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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Book 90: THE POCKET WIFE Review

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
ISBN: 9780062362858 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062362872 (ebook)
ASIN: B00L7X6ZQC (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow


An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.
Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.
Is murder on her mind - or is it all in her head?
The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge. 


Dana Catrell has a history of manic episodes due to bipolar disorder. Her husband and son know that she's in a manic phase and are encouraging her to see her therapist. Dana knows that she's close to spiraling out of control, but she also thinks that she just needs to find certain answers before she commits to treatment. Dana needs to find out if she murdered her neighbor and whether or not her husband is having an affair. 

The Pocket Wife begins with Dana waking up with little memory of her afternoon. She hears a siren and discovers an ambulance at her neighbor Celia's home. Dana knows that she was at Celia's home earlier in the day, but she doesn't remember coming home or going to sleep. Finding out that Celia was murdered causes Dana to question whether or not she's capable of extreme violence. The primary reason behind this thinking is that Celia has indicated that Dana's husband was having an affair and the evidence was a cell-phone picture. These memories are what send Dana off on a haphazard quest for the truth. But will searching for answers to these questions give Dana peace of mind or send her off the deep end.

I found The Pocket Wife to be a rather fast-paced and enjoyable albeit disturbing read. Dana's thoughts and actions jump around quite a bit due to her mania and, as a result, the story jumps around. Is Dana paranoid or is someone sending her threatening notes? Is she seeing things or was there a person in a hoodie in her backyard? It's difficult to separate fiction from reality since she's also hearing the voice of her mother and her Saint Christopher statue is winking and nodding at her. Her husband Peter recognizes that she needs help but doesn't really do anything to help her. There were times when I felt just as unhinged as Dana simply because it felt as if I was falling down the rabbit hole with her. Ms. Crawford does an incredible job at portraying the behavior of a person in a manic phase of bipolar disorder, down to the notion that "I don't need/want medication" way of thinking. If you enjoy reading psychological suspense thrillers then you'll definitely want to read The Pocket Wife.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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