Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Release Day Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Pub. Date: August 21st, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 304

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Psychological Thriller / Mystery / Suspense


A deliciously disturbing, compulsively readable debut domestic suspense--prepare to meet The Other Woman: there’s nothing she won’t do to keep you away from her son ...

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet.

But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

What Did I Think About the Story?

Oh my oh my oh my...what will we ever do with Pammie? She truly is the mother-in-law every woman has nightmares about and one, thankfully, most people never have to deal with. She's  manipulative, sneaky, and just plain mean and, while things are definitely not exactly as they seem for much of the novel, she does make Emily's life a living hell from the moment she enters it. So is all the vitriol between these two women worth a read? Most definitely! Does it live up to the designation of a "fast-paced psychological thriller"? Well, yes and no.

What I initially enjoyed about this story was how, if not relatable than understandable, the story begins. While most women don't end up going down this terror ride of a relationship with their soon-to-be mother-in-laws, I think many can relate to at least experiencing themselves or witnessing some sort of rocky encounters with them. There is one encounter in particular - where Pammie purposely leaves Emily out of "family pictures" to make her feel like an outsider - that I can particularly relate to. However, thankfully, most mother- and daughter-in-laws find some sort of healthy balance between loving their shared human and not stepping into each other's territory. Well, not in this case! Pammie cranks it up to unimaginable heights, all the while making it seem like Emily is the mean/crazy one and somehow keeping Adam believing she's the one being wronged. Herein lies my problem: as the deception continues to grow so did my frustration with these characters, especially Emily.

As Pammie continued to ramp up her campaign against Emily, Emily continued to seem surprised and disappointed by what was being thrown at her and at a complete lose at what to do. Really, Emily? I kept wanting to scream at her "set up a camera or record your conversations so you have proof against her!!". Or, probably even more to the point of things, "demand your fiancĂ©e, who professes to love you over all things, support you more or get out!". She kept either letting mean things slide or trying to catch Pammie out and failing horribly and it just became too much to believe. She also acted like something of a doormat for Adam and forgave him every infraction until she clearly presented herself as all talk with so very little action.

Now, there is a twist in the last few pages that I kind of saw coming but still enjoyed. While it did end up explaining a lot of what happened in the rest of the story it still felt somewhat far-fetched. There are so many better ways the characters could have handled the situation that would have resulted in less hurt (mentally, emotionally, and physically) for just about everyone involved. I do get that this would not have made as interesting or "thrilling" a story but it would have definitely made it more believable.

The Other Woman was definitely a ride through crazy town and (sort of) back out again. While not filled with overly sympathetic or relatable characters I still couldn't help but keep reading how far they would all go to get what they wanted. Given the crazy antics in this story I'm really excited to see what the author might come up with next!   

What Did I Think About the Cover?

The cover on the advance copy I received is a little darker around the edges but still focuses on this wedding dress in the window. It's a nice image - representing what should be a happy time for our couple - but I prefer the darkness of my cover to really show that malevolence lurking just at the edges. On this cover I like the slash running through "other", giving me, at least, that same sense of malice. It's a nice cover over all.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of The Other Woman from Minotaur Books. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.

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