Review: The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter


Print Length: 382 pages
Publisher: Avon (May 27, 2021)

From  They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I really wanted to like this story. The blurb reeled me in, but the opening chapter really set the tone nicely for what should have been a gripping thrill ride. The police show up at her door wanting to question her husband in the suspected murder of his ex-girlfriend who went missing almost a decade ago. With no body to examine, what could they possibly have linking Tom to the crime? 

Unfortunately, the focus quickly turns from Tom and the events that may or may not have happened to Beth being worried about herself. What will the other mom's at her daughters daycare think about her? What will happen to the bakery/pottery business she's successfully built? She spends so much time worrying about herself (and to a lesser extent her daughter) instead of worrying about her husband, or even demanding answers from his lawyer. Instead, she routinely ignores phone calls from people in an effort to "put off" hearing any more bad news. 

In fact, most of the book is written from Beth's point of view, with only the occasional glimpse into Tom's psyche and the events from the past (which I will discuss more of in a minute). With nothing going on but her constant worry about what other people are thinking/saying about her, what she is going to tell her daughter, and lots (and I do mean lots) of baking and stilted conversations with neighbors who seem cardboard cutouts instead of fleshed out characters, this book seems to drag on. 

Frankly, instead of being thrilled? I was bored. 

Even the chapters narrated by Tom in the "present" were stilted, making him the most lackluster serial killer I've ever read. I desperately wish we would have gotten a deeper look into what made him kill. Maybe some glimpses into his childhood, or his teenage years. Something that would tie into what made him the way he was; able to hide himself from others for so long.  When we do get those rare glimpses into the past (or into his last murder), things were interesting. Unfortunately, they were so few and far between that they couldn't save this one. 

And then we get to the "big reveals" of which there were a couple. Without giving away spoilers, all I can say is that instead of making me as a reader go "OH WOW", I just kind of went, "but why?" It added to my overall dislike of these characters, thus making my enjoyment of this story go down further. 

That being said, I'm sure there are other people who will be captivated by this story. It just wasn't for me. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                                       The Serial Killer’s Wife is available from

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