Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford


An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep —in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind - or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge. 

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

I’ve been on a bit of a psychological suspense kick lately, so I was happy to delve into The Pocket Wife. For the most part, I loved the story and how Celia’s thoughts were often hard to decipher because of her mental breakdown. However, the ending was a little strange for me and I didn’t completely love how the author chose to wrap up the story.

Most of the book is told from Celia’s point of view. She has suffered bouts of depression in the past and seems to be in the midst of another emotional crisis. During this period, one of her neighbors is found dead. Celia tries to figure out if she’s responsible while also battling her paranoid delusions.

I loved the writing style in The Pocket Wife. There’s almost an ethereal quality to the way Celia views the world. I thought the narrative would confuse me, but I found myself still able to connect with Celia and empathize. I thought the secondary characters were riveting and I found myself really despising Celia’s husband as he continually took advantage of her mental illness.

The pacing was good and I never found myself bored. The only aspect of the book I really didn’t like was the conclusion. The mystery was wrapped up well enough, but it felt very anti-climatic. I was expecting more of an explosive ending to such a powerful story.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review! 


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  2. Stellar review. I'm always intrigued by how an author handles mental illness. Some of it feels over the top to me, while sometimes it's not as deep as it should be. Fine line to walk. :) WRITE ON!

  3. The ethereal writing style sounds interesting!