The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

The Perfect Wife: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: August 6th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Perfect Wife: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

A missing woman receives a second chance at life, thanks to her billionaire husband–but the consequences are deadly in this gripping psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before.

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s an icon of the tech world, the founder of a lucrative robotics company. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago, and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss. She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what reallyhappened to Abbie half a decade ago?

My review:

When I started reading The Perfect Wife, I was expecting a psychological thriller. I was expecting to read about Abbie’s remembering what happened to her the night of her accident. I was even expecting a few twists to the plot, which the book delivered. What I wasn’t expecting was the science fiction angle of the book. That took me by surprise.

The plotline of The Perfect Wife was interesting. Abbie wakes up wondering who she was. She is filled in by her husband. Abbie is an AI. She is a replica of Tim’s wife who went missing over five years ago. Abbie’s memories of her marriage show that Tim and herself are in love and happy. But Abbie can’t help but think that something is missing. That memories are missing. Abbie soon embarks on a mission to discover her missing memories. She also wants to find out what happened to Abbie 5 years earlier. Did she disappear? Or did something more sinister happen?

I liked Abbie, but I couldn’t get a feel for the AI. She was bland, personality- wise, for 90% of the book. I couldn’t connect to either version of her, which irritated me because I wanted to in the worse way. Abbie before was much more enjoyable.

Tim creeped me out. I understood that he was devastated by Abbie disappearance. But to make an AI that had her memories was creepy. Even creepier was how he was before Abbie. Talk about chills!!

Danny was also an essential character in The Perfect Wife. The author did a tremendous job of describing his form of autism. The author also did a fantastic job of explaining the various schools/treatments that Abbie and Tim tried.

I wasn’t a fan of the switch between 2nd person POV and 3rd person POV. I don’t like 2nd person POV. Add in that it kept switching to 3rd person and I was like “What” during some parts of the plotline. I kept having to reread chapters, and I am not a huge fan of doing that.

The end of The Perfect Wife confused me. I had to read it a few times. Even now, after I have finished the book, I still don’t get it. The author did wrap up the “What Happened To Abbie” storyline well but it didn’t jive with the rest of the story. Plus, what happened to Abbie and Danny at the end. I couldn’t figure out which one was the truth.

I would give The Perfect Wife an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Perfect Wife. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Perfect Wife.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read The Perfect Wife?

What are your thoughts on it?

Do you think that there will eventually be AI’s that look like human beings?

Let me know!!

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Believe Me: The twisty and addictive follow-up to the bestselling The Girl Before by [Delaney, JP]

4.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine

Date of publication: July 24th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Trigger Warning: Mental Illness

Where you can find Believe Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My review:

This book messed with my head, big time. See, I liked psychological thrillers. I like reading a book where I don’t know what will happen from one chapter to the next. I like damaged main characters. I didn’t think I would get that with Believe Me. I thought this book was going to be your typical who done it with the female main solving the crime. Instead, I got a book that kept me guessing from chapter to chapter. A book that I had a hard time forgetting about once I was done with it. A book that got under my skin. I should have known better than to assume the book would be typical.

Believe Me’s plot started off simple and progressed into the complex. Claire was a British ex-pat actress living in New York City without a green card. Desperate for work, she starts doing decoy work for divorce lawyers. That job puts her in the path of Professor Patrick Folger. His wife is found dead the day after the setup. Claire is brought in for questioning since she was the last person to see her alive. She is recruited by a shady psychologist to get to know Patrick and to get a confession out of him. Little does Claire know that her life will be turned upside down and inside out.

Claire was such a complex character to write about. As a reader, I love it when characters have different layers. Claire definitely had them. At one point in the book, I questioned her memories of growing up in foster care. She was such a great actress that she made me, the reader, question what I was reading. I am sure that was the author’s intention. I loved it!!

I didn’t know how I felt about Claire. My feelings for her went from one extreme to another. I could love her in one chapter and then hate her in another. I have never had another book do that for me. Even at the end of the book, when we saw the “realClaire, I was still on edge about her. Was that the real Claire we were seeing, or was it another one of her personalities?

I’ve gotta say that Patrick had me fooled the entire book. I went from thinking one thing about him to thinking another to rethinking my opinion. So, needless to say, I was surprised by what he revealed to Claire. I shouldn’t have been, but I was. Actually, let me rephrase that. I was more shocked by what he revealed.

