By: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 5/16/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars
Michele Campbell’s debut, IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND —is a suspenseful and intriguing twisty "whodunit" and "howdunit" of dark secrets— a web of deceit, keeping you guessing to the final conclusion.
Three college roommates at Carlisle College in New Hampshire — Aubrey, Jenny, and Kate are linked by a tragedy.
Each girl has their own desires, dreams, fears, and troubles. The complexities of friendship and acceptance. Love/hate relationships.
Kate is the wild rich girl with a father’s connections and a stepmother who gets in her way. Her family is connected to the college. Their name is on the buildings.
Aubrey is poor — on financial aid. No social friends (her family was white trash). She just wants to escape her home. Not sure how she will fit in. She is sure her life is about to change. She would make her roommates love her no matter what it took. Kate was the friend she had been waiting for her entire life.
Jenny—a townie. She grew up her in New Hampshire. Her parents own the local hardware store. She is ambitious. She soon uses Kate to move up the ladder.
Everyone is using someone.
The girls’ relationships become complex, as most do where there is a threesome. One is always left out or playing against one another. A third wheel. Each has their own agenda. Guys. One which dated the other girl years ago. Jealousy.
They say your freshman roommates become your best friends for life (or death).
“I no doubt deserved my enemies but I don’t believe I deserved my friends." – Walt Whitman
From booze, drugs, sex, jealousies, guys, lies, secrets, greed, and betrayal. If you play with fire, you eventually get burned.
Aubrey makes a decision to commit suicide with Kate, except Lucas dies instead. He had dated Jenny back in high school and Kate flaunts sleeping with him. Aubrey does everything Kate wants (her idol).
Aubrey’s mom dies and more drama here. All the while Jenny is sucking up to Kate’s father spying on Kate, yet using him for her own selfish needs. Kate has her own issues and manipulative behavior.
Of course, this tragedy links all three girls through their lifetime. A dark secret.
Then later they are all back in the same town, now married. Kate is married to a rich guy, Griff. She is using him until he loses his money.
Aubrey is married to a doctor, but she is not happy and pines for Griff. Jenny, now the mayor and married to Tim (Lucas’ cousin). These people are acting as though they are back in college.
They each have their own reasons to keep their secret. Until greed gets in the way. Again, as adults, they are each still playing their sadistic games.
When one of them actually dies at the same bridge where Lucas fell to his death twenty years earlier, suspicions point to each of them. Each person and their spouse have their own individual motives.
With many suspects, marriages are threatened, as well as friendships and families, crossing moral lines.
A twisty-page turner keeping you glued to the pages to determine the identity of the killer. These are some manipulative girls! With friends like these, who needs enemies?
There were lovers, friends, enemies, and others who had a motive. Could it possibly be the husband?
When the book begins you feel sorry for and sympathized with Aubrey. By the end of the book, you despise her, along with the other two. Not a lot of likable characters here.
Demonstrates how events and crimes from your younger years are carried into adulthood damaging future relationships, friendships, and marriages.
As other reviewers mentioned, I preferred the second half of the book, when the gals are older and the suspenseful fast-paced twisty turns.
They are the same self-centered people; however, they have advanced to murder, bribery, infidelity, revenge, and cover-ups with the assistance of their husbands. A clever ending.
Looking forward to seeing what comes next from this newfound author.
“I can be on guard against my enemies, but God deliver me from my friends!” ― Charlotte Brontë
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.