December 2, 2023

Novel Lives

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

Sharon Bolton Unleashes Yet Another Brilliant Thriller With The Fake Wife

The Fake Wife By Sharon Bolton- Summary

Goodreads summary (review below) of The Fake Wife By Sharon Bolton:

Olive Anderson is dining alone at a hotel when a glamourous stranger joins her table, pretending to be her wife. What starts as a thrilling game quickly turns into something dangerous. But as much as the fake wife has her secrets, Olive just might have more…

The Fake Wife is an unputdownable thriller that will shock and surprise you like the best television box sets. If you enjoyed Netflix shows like Behind Her Eyes, The Stranger, and Obsession, you will love The Fake Wife.

Review Introduction

Five reasons to read? No, it’s not possible with Sharon Bolton. First, if you haven’t read anything by her, I pity you. Yes, seriously. I pity you. She is an auto-buy author for me. Unfortunately, I was on hiatus when The Pact came out, but I devoured it.

The Split was the first Sharon Bolton book I read/reviewed (review linked). Not only did it level me, but it literally changed how I view and read psychological thrillers- all psychological thrillers, not just those by Sharon Bolton. After reading The Split, I became more of an active participant in my reading. I wanted desperately to beat Sharon Bolton while reading The Split. I did not. From there, I wanted to beat every author at their own game. I have not. Sharon Bolton became an auto-buy author for me, and she did not disappoint with her latest, The Fake Wife.


Like The Split, The Fake Wife reads as both a detective procedural and a psychological thriller. Aditionally, like The Split and The Pact, I tried desperately to beat Sharon Bolton to the end. I wanted to figure it all out. Like previous reads, not only did she beat me, but she was playing a whole different game than I was. With The Fake Wife, she sunk my battleship while I was playing Connect Four.

The Fake Wife turned me inside out.

The Fake Wife By Sharon Bolton Summary Review

Yes. This was me. I was this meme. Again.

I was twisted like a pretzel between the unknown identities, motives, and back story. She structured The Fake Wife with multiple points of view and timelines. Not once does it get convoluted or confusing. Instead, it ups the ante on the thrilling plot points. You will try to connect the past to the present and figure out the whys and whos. But you won’t. Not until she wants you to know.

Additionally, this structure provides a more layered plot and multi-dimensional characters. The most clever flashbacks come from the victim of a car accident as she slips in and out of consciousness. It is a creative way to provide parts of the back story. Mind you, the plot doesn’t need any help with grabbing you by the jugular and not letting go. To have this as icing on the cake just shows Sharon Bolton’s prowess.

The Fake Wife By Sharon Bolton Review Summary

I bought my copy of The Fake Wife by Sharon Bolton, which released on November 9th

As I mentioned, not only is this plot more dynamic than many psychological thrillers but so are the characters. The history behind the main characters (I will leave names out of it because it may give away soft spoilers) is well-developed. You get not just a glimpse but a full view of how they got to where they are presently. Moreover, you learn the motives for the parts they play as you go.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Garry and Lexi. Garry is a police officer who has failed the detective test twice and, after a massive blunder at a recent raid, is sent to drive another investigator (Lexy) to look into a missing person’s report. Their rapport is a treasure. The interaction between Garry’s lack of confidence and Lexy’s being both his boss and wanting to include him is perfect. Their slow-burn attraction is also quite engaging. And this is coming from someone who does not do romance.

Lastly, and without spoilers, what an ending! Even as things hit their climax, there is more to learn in the end. And that which is revealed is a whipper snapper.

Sharon Bolton’s The Fake Wife provides all the elements of a relentless psychological thriller and then adds clever structuring, and dynamics to make it a home-run. I expect nothing less from Sharon Bolton, and she didn’t disappoint.



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