The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter, Narrated by Sarah Paul, James MacNaughton, Kristin Atherton
Published May 27th 2021 by Bookouture, HarperCollins UK Audio
About the Book: They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.
Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.
When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.
But the worst is beyond imagining.
As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.
They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…
Beth and Tom appear to have the perfect marriage, with a sweet daughter Poppy. Beth owns a successful Ceramic Café and the locals have accepted her as they settle into the small community. Then Beth’s husband Tom is arrested and accused of murdering Katie, his girlfriend before he met and married Beth. It was believed that she had been travelling for several years, but now the police are looking at her disappearance as murder. Tom proclaims his innocence, but Beth has her doubts. In fact, did Beth know more about this situation than she let on? Has she kept quiet for the sake of Poppy?
The story is told mainly from Beth’s point of view as she questions what she does, and doesn’t know about her husband, while trying to protect their 3 year old daughter, Poppy. I found the first half of the book quite slow, but it does speed up in the second half, and there are a few interesting twists, that kept me reading. I was also surprised by the motives and the how of what happened. Describing Tom as a serial killer is a bit of a stretch, there were three victims over fourteen years, and the first was accidental. I do believe that he was a sociopath, who had no feelings for anyone but himself. A bit of a narcissist who is good-looking and charming, so he is good at drawing women towards himself and cutting them off from family and friends. Beth and Tom’s story is one of toxic love and obsession. What I missed in this book that have been in the others I have read, was the treatment of the families of murderers. There was no harassment, nothing on social media, no fallout from other parents at school, which makes me care about the characters. I found it hard to connect to Beth, which left me feeling a bit flat when this one ended. I have read a couple of books about the wives of serial killers, and perhaps that was a problem going into this book. This is a domestic thriller that is well written, but for me there were some plotlines that were missed. I am in a minority in my opinion, so by all means, if you enjoy a domestic thriller, give this one a go.
The audiobook is narrated by Sarah Paul, James MacNaughton, and Kristin Atherton. The cast really brought the book to life. I enjoyed the performance with their expression and emotion. I always enjoy audiobooks more when they have a cast instead of just one narrator. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.