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The Wife Who Knew Too Much


The Wife Who Knew Too Much

From bestselling author Michele Campbell comes THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, a tautly written, chilling novel that more than lives up to the suspense of her previous effort, A STRANGER ON THE BEACH.

The book opens from the perspective of Nina Levitt, a wealthy older woman who came to prestige and privilege as the young mistress of a CEO and entrepreneur. Now, with her husband dead of natural causes, she commands her own wealth and portion of his company --- but she, too, has fallen under the spell of someone younger. Nina is now Mrs. Connor Ford, and on the eve of her massive annual summer party, she has learned that her new husband and his mistress are conspiring to murder her. After penning a diary entry divulging the full details of the conspiracy against her, Nina sets off for one final party where she will leave Connor, securing her wealth and reputation.

"With measured character development and eerily prescient pacing, Campbell has crafted a practically perfect thriller with plenty of twists and turns that still relies on the believable to drive its thrills home."

Enter Tabitha Girard, a down-on-her-luck waitress working out of a small New England town that once boasted a prominent resort community. In her late teens, Tabitha --- against the wishes of her family and community --- began a passionate relationship with a teenaged Connor Ford, a frequent visitor of the country club where she worked. Now older, wiser and divorced, Tabitha believes that nothing will live up to her first love...until Connor walks into her bar. She has kept tabs on him for years and knows that he is married to Nina; she has seen their pictures flashed across tabloids and picked apart on the internet. But despite her own life spiraling, she has never moved past her first love, and when Connor indicates that he, too, is still pining for her, she rekindles their flame. Bolstering her passion is Connor's admission that he married for money, not love, and once he is divorced, he and Tabitha can begin their real life together --- with Nina’s wealth footing the bill.

Now Nina is dead, Tabitha is pregnant, and Connor is about to become both a father and a massive decision-maker within his late wife’s company. But when Tabitha moves into her new husband’s home, Windswept, she discovers that Nina died under more mysterious circumstances than he was willing to admit. Even worse, in a truly REBECCA-esque spin on trauma, Nina’s staff is instantly hostile towards Tabitha, driving a wedge between her and Connor and prompting her to wonder what actually happened in the last moments of Nina’s life. Between Connor; Nina’s head PR person, who had many reasons to hate Nina; and Nina's personal assistant, Juliet, who knows far more than she lets on, the list of suspects mounts. But Tabitha has a secret weapon against all of them: She knows for a fact that she was not present when Nina died, and, having lived through her own bouts of domestic criminality, she will do anything to avoid jail time.

THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is my second Michele Campbell novel, and it absolutely blew the first one out of the water. With measured character development and eerily prescient pacing, Campbell has crafted a practically perfect thriller with plenty of twists and turns that still relies on the believable to drive its thrills home. Although full of suspicious characters, it is nearly impossible to pin down a villain until the very end. It relies as much on red herrings and suspense as it does on the reader’s own implicit biases to set the stage.

The allure of a gold digger digging a gold digger is too rich (pardon the pun) to avoid and, coupled with Campbell’s signature talent for writing the underprivileged, erupts in a narrative brimming with privilege, prejudice and personality. And yet, there is no shaming voiced by Campbell; she writes complex, multilayered characters who hold their own motivations and desires and sets them free upon her plot in a way that affords each of them a full developmental arc while still propelling the narrative forward.

THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is absolutely unputdownable and will award Campbell plenty of new readers with its flawless characters and carefully crafted plot.

Reviewed by Rebecca Munro on July 31, 2020

The Wife Who Knew Too Much
by Michele Campbell