the last affair by Margot Hunt

The Last Affair

Love may be blind, but obsession’s a real killer.

From the title, I got the idea that this was going to be someone’s final affair. And it was.

Nora is married to a distant alcoholic and is miserable. She is sick and tired of her husband.

Josh is married to a psychopath. And he has had enough. So when he meets Nora and sparks fly, they both will begin an affair that will have deadly consequences.

So what separates this domestic suspense tale from all of the others I’ve read this year? Nothing. I figured out who was just plain crazy and who was obsessed very quickly. And the ending felt flat.

I’m not sure there was one redeeming character here. And there doesn’t always have to be, but for me, it was just okay.

NetGalley/ November 26th, 2019 by MIRA

THE LAST AFFAIR
Author: Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778309222
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: MIRA BOOKS
BIO: Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised
by Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
BOOK SUMMARY:
Gwen Landon—poster woman for the perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally
bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen
makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one
far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who
would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”
Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would
have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved in an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does
whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon's husband at a hotel in
Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth prove too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously
out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.
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The Last Affair, Margot Hunt
Prologue

Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could
have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with
both a dining set and an outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of
cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it
covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped
awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set
for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an
ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The
paramedics had assessed the situation and quickly determined that the woman was
dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a
paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear
that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who
responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing
a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for
additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by
twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of
the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was
South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last
week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was
the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said.
He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A
strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats.
The overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was
intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so
that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said.
Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son.
The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been
eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of
that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the
grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth
quirked up in a half-smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only
been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen
Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. The husband said she hasn’t had any recent
conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,”
Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he
did.”
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
“What’s that?”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a
habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

 

 

 

 

 

the arrangement by robyn harding

The Arrangement

Natalie has left behind the Pacific Northwest and an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer, and fled to the Big Apple! She is an artist and between struggling to pay her rent, her tuition, and food, she isn’t left with much.

While her roommates’ plot to get her out of the apartment due to her constant lateness with the bills as well as bringing home guys. She is stretched as tight as she can be. When her bar job ends she is desperate to stay in school and stay in New York.

Her art school friends have lots of suggestions, but Nat needs money now. When she hears about Sugar Babies, she loathes having to go there, but go there she does.

All she has to do is hang out for a dinner or two and she gets paid. A part of her feels like a whore but the part that wants to have nice things and stay in New York wins over.

And that was where it went awry. The girl is 21. And not a big city girl. She talks so formally and the obsession comes so fast that it left me wondering if there was a deadline somewhere.  In the end, they were all despicable people.

NetGalley/ July 30th, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST MISTAKE by SANDIE JONES

The First Mistake

From the author of The Other Woman comes The First Mistake by Sandie Jones.

Alice lost her husband, Tom, very suddenly. Leaving her a widow with a young daughter. She didn’t handle his death well. And who could blame her? But now she is married to Nathan and they have a daughter together. Her interior design business is going well, she has a great house and enough money. All her own.

She also has a secret best friend, Beth. Beth has a daughter also. She also has a secret. One that could blow Alice’s entire world apart. And Nathan may not be who he says he is. Is Alice being gaslighted or is she losing her mind? And what was her first mistake?

This had an Alfred Hitchcock feel to it! There were so many loose threads to pull and they all were leading in different directions. More than one person is messing with her mind and her marriage. But why?

I figured out the why early on. And the who. But that ending, truly satisfying!

NetGalley/ Minotaur June 11, 2019

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Mother-in-Law

 

If you have been married, you know you are also inheriting your loved ones family. And with mother-in-laws it can feel like navigating a minefield. And this is what happens when Lucy marries Ollie and gains Diana.

Lucy lost her own mother long ago and has hopes that she and Diana will be close. Unfortunately Diana is not that type of mother-in-law. She keeps them all at a distance while running her own charity for refugees and young pregnant girls and being very hands on.

And when Diana is found dead, Lucy is scared. Lucy and Diana have secrets.  Diana had a lot of secrets with a lot of people. So who had the strongest motive to kill her?

I loved this story. I loved Diana. This family could have been so different if it weren’t for all of the secrets. Everyone was assuming and no one was asking questions.

I suspected everyone! They all wanted something from Diana that she had no intention of giving them and for one of them that will be the spark that ends Diana’s life.

Always a solid writer, this one was very well done!

Netgalley/ April 23rd 2019 by St. Martin’s Press