The Other Wife by Michael Robotham
Joe is called to the hospital after his father has an accident. He arrives to the hospital to find a strange woman, crying and holding his father's hand, covered in blood. It quickly becomes clear, this was no accident, and this woman thinks she is Joe's father's wife. But Joe's father is still married to his mother...
The Other Wife is the 9th in a series centred around Joe O'Loughlin, a psychologist. I didn't know this before I started reading the book. I was halfway through, and taking a look at the acknowledgements when I found out. It is a great stand alone book regardless, and there was no part of the book where I felt like I was missing something, having not read the other books.
Each wife, suspect, witness, friend, is just as mysterious as the next. Joe uses his unique connections to unravel the mystery, recalling memories from his childhood, and seeking answers from those he grew up around and has worked with in the past, second guessing his relationship with many of them, given recent circumstances.
Each character is well established. Joe's experience as a psychologist allows for quick, detailed analysis of each person introduced into the story. There is one analysis of Joe's daughter's school counselor, that quite frankly on its own is worth reading the book for. You can understand how the person carries themselves, and might speak, from his brief introductory comments, but it never feels like the author is ticking a box. Joe himself is also very interesting, bringing his own strengths and weaknesses to the story.
There is witty humour sprinkled throughout the story, giving a quick reprieve from the circumstances of the attack. A joke between old friends, a side comment about someone, always brief, but enough to make you laugh out loud before you move back to the investigation at hand.
I read this book over three days, but at every opportunity I had. It's a real page turner, you just can't wait to know what happens. The Other Wife is a captivating, thrilling, murder mystery. I'd recommend this for an lover of mystery, espionage, or family drama story. It's certainly one you won't regret, whether you read it alone or as part of a series.
Thanks to Hachette for my proof copy of The Other Wife