Title: The Pocket Wife
Author: Susan Crawford
Pages: 303 (hard back novel)
Genre: psychological suspense
Part of a series? No.
Published: March 17th, 2015
I was at my favorite bookstore a while back and ran across this book. I had never heard of it before, but the cover drew me and the premise was really intriguing. The Pocket Wife follows Dana Catrell, the wife of busy lawyer who is horrified to find that she is one of the last to see her friend Celia alive. Dana, having dealt with mental illness for much of her life, cannot always tell what is real and imagined; plus there was a great deal of alcohol involved so a large part of that afternoon is missing from her memory. She hates herself for not knowing, for not being sure what she can believe even in her own memory.
As she tries to tie the pieces together to get a coherent picture of the day’s events she learns hard truths about Celia, and about her husband Peter. She still can’t be sure she didn’t kill Celia and someone is wanting badly to make her believe that she did- or to make her remember that she did. Long talks with the lead detective Jack Moss as well as her waitress-cum-shrink Glenda The Good help her to center herself and continue to search for truth. When nasty notes start showing up and she starts seeing someone in her yard Peter brushes it off. Tells her to “get help”. Yes, she realized that she is close to the edge of a breakdown- she’s been here before- but does that mean that everything she saw and felt is false? Holding off madness for as long as possible, Dana races toward the truth… but will she find it before losing control?
I loved the writing style for many of the same reasons that I normally hate it in other books. It was jumpy and disjointed at times, while flowing smoothly in others. It made me understand the madness better, the confusion, and the manic need that Dana felt. I loved and felt for Dana, always pulling for her. This is a really good look, to my mind, of the mania that comes with bipolar disorder. I also loved Jack, the sweet and caring detective with a white knight complex that is rather toxic in relationships. The other characters (and descriptions of) were unique and well rounded. I really loved them all- even the ones I truly hated. One thing I did not care for, though, this was revolving around Celia’s murder… but there was so little of Celia in it. Still, it held me riveted and guessing the whole time. Five stars!
On the adult content scale… an eight. Violence, murder, cursing, and some really hard hitting looks at depression that hit hard.