic, this book felt like a MUCH, MUCH, darker “Gone Girl.” I am going to recommend this to people with a caveat…you need to be comfortable with reading a book about horrible people who commit murder for no other reason than the thrill of it.
He seems to have it all. Millicent, his loving wife, two great kids, and a job that pays the bills. However, he’s hiding a secret—he and his wife like to murder women. What started as a onetime thing has turned into a game that has brought the spark back into their marriage. When thing start snowballing, he must decide if the game is worth it…
My synopsis of this book is intentionally vague because there are so many twists and turns and “gasp out loud” moments that I fear giving too much away and ruining the surprises. I almost stopped reading this book at about 40% through because while I enjoy thrillers, this one was almost too much in terms of the murder. I loved the show Dexter, not because of the murders, but because he was at least a likable character and you could understand why he was killing people. The characters in this book kill just to kill and the author, Samantha Downing, spends time detailing how they find their victims and how they are chosen. There is nothing too graphic but this part of the book left me a bit sick to my stomach and I didn’t know if I could continue. There was something about them finding joy in taking innocent lives that rubbed me the wrong way (as opposed to other thrillers about murderers where there seems to be a specific reason for the killings). Reading about the husband (he is never named) and Millicent calmly discussing their next victim while also discussing their kid’s weekly activities was unnerving. In the end, I am very glad that I decided to finish the book because the murder aspect almost takes a back seat to the drama between the husband, Millicent, and the community that unfolds about halfway through the book and that is what fascinated me the most. Because the book is written solely from the perspective of the husband, you only see things as he does and there is SO much going on that was surprising to me in the end. I tend to enjoy books with unreliable narrators and this one was no exception. The last few chapters seemed to wrap things up a bit too nicely but the last line is a gut punch and was FANTASTIC.
I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers and murder mysteries but would be sure to warn them about the content. There is nothing too graphic about any of the descriptions but the characters are not likeable at all and some may have an issue with their behavior. But, if you are looking for a dark, twisted, macabre, thriller, this is your book.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Author: Samantha Downing
Expected Publication: March 26, 2019
Rating: 4 Stars