By Claire McGowan
Oh, the dire consequences of deception!
What do you do when the widow of your lover moves into the cottage across the road?
Or when you discover your late, cheating husband who left you nearly penniless has left his mistress pregnant? And you now live in the cottage across the road?
Nora Halscombe has revenge on her mind when she moves into Ivy Cottage in the countryside. When hapless Suzi Matthews and her bounding dog, tethered by a scarf, come across the road to say hello, Nora realizes Suzi’s pregnant and believes the child to be that of her late husband.
The unsuspecting Suzi is grateful for a neighbor on the lonely road. Her husband, Nick, has used the baby as an excuse to push Suzi to quit her job as a graphic artist at an ad agency and to move to the country. Suzi is too guilty about her secret affair with Nora’s husband to protest.
With only one car, which Nick uses to get to his job as head of information technology for the local council office, Suzi is isolated. Taxis are expensive and unreliable; Uber nonexistent. She has to ask Nick for cash. She’s constantly having problems with their newly remodeled, state-of-the-art cottage being too hot or too cold. She keeps getting locked out because the security code doesn’t work.
As Nora investigates how she, once a concert pianist, could have been left impoverished, she realizes she was controlled and manipulated by her husband. She’s seeing the same signs in Nick’s and Suzi’s marriage.
Author Claire McGowan has done a deviously fine job of putting together this plot. Every character has secrets; some are trying to control, manipulate and destroy; others are just trying to survive. The parallels between Nora’s and Suzi’s marriages and jumps in time lead readers to eventually realize that they, too, are being deceived.
Nora ultimately gets her revenge — but not on Suzi. There’s plenty of suspense and twisted turns in THE OTHER WIFE (2019). It’s an entertaining read.
About the Author: Claire McGowan (1981 – )
Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. She earned a degree in English and French from Oxford University before moving to London to work in the charity sector.
She also writes contemporary women’s fiction as Eva Woods.
She describes herself as “a cross between Jessica Fletcher (only slightly younger), Carrie Bradshaw (only with fewer shoes) and Sylvia Plath (only more . . . alive).”
Her crime fiction includes: THE FALL (2012), WHAT YOU DID (2019), the six-book, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire series, THE PUSH (2020), and I KNOW YOU (2021).