The Perfect Husband
by Lisa Gardner
Book 1 of Quincy & Rainie series
Jim Beckett was everything she'd ever dreamed of...But two years after Tess married the decorated cop and bore his child, she helped put him behind bars for savagely murdering ten women. Even locked up in a maximum security prison, he vowed he would come after her and make her pay. Now the cunning killer has escaped—and the most dangerous game of all begins....
After a lifetime of fear, Tess will do something she's never done before. She's going to learn to protect her daughter and fight back, with the help of a burned-out ex-marine. As the largest manhunt four states have ever seen mobilizes to catch Beckett, the clock winds down to the terrifying reunion between husband and wife. And Tess knows that this time, her only choices are to kill—or be killed.
The Perfect Husband was a riveting suspense with a dark and gritty tone surrounding gruesome murders and a somewhat creepy, definitely very evil serial killer.
I’m not entirely certain I was a hundred percent in like with this book if only because of the fact that nothing seems to stand out to me mere hours after finishing it. And to me, that just means that this was your typical, very standard crime thriller and romantic suspense and nothing more.
But I’m not denying that it was written well and that it is and can be highly enjoyable for anyone looking for a great crime thriller/romantic suspense. In fact, this is one of the better ones I’ve read in a long time with just the right amount of character development, great story progression on the criminal aspects (since this was really not so much a mystery), a nice touch of gallows humor and camaraderie among the investigating team (who were side characters, at best), and some dark underbellies for secrets (maybe a bit too dark for my liking).
And there maybe had been a little too much going on alongside the main crime thriller plotline.
This book was definitely a page-turner, seeing as how I managed to devour the entirety of the book within the span of a day. This is one of those books you DO NOT want to take to bed with you if you’re planning on getting any sleep at all. It DOES manage to suck you right in, and the next thing you know "just one more chapter" becomes "only one chapter left, so I may as well finish it".
The only thing I would have liked more for The Perfect Husband would have to be a more likable romance. Tess is a strong heroine, created to be a development-in-progress as she learns how to defend herself and become stronger (physically and mentally)--but unfortunately, she doesn’t keep from falling back into the usual standard main female character tropes of many romances. J.T. is a hundred percent broody alpha male with Daddy problems, commitment issues, and excuses--the exact typical main male character of almost all romances.
Between the two of them, you get a very standard romance trope involving developing feelings that neither party wants to acknowledge for the usual reasons. But even as we speak, I’m afraid to say that, while they DID manage some great banter, and while their "love story" DOES develop at a steady enough rate for me to be appreciative of, I DID NOT feel any chemistry between them. I’m not entirely certain I had the inkling that they were falling in love with each other; maybe that they cared about one another as friends, or that they were attracted to each other in a lustful, animal passion type of way. But I never really felt that romantic connection that eventually stepped into the “I love you” territory.
On the other hand, I found the dysfunctional relationship between J.T. and his sister, Marion, a rather bittersweet and emotional affair. It was, at the same time, frustrating and heartbreaking. And for the main issue between brother and sister to be the big looming evil Daddy whom we don’t even really get to see… I felt like their story could have been developed further.
Some Final Thoughts:
The Perfect Husband is a nice, suspenseful crime thriller that will keep you hooked until the end. It definitely kept me hooked until the end. But while there were a lot of things I liked about The Perfect Husband, there were also a lot of things that didn’t quite do it for me.
And, as a side note, this book also felt like it tried to cram too many side stories and side characters into it. I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing--side characters are important. But there were moments wherein I kept wondering why certain tangents of the story were taking place, even if everything seemed to tie in at the end, in a way.
Finally, I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series and maybe other Lisa Gardner books in the future when my reading schedule permits.
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge
• Reading Assignment Challenge