When I first saw this one as a Book of the Month pick….I couldn’t click the ‘make my book of the month’ button fast enough. Not only is the cover eye catching and memorable, but the description sounded tantalizing. I have been on the look out for a really good domestic thriller lately, something in the vein of Samantha Downing and this one sounded perfect!
I am sure many of you have seen this book on a number of ‘hot releases’ or ‘most anticipated’ lists this spring and all the buzz made me equally excited and wary. I mean clearly I bought into the hype since I couldn’t get my hands on this one fast enough, however there was part of me that worried that I wouldn’t love it.
The last domestic thriller I read that was getting all the buzz I did not like at all so there was part of me that tried not to hype this one too much in my mind because if I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to feel fully let down. I would say this book fell firmly in the good category for me. I mean I didn’t love it in the way that I hoped but I was content with the book and how things played out.
The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.
Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless.
Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.
When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control. (summary from Goodreads)
The easiest way to describe this one is Mean Girls with murder. That’s what intrigued me about this one in the summary and I couldn’t get that comparison out of my head. The book was well written and fast paced with characters who made some serious bad choices. There was an obsessive quality about this one (in multiple ways) and I flew through it in a couple of days. Secrets, lies, murder, rich bitches. There was a lot to enjoy and a lot to satisfy your guilty pleasures. It felt like the ultimate vacation read for me while I was in Arizona.
So what didn’t I love about this one? Well…..the main character was fully unlikeable. But it wasn’t just her. None of the characters were likable for me—-at all. While I might not have liked the characters at all, I think there was a truth in their characters that was honest and ugly if not a little darker, that I could appreciate. Sophie (the main character) was also pretty unreliable and I thought that added some unease for readers which fans of the thriller genre will enjoy. It would have been nice to have more of a tether in the fire storm of drama though.
And there is drama. So. Much. Drama. If you are looking for a book that hits all the morally questionable decisions, sex, drugs, and rock and roll this is it. It felt like an indulgence for me, like a train wreck that you don’t want to watch but you just can’t NOT watch. This book had all the juicy drama—not that I agree with the decisions and choices made by various characters, but the drama was on point in this one let’s just leave it at that. If drama is your thing then this is your book!
I really wish I had liked at least one of the characters or at least could sympathize with one of them but sadly at every turn I just couldn’t connect with any of them. Perhaps that’s the point of this one but in some ways it would have made it a more enjoyable read for me. So where does that leave us in the rating of this book? I went with 4 stars. I enjoyed it and thought it was a good, worthwhile read, but would have been 5 stars if the characters would have been a little more likable.
Book Info and Rating
368 pages, Hardcover
Published May 18, 2021 by Berkley
ISBN9780593101131 (ISBN10: 0593101138)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: mystery, thriller