The Starter Wife

The Starter Wife

by Nina Lauren

Overview: Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference. My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static. When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is." A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head. A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.

Carole Zwicker (07/07/19): The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin is my favorite type of mystery: a thriller that you want to re-read so you can pick up on some of the clues you might have missed the first time. Byron Westcott is a college professor whose wife Colleen disappeared years ago. The police suspect she committed suicide but have never recovered her body. Several years later, Byron marries Claire, a budding novelist, who idolizes her husband. Cracks begin to appear in this happy marriage and where this is going you will never guess. The tension builds until the very end. I highly recommend The Starter Wife to all mystery readers who like to be surprised.
Rating: *****

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