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The Silent Wife [Paperback]

A. S. A. Harrison
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 0.99  
Library Binding 16.48  
Paperback 7.19  
Paperback, 25 Jun 2013 9.48  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 21.32  
Audio Download, Unabridged 13.12 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

25 Jun 2013
A chilling psychological thriller portraying the disintegration of a relationship down to the deadliest point when murdering your husband suddenly makes perfect sense.

Todd Gilbert and Jodi Brett are in a bad place in their relationship. They've been together for twenty-eight years, and with no children to worry about there has been little to disrupt their affluent Chicago lifestyle. But there has also been little to hold it together, and beneath the surface lie ever-widening cracks. HE is a committed cheater. SHE lives and breathes denial. HE exists in dual worlds. SHE likes to settle scores. HE decides to play for keeps. SHE has nothing left to lose. When it becomes clear that their precarious world could disintegrate at any moment, Jodi knows she stands to lose everything. It's only now she will discover just how much she's truly capable of...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (25 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472209346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472209344
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A.S.A. Harrison is the author of four nonfiction books. The Silent Wife is her debut novel, and she was at work on a new psychological thriller when she died in 2013. Harrison was married to the visual artist John Massey and lived in Toronto.

Photography ©John Massey

Product Description

Review

This perfectly pitched debut offers sharp insights into the grievances that accumulate over a long relationship, and the lengths to which a woman will go when her world collapses (Sunday Times)

'This summer's blockbuster novel' (Celia Walden Daily Telegraph)

'Utterly believable, complex, and compelling' (Jojo Moyes)

Well balanced, painfully perceptive and very dark, The Silent Wife is as riveting as a slow-motion car crash (Guardian)

Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, this darkly funny examination of what happens when you've got nothing left to lose is also brilliantly addictive. It left me almost breathless as I raced towards the devastating finale (S.J. Watson, SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP)

This will be the book everyone will be talking about by the end of summer, it will be the number one choice for book clubs and well-thumbed copies will be passed between friends and work colleagues with glowing recommendation... The term "must-read" is often bandied around and not always deservedly. The Silent Wife justifies the plaudit without question (Sunday Express)

SUPERB... As a novel about the dark side of marriage and relationships, it's better than Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. A must read (Sophie Hannah, SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of KIND OF CRUEL)

The slow, murderous disintegration of a marriage is all too believable in A.S.A. Harrison's first - and final - novel... As the novel advances into treacherous territory, Harrison's elegant, incisive prose gets dirtier, more dangerous' (Observer)

Sharp, witty, dark as hell and totally engrossing... A worthy rival to Gone Girl in its psychological complexity and accomplishment (Daily Mail)

The Silent Wife is so poised, so fully composed, so inward in its knowledge of its characters, it's unmistakably the work of a writer who had finally discovered her true talent... If [it] is not quite so high concept as Gone Girl, it is more precise, plausible and unnerving and just as compelling... Don't miss this one (London Evening Standard)

It is inevitably being compared with last year's mega-hit, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl... The Silent Wife is psychologically more interesting (The Times)

The Silent Wife is one of those books you hate to put down. Harrison writes well with a light touch, but her touch is devastating nonetheless... Profoundly disquieting (Guardian.co.uk)

After Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, novels about toxic marriages are suddenly in vogue. The Silent Wife is the classiest of the bunch... A smart psychological chiller (Mail on Sunday)

'A gripping psychological thriller' (Saturday Magazine, Daily Express)

A hit... and you can see why (The Sun)

Beautifully written and superbly paced, not to mention full of ingenious twists. Fans of Gone Girl will love it (Sunday Mirror)

A sizzling debut and a chilling psychological thriller - 9/10 (Press Association)

Well plotted, fast-paced and hugely addictive (Stylist)

Sharp, psychological and intricate, if you've ever wondered just how far you'd go if you had nothing left to lose, this will make you do a double-take (Harper's Bazaar online)

[A] deliciously wicked pleasure... A very clever, very funny comedy of manners spliced with a domestic thriller (Kate Atkinson, SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of LIFE AFTER LIFE and CASE HISTORIES)

The characterization is exceptionally well done, the writing stylish and mature... this is a very accomplished psychological thriller (S.J. Bolton)

A terrific debut novel (Val McDermid, SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of WIRE IN THE BLOOD)

This is an utterly compelling story, gorgeously written and with so many shocks and surprises... I raced through it. My highest recommendation (Tess Gerritsen, SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of KEEPING THE DEAD)

[A] heart-thumping tale of deception (Woman & Home)

This unsettling story of two people heading for catastrophe is impossible to put down... Will appeal to anyone hooked by Gone Girl (Prima)

If you enjoyed Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, you'll love this unsettling psychological thriller (Sun on Sunday, Fabulous Magazine)

A brilliant tale of misreadings and desperate measures (Sainsbury's Magazine)

Reminiscent of Gone Girl in that it's written in the alternating voices of the couple, it's every bit as addictive. You'll be thinking about it for months to come (cosmopolitan.co.uk)

A.S.A. Harrison knocks it out of the park with her first novel The Silent Wife. With a spare, elegant, and deft hand, she paints two dueling psychological portraits of longtime live-in lovers who become putative killer and hapless victim in a tale that no one is likely to forget any time soon. I couldn't put this book down (Elizabeth George)

A chilling portrait of a relationship gone terribly awry. Harrison takes the reader down a wickedly twisted path that has us at once rooting for and wary of the protagonists. A breathtaking story that will keep you reading well into the night and wide awake long after the final page (Heather Gudenkauf)

Original & absorbing (Big Issue)

Book Description

The collapse of a decades long relationship has deadly consequences in a novel perfect for readers of Sophe Hannah, Nicci French and Barbara Vine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, tedious and over-hyped 26 July 2013
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Well, the publisher's blurb describes this as `shocking and compelling' - I have to say that I was neither shocked nor compelled. The set-up is an interesting one: Jodi and Todd have been together for 20 years, they supposedly love each other but Todd is a serial philanderer and Jodi pretends not to notice. Then his latest affair with a girl young enough to be his daughter brings everything to a head.