I was also surprised that the poem referenced in the book “Les Fleurs du Mal” is an actual book written by Charles Baudelaire. To be honest, I did think that it was made up. Until I did a google search, and there was a ton of information about it. I’m not going to go too much into him, but I will say those poems are freaky. Google them and him. You’ll see what I mean.

The end of the book was insane. It is where the plotline went from simple to complex. I will not get into much of the ending, except I wasn’t expecting what happened. Also, as I mentioned above, I wasn’t too sure about Claire. Even with everything revealed, I still had my doubts about her.

There were a few reasons why I didn’t give Believe Me a 5-star rating. The main reason was that the book got off to a slow start. I know that the author was laying the groundwork for Claire’s story. It crept. I almost DNF’d (but I am glad I didn’t).

I also felt that the plot faltered towards the middle of the book when Claire was in the mental hospital. I felt that her hospital experiences were irrelevant to the storyline. It was interesting but not relevant.

My last reason was the book’s last few chapters and how Claire’s secret came out. While it was shocking, I definitely didn’t see it coming. It came out of the left field. When the book finally ended, I felt it was anticlimactic.

What I liked about Believe Me:

A) Got under my skin

B) Complex characters

C) The end of the book

What I disliked about Believe Me:

A) Book got off to a slow start

B) Plot faltered towards the middle of the book

C) The ending felt almost anticlimactic

I would give Believe Me an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under 21 read this book.

There is a trigger warning for Believe Me. They are mental illness. If you are triggered by that, I suggest not to read the book.

I would reread Believe Me. I would recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Believe Me

All opinions stated in this review of Believe Me are mine

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl Before: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

Title: The Girl Before

Author: J.P. Delaney

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Date of publication: January 24th, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 352

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: No

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate-glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

My review:

Emma and Si were looking for a new apartment (or flat as they call it in England) after Emma was attacked in a burglary. All of the apartments that Emma and Si visited were no good for various reasons. The agent was at the end of his rope until he remembers this one house that was on the market. Emma is intrigued and they are able to go and see it. The house is a work of art, with a state of the art computer system that runs the house and a minimalist design. Emma falls in love with the house and fills out the application. After an anxiety-filled wait, Si and she get the 2nd meeting. That’s where they meet Edward Monkford, the owner and architect of the house. Needless to say, they are approved.

Jane is recovering from having a stillbirth that could have been prevented if the hospital had more staffing and more Doppler radars. She decides that she needs a change of scenery and starts looking for apartments/houses to rent. Perchance, she is told about One Folgate Street by her realtor and makes the decision to fill out the application. Like, Emma, Jane is granted a 2nd interview and like Emma, she signs a very specific and odd lease once Edward decides she can rent it.

Both Emma and Jane find out that Edward has a tragic past. His wife, Elizabeth, and his son were killed in an accident on the site of one of his projects. They also both find out that there was a cloud of suspicion hovering over Edward about that.

But this is where Jane and Emma’s stories differ.

Emma and Si don’t last very long in the house. Emma actually breaks it off with Si, who takes it very hard, and starts a relationship with Edward. But, the more the author reveals about Emma, the more you start wondering if everything that is happening is in her head.

Jane also starts a relationship with Edward, shortly after moving into the house. Around the same time, Jane finds out about Emma’s death and starts researching it. All of the information points towards Edward being her killer but Jane can’t help but something’s off about that.

This book sticks to the thriller and mystery elements, unlike some of the other books that I have read. I was genuinely surprised by the 180 one character does. It took me by surprise that the web of lies that was spun was so extensive and that the character just didn’t know when to stop.

The ending was a little sad and I had to reread it a couple of times to understand what happened. Then to have another renter show up and look at the house….shudder. What a sequel that would make!!!!

How many stars will I give The Girl Before: 4

Why: A thriller/mystery that genuinely had me guessing until the big reveal. The plot twists were done in such a way that you couldn’t help but be shocked. And the ending was the biggest one of all…

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language. A scene of a mother saying goodbye to her still-born child (which was heartbreaking), a scene of a badly brutalized kitten and a scene of someone’s head smashing off a marble floor.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**