December 8, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Liv Constantine’s Latest, The Senator’s Wife, Is An Explosive Thriller- Review

The Senator’s Wife By Liv Constantine- Summary

Goodreads summary of The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine (Review Below)- A D.C. philanthropist suspects that her seemingly perfect employee is secretly plotting to steal her husband, her reputation—even her life—in this seductive novel of psychological suspense from the internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish.

In this town, anyone is replaceable. After a tragic chain of events led to the deaths of their spouses two years ago, D.C. philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally starting to move on. The horrifying ordeal drew them together, and now they’re ready to settle down again—with each other.

As Sloane returns to the world of White House dinners and political small talk, this time with her new husband, she’s also preparing for an upcoming hip replacement—the latest reminder of the lupus diagnosis she’s managed since her twenties. With both of their hectic schedules, they decide that hiring a home health aide will give Sloane the support and independence she needs post-surgery. And they find the perfect fit in Athena Karras.

Seemingly a godsend, Athena tends to Sloane and even helps her run her charitable foundation. But Sloane slowly begins to deteriorate—a complication, Athena explains, of Sloane’s lupus. As weeks go by, Sloane becomes sicker, and her uncertainty quickly turns to paranoia as she begins to suspect the worst. Why is Athena asking her so many probing questions about her foundation—about her past? And could Sloane be imagining the sultry looks between Athena and her new husband?

Riveting, fast-paced, and full of unbelievable twists, The Senator’s Wife is a psychological thriller that upends the private homes of those who walk the halls of power. Because when you have it all, you have everything to lose.

ReviewThank you to Penguin Radomhouse for an advanced audio copy

The Senator’s Wife By Liv Constantine- Review

Holy fireworks! Liv Constantine’s The Senator’s Wife fires on all cylinders with enigmatic characters that propel an explosive political thriller. Importantly, let’s start with politics. Is it a part of the story? Absolutely! Is it overdone? A political plot that is boarding unbelievable? No, and it is glorious. Equally important, politics play critical pieces in the story but never does it overburden the plot. It serves up the perfect setting.

Contrary to my regular opinion, it is perfect as just that- the setting. It doesn’t become its own character because it shouldn’t. That would get in the way of a twisted experience.

The Senator’s Wife kicks off with the tragic death of Sloane and Wit’s spouses and then skips two years to drop you into the deep end.

From there, the characters and their stories carry The Senator’s Wife. Again, they are written and play out perfectly. Between this cast of possibly inscrutable, possibly angelic characters, a sense of dread and desperation to know what happens next builds. Not only will your urgency grow, but also a million theories that all make perfect sense are all excellent ideas, but don’t touch what knocks you upside the head. Coincidentally, the characters might hit each other upside the head, and I was there for it.

‘What man as young and veral as Wit wants to be saddled with a wife who needs a cane to get around?’ It took everything in Sloane’s power not to whack her with it.

Liv Constantine

The Senator’s Wife By Liv Constantine- Characters

Now I have to walk the balance between telling you how impeccably written and executed the characters in The Senator’s Wife are without spoiling the book. The less you know going in, the better. But I’m going to do my best.

To start, don’t trust yourself. You aren’t going to believe me, but try. It isn’t just that the characters have multiple motives, mysteries, and secrets. Their personalities shift like chameleons fitting their surroundings. And at the most unexpected times. Honestly, the acting job some characters perform should earn them an Oscar. For the first time since I read Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle, a book turned me into an unreliable reader.

You read that right. There aren’t unreliable narrators, but I became an unreliable reader. I couldn’t trust myself to interpret what I read. And let me be clear. That isn’t to say that Liv Constantine has written a confusing book. Oh, no. Some characters have not only internal secrets and motives, while other characters can’t trust what is happening around them. Pull this together (which Constantine does like an archer hitting a bullseye), and you are as wrapped up in the questions and finding answers.

Some characters you will love, and some you will love to hate. There are characters you will hate, then hate to love, then love. You just don’t know where any of them are coming from. That is until The Senator’s Wife reveals the answers with pitch-perfect timing and finish.

I feel like I wrote that in circles. You will thank me. To name specific characters, give more details. It is a disservice to you.

The Senator’s Wife By Liv Constantine- Audiobook And Final Thoughts

Kirsten Potter is the perfect narrator for this novel. It switches from points of view that vary in age, sex, and personality. Within that,  as mentioned above, character personalities change more than I do underwear. Yet, Potter nails it every time. From suspenseful to dreadful and dark humor, Potter is there every time to bring The Senator’s Wife to life expertly. Each character is entirely different from the next and maintained consistently throughout the story.

The supporting cast is interwoven throughout the story, with their unique voices and dynamics with the main characters clear. It couldn’t be easy. To manage these characters, she has to read them as they are at any given moment, covering up their truths. But Kirsten Potter nails it.

From the story’s beginning to end to the audiobook’s structure, The Senator’s Wife is an addictive roller-coaster ride that won’t let you down.

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