The problem is very little actually happens. And what does is related in a very mannered and distancing style that grated with me. This is an extract from the first page: `At forty-five Jodi still sees herself as a young woman. She does not have her eye on the future but lives very much in the moment, keeping her focus on the everyday... she is deeply unaware that her life is now peaking, that her youthful resilience is reaching a final stage of disintegration'. The whole book is written in this style, drawing attention to an omniscient narrator who tells us everything that the characters are thinking and feeling, with hardly anything being dramatised or `shown' to us.

The writing is spare and elegant but it kept me at arm's distance from the characters - perhaps a good thing as they're both deeply unpleasant. Todd is portrayed as a leering, lecherous, Neanderthal, and Jodi is a psychotherapist who avoids treating genuinely ill or troubled people.

So I'm afraid I found this a slow, tedious and, ultimately, pointless read - 3-stars is generous but the technical aspects of the writing warrant it.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What makes a marriage?..... 1 July 2013
By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, so I both loved and hated this book in equal measure. The story, that of a marriage disintegrating slowly but surely and told from the point of view of both of the partners, is compelling indeed. However the more I read on, the more I realised that I had no sympathy for either of them. Frankly they deserved each other! Sometimes though, having a book peppered with completely unlikeable characters works - and in this case it did. Instead of rooting for one or the other, I just found myself fascinated by the psyche of both...and actually getting quite cross with the pair of them. Jodie is a doormat. Yes she is. She runs the home with super efficiency, puts up with her husband's philandering and generally just enables him in his quest to do exactly what he likes. Todd doesnt know what he wants. He wants Jodie at home doing her thing, but he also wants to have the freedom to stray. And for some unfathomable reason, for a long time it works for both of them. Until Todd meets a woman who knows what SHE wants and from there this half life that both Jodie and Todd have been leading is going to come to a head....

The beauty of this book is that I didnt really know where it was going to end up. Both the major players have huge emotional issues and are seemingly unable to form coherent thoughts on what it is they think should be happening. The breadth of misunderstanding between the pair of them is amazing. And yet, it seems realistic. Hearing from first one then the other, seeing each different event from their individual points of view, works extremely well. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive....that saying is oh so true here. Comparisons have been made to "Gone Girl". No. Sorry. Not sure where that came from, in my opinion it doesnt do either novel any good.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By Denise4891 TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This compelling book tells the story of two rather unpleasant people in a dysfunctional relationship. Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert have been together for 20 years but (and here's the rub) they're not married. The reluctance to commit is all Jodi's, a decision she comes to regret when their relationship breaks down and she becomes "nothing more than an ex-girlfriend whose free ride is now over".

It could almost be described as the very definition of a psychological thriller. Jodi runs a psychology practice from their home, but seems to spend a lot of time giving her clients nicknames based on their particular mental quirks and relating the lurid details of their consultations to Todd. It's clear very early on in the book that their relationship is troubled, despite the shiny veneer they present to the outside world and the breakdown of their relationship and Jodi's efforts to salvage her comfortable lifestyle form the crux of the story. Todd is a serial philanderer (basically he's a total creep), but I found it hard to feel any sympathy for Jodi (can't go into too much detail without spoiling the plot). You won't like these people, but if your experience is anything like mine you'll feel compelled to keep following their self-destructive behaviour - the phrase `car crash TV' springs to mind.

The inevitable comparisons have been made with Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep - I actually preferred it to both of these books. It's also been compared to the Slap and I concur with this for the reasons mentioned above (dislikeable characters hell bent on self-destruction etc).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in parts but the plot moves very slowly
Although the reader is told in the first few pages that someone will be killed, this isn't really crime fiction. Read more
Published 14 hours ago by GeordieReader
2.0 out of 5 stars not compelling at all
Found it hard to connect to the story the conclusion of which is in the title and the first page, and no unexpected twists. This is a fundamental flaw. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and crazy
An interesting and absorbing story with unexpected twists. A great insight into passive aggressive behaviour in the extreme.
Published 1 day ago by Vanessa Rhone
3.0 out of 5 stars JUST HIS PARTNER?
Not a easy read, I had no time for Todd, she was better of without him, and also a lesson in not being married! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Linda Daine S
3.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't recommend.
This was a strangely compelling book, but I can't say I enjoyed it. Jodi and Todd are a dysfunctional couple that despite their problems have been together 20years. Read more
Published 3 days ago by KAP75
2.0 out of 5 stars laborious reading
Didn't like the tense in which it was written . Found I was skipping some passages which I found boring.quite liked the unexpected ending.
Published 5 days ago by Gwumpy0
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Far superior to your usual 'murder, mystery'.
Published 5 days ago by marianne fogarty
3.0 out of 5 stars In two minds about this book
There were parts of this book that I really liked, and parts that I really hated. It is the story of the disintegration of the marriage of Todd and Jodi and the story is told... Read more
Published 15 days ago by ElaineG
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?
I really didn't take to this book. Didn't like the characters, with the exception of Jodie's friend Alison, she seemed to be the only believable character. Read more
Published 29 days ago by eclectic reader
4.0 out of 5 stars riveting read
Really enjoyed this piece.
Liked the way the story was told from Jodie and Todd's perspective.
Would definitely recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by S C Bunton
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