D. J. Palmer | April 2020
What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?
-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.
The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.
The question is, why?
Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.
Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.
Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.
No one is perfect. If they appear to be, run. Eh, ‘perfect’ isn’t the right word. Maybe ‘too good to be true’ is most accurate. The idea here, is that if Nina, our protagonist, had heeded this warning she would have missed a heep of trouble.
The New Husband is a mystery thriller. This isnt one that throws everything at you but the kitchen sink. Its more of a slow burn focused on just a few main characters. Nina’s first husband, Glen, disappears one day under the guise of a boating accident. He’s presumed dead but, during the investigation, police uncover a possible affair and double life. According to reports, Glen had lost his job a year ago and had been photographed leaving a bar, in a neighboring town, with a waitress. The money Nina thought they had was gone, considering they had been living on savings, unbeknownst to her, for sometime. Nina and her children are shattered. Glen was not an attentive husband, and far from father of the year, but, he was, Nina thought, a good provider for their family. She had never questioned their financial stability. Now, Nina is broke and broken.
Enters Simon. Simon is a popular teacher at Nina’s teenage children’s high school and lives in her upscale neighborhood. Simon makes a casual move on Nina the widow, finding her lost dog, fixing a leaky pipe, admitting that his favorite dish is also Nina’s favorite, spending extra time with her son. Basically, being everything Glen never was. Of course this endears him to Nina and eventually they start dating and marry approximately one year after Glen is declared dead.
Pro: Relatable story. It isn’t that hard to believe, with social media and the internet of things, that someone could stalk us, find our deepest needs and desires and potentially use them against us. I also liked the character development. Sometimes thriller writers make the main character a complete idiot or the entire sequence of events is based on he/she not openly communicating..with anyone. Here, Nina was pretty balanced, all things considered. There is a side plot involving the oldest daughter being a bit of an investigator that was entertaining and unexpected. Kids are always the first to know!
Cons: I wish Nina and Simon had more chemistry. Their relationship fell flat to me from the very beginning. Or maybe Nina could have just admitted she married him for financial security? Their intimate scenes were cringey, at best. At one point Nina cuts her hair exactly the way Simon requests, in an attempt to please him. It was grossly unconvincing. Nina wasn’t written as that type of character and neither was the weird history nerd school teacher.
Its no spoiler to hear that Simon is the bad guy. How bad he is and how this family will free themselves from him is the wealth of the story. Overall good book. The journey is the story of the unraveling of everyones facade and it makes for a great climax. Definitely a good, light read to escape into! Goodbook 18 of 42!