This week’s review is A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight. One of my favorite ways to rest is by curling up with a good book. Like movies and music, all genres appeal to me, and I give all books a chance to be ‘heard’!
Kimberly McCreight's novel 'A Good Marriage' has all the elements of a good mystery including a strong hook, foreshadowing, and a red herring. The ending is not what I suspected throughout the story, and for me, that's the best… Click To Tweet
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A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
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Kimberly McCreight’s novel A Good Marriage has all the elements of a good mystery including a strong hook, foreshadowing, and a red herring. The ending is not what I suspected throughout the story, and for me, that’s the best mystery novel.
Amanda Grayson is married to a wealthy and successful entrepreneur, Zach Grayson. Even though she is sometimes seen as a gold digger because she’s years younger than her husband and fits the description of an ideal trophy wife, she is anything but a gold digger. It’s true that Zach did rescue her from the dirt and grime of her small town when she was merely seventeen and working as a maid in the town’s rundown motel. But this was before Zach launched his first business venture and was barely making enough to cover his current expenses.
After he sells his business, ZAG, Inc, for more money than they could imagine, Amanda and Zach move to the comfort and luxury of Park Slope. Their son, Case, attends the small private school Brooklyn Country Day, and Amanda does her best to fit in with the other wealthy moms while Zach spends his days on another business startup.
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Park Slope is an idyllic place and the opposite of how Amanda grew up. She never has to worry about money, her son is cared for with the best education and home money can buy, and she is making friends with two of the other mom’s from the school. To please Amanda’s wish of helping less fortunate children, Zach started a foundation, Hope First Initiative, to help needy children get scholarships to schools they want to attend. Together with her close friend, Sarah, Amanda is thrilled to help those children.
Despite her seemingly perfect life, Amanda is not truly happy. And she’s scared, too. Case is attending camp for the entire summer in California with his best friend leaving Amanda truly alone for the first time since he was born. Zach is never home and doesn’t attend any social events with Amanda claiming his demanding work schedule. She loves her two friends, Sarah and Maude, but she can’t bring herself to tell them how lonely she feels in her marriage.
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And then there’s the place where they now live – Brooklyn. It may be six hours from her hometown of St. Colomb Falls, but it’s not nearly as far away as she’d like. She left St. Colomb Falls for a reason: her father. In the security of Park Slope, she believes her father is coming back for her to finish what he started all those years ago.
After attending Maude’s annual Sleepover Soiree, Amanda is found dead at the bottom of her stairs by her husband, Zach. He now sits in Rikers as the number one suspect for her death. He’s desperate to prove his innocence, so he reaches out to a former law school classmate, Lizzie, for help.
When Zach calls Lizzie at work for help, she is surprised at the phone call from him. They haven’t spoken for a decade and now he’s asking for her to be his lawyer for the murder trial. Lizzie does corporate law which means she’s involved in white-collar crime, not homicide. There’s no way she can get involved with this case for so many reasons including her own marriage.
Reluctantly, she takes on his case because she believes in his innocence. She’s in over her head with this case and her husband’s drinking problem doesn’t help her situation. After all, if it wasn’t for her marriage to Sam she wouldn’t be in corporate law, but rather at the US Attorney’s office where she really wants to be practicing law.
As Lizzie starts investigating into Amanda’s death, she learns more about Amanda than Zach knew about her. Even her own marriage starts to reveal itself for what it truly is and Lizzie finds herself lost in both her marriage and the investigation. In an effort to find the truths about both, she learns the startling truths she was seeking and ones she never expected.
The novel started out a bit slow for the first few chapters but quickly picked up speed and interest as it progressed. Throughout the story, I formed my suspicions on who did what and why, but it constantly changed as new parts of the story were revealed and truths were unveiled. A good mystery will do that and I was enjoying it.
Just as the climax was forming, the story did a subtle shift, but it changed everything for me. Nothing I was guessing was correct and I wasn’t able to stop reading until I got to the end. Down to the last chapter the story had me engaged and on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed it. McCreight did an amazing job with one of the most important elements of a mystery novel: a satisfying ending.
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A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
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Each book I review is based on my opinion. This does not mean you will agree with the review or love/like/dislike the book, too. There’s a quote that says, “No two persons ever read the same book” by Edmund Wilson, and it’s quite true!
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