The wife stalker A novel

Liv Constantine

Book - 2020

Westport, Connecticut. When Piper Reynard meets Leo Drakos, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn't like about him -- but she knows no marriage is permanent. Joanna fell in love with Leo years ago. They have two children together, and Joanna has been waiting for Leo to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. When she discovers that it's not her loving support that's sparked his renewed happiness, Joanna is determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. When she unearths disturbing secrets about Piper, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs? -- adapted from jacket

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FICTION/Constant Liv
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1st Floor FICTION/Constant Liv Due Aug 12, 2024
Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Novels
Published
New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2020]
Language
English
Main Author
Liv Constantine (author)
Edition
First edition
Physical Description
308 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780062967282
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Not even a late-breaking, game-changing twist can quite salvage this disappointing psychological thriller from Constantine (The Last Mrs. Parrish). Much of the fault lies in the story's two protagonists, alternating (and unreliable) narrators Piper and Joanna, who are vying for the affections of Leo Drakos, a depressed, workaholic--but well-off--Westport, Conn., lawyer and father of two. Glamorous recent arrival Piper, who has bought a local recovery center as part of a new identity to distance herself from the suspicious deaths of her husband and teen stepdaughter in a sailing accident, quickly sets her cap for Leo, never mind that Joanna is already living with Leo. For her part, Joanna is slow to recognize the danger posed by the seductive interloper--and swiftly finds herself on the outside looking in. Though readers may root for Joanna as she delves into the narcissistic Piper's past in a race to win back the family she loves so fiercely, many of her actions are puzzling if not downright off-putting--for reasons that will only become clear with the flabbergasting final reveals. Constantine has done better. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (May)

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Review by Library Journal Review

There is more than one side to a story! Joanna recounts how Leo Drakos leaves her and their two young children for another woman. Piper, "the other woman" tells how she set her sights on Leo and seduced him. Leo is instantly smitten with Piper and takes steps to remove Joanna permanently. Combining incriminating information and a payoff, he bribes Joanna to leave. He tells his two young children that their mother has died, and invites Piper into their family. Meanwhile, Joanna digs into Piper's duplicitous past, suspecting foul play. Piper assumes Joanna's place in the Drakos home, but resents the time and attention that Leo gives his children. Joanna refuses to retreat, continuing to delve into Piper's past. She secretly stalks her family, to safeguard the children and expose Piper's lies. VERDICT The Constantine sisters (The Last Mrs. Parrish) have done it again: crafted a psychological thriller that keeps readers squirming until the last harrowing page, as it alternates between the two voices. Readers will enjoy the twists, turns, and surprises as the story unfolds. [See Prepub Alert, 10/18/19.]--Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A dual narrative pits a New Age beauty with a checkered past against an old-fashioned gal fighting for her kids and her man. Piper Reynard has moved to Westport after the mysterious deaths of her husband and stepdaughter on the West Coast, and actually he was dead husband No. 2. Now she has changed her name, erased her internet footprint, and opened Harmony Healing Arts on the premises of a failed recovery center: "Maybe things were really going to be different here. They had to be. She couldn't keep starting over and finding new places to hide." In short order, Piper fixes her gaze on a handsome married lawyer named Leo Drakos. Leo has "always been a loyal and faithful husband," so his wife, Joanna, is taken by surprise when he responds to Piper's charms and almost immediately kicks her out of the house and cuts her off from their children. Neither her therapist nor her awful mother seems very sympathetic as Joanna's whole life goes up in smoke. As Piper ruthlessly maneuvers her way into the family, having hot sex with Leo on her sailboat and forcing the children to drink green smoothies, Joanna turns private investigator in order to find out who this creepy platitude-spouter really is. A woman who hates children was a strong element of the author's first book, the very successful The Last Mrs. Parrish (2017); a somewhat watered-down version is in play here. In general, Constantine's (actually two sisters writing in collaboration) third suspense novel relies on many of the same strategies as the first two, and they feel a bit mechanical at this point. The prose, too, is flat and the characters, thin. Readers who love to be tricked by an unreliable narrator may forgive the shortcomings of this fast read. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.