Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 4/11/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Randy Susan Myers returns following Accidents of Marriage (2014) with her latest riveting domestic suspense, THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET — bold and edgy an inside look at betrayal in a marriage.
The blind love, lies, dark secrets; the unraveling, devastation, and the need to rebuild a life after the fallout of Wall Street and a fraudulent husband's Ponzi scheme. Was the wife living in denial?
Phoebe and Jake met when they were teens. Jake and Phoebe come from different backgrounds. Jake is obsessed with money and success. He wants and needs a different future than his childhood. He thinks this will earn him the respect he craves.
Phoebe makes a wrong decision, leading her to guilt and loyalty to Jake. They marry, despite her overbearing mom’s warning.
He soon excels and opens a brokerage house. Things go well. However, soon greed, power, and money get in the way. He is dishonest. He thinks it is temporary. He has a private fund. A Ponzi scheme. A crime soon to be uncovered. The time bomb. Fraud.
Phoebe is blind to it all. The money is flowing – wealth, prestige, homes, and power,
Starting from Nov 2009, we learn Jake is now in prison. They have lost everything. Phoebe takes a Greyhound bus to the upstate NY correctional prison. She despises him. He still has her under his thumb, worrying about what she is wearing and appearances. He still has not acknowledged his part in the disaster.
However, Phoebe is struggling. She has taken her husband’s side over her children, causing a huge strain. Her children are strangers to her now. She must face Jake’s crime. The wife of a demon.
Her entire marriage had been a battle against being known only as Jake’s wife—now she feared the battle could be over for good. She had become a widow to a living man and a childless mother.
How did they get to this place? People wondered if she knew. Was she this naïve? She trusted this man. Her life is shattered. How many people has he fooled? A monster.
The author takes us back to the early days to the 1960s, where we hear from two points of view: Phoebe and Jake. The roller coaster ride from mansions, and wealth to prison.
When yet another tragedy occurs, Phoebe is forced to make a decision. She has to cut Jake free, even though he felt he could straddle the world on other’s people’s legs. Love and loss. Survival. He had squandered and cheated people and fooled millionaires, and lessons never learned.
Can Phoebe survive this disaster and come out whole once again? A different person perhaps?
The author does an outstanding job with the couple's journey from both perspectives. What a ride. The dark secrets of a husband and his scheming. A financial empire crumbling. The betrayal. From domestic suspense to psychological.
If you enjoyed the Madoff miniseries, (good), assured to find THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET engaging. Of course, in Palm Beach we hear his name often; however, Trump has taken over the spotlight here on the island.
Randy Susan Myers tackles highly charged topics, telling deeply personal stories of women. Their complexities, fear, pride and despair are woven brilliantly into the absorbing narrative.
Fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, (A Stolen Marriage) Kimberly S. Belle (The Marriage Lie) and Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) will appreciate the complex relationships and the emotional inner lives of women in crisis.
Read the backstory.
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy.