13 March 2014

A Circle of Wives; Alice LaPlante

A Circle of WivesA Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is based on a real-life case, and it just blows my mind: outside a deliberately polygamous marriage (like those seen on shows like "Big Love" and "Sister Wives") how could any woman accept her husband's bigamous - or trigamous - marriages? how could a wife be as accepting of things like the absences and apparently closed-off areas of life that these women did?

The mystery of Dr. Taylor's death deepens as we learn that he had three marriages, with one wife controlling things and the other two completely in the dark. At the last minute, a new woman appears, claiming to be the fiancee for whom he's going to leave the other three (my guess? wishful thinking). Were the women as clueless as they claimed, or possibly in cahoots? That's what Detective Adams has to figure out, even as her own personal life is unraveling.

Less a whodunnit than a whydunnit and a howdunnit, with a huge heaping dose of human nature added. None of the women are particularly likeable, but one can see why the good doctor might have been attracted to them. And the question of monogamy, finding the one person who can meet all sides of your personality and needs, does drift across the reader's mind. This reader's mind, anyway.

ARC provided by publisher.

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