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The Replacement Wife

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A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices? Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for th A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices? Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée. Searching for clues means investigating her own family. And she doesn’t like what she finds. A laptop filled with incriminating information. Other women. But when Elisa becomes friends with Josh’s new girlfriend and starts to question things she thinks are true, Elisa wonders if the memories of a horrible incident a year ago have finally pushed her over the edge and Josh is really innocent. With so much at stake, Elisa fights off panic attacks and a strange illness. Is it a breakdown or something more? The race is on to get to the truth before another disappearance because there’s a killer in the family… or is there?


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A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices? Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for th A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices? Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée. Searching for clues means investigating her own family. And she doesn’t like what she finds. A laptop filled with incriminating information. Other women. But when Elisa becomes friends with Josh’s new girlfriend and starts to question things she thinks are true, Elisa wonders if the memories of a horrible incident a year ago have finally pushed her over the edge and Josh is really innocent. With so much at stake, Elisa fights off panic attacks and a strange illness. Is it a breakdown or something more? The race is on to get to the truth before another disappearance because there’s a killer in the family… or is there?

30 review for The Replacement Wife

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    For Fans of the Netflix Series The Staircase Family get-togethers are getting a bit awkward when Elisa (married to Harris) confronts Josh (her brother-in-law) about the wake of missing or dead women in his life. Is Josh the most unlucky man in the world? Or did he have some hand in the disappearance or death of these women? Or is Elisa just losing it after her own personal tragedy? The Replacement Wife is authored by Darby Kane, author of Pretty Little Wife (which I thoroughly enjoyed). This book For Fans of the Netflix Series The Staircase Family get-togethers are getting a bit awkward when Elisa (married to Harris) confronts Josh (her brother-in-law) about the wake of missing or dead women in his life. Is Josh the most unlucky man in the world? Or did he have some hand in the disappearance or death of these women? Or is Elisa just losing it after her own personal tragedy? The Replacement Wife is authored by Darby Kane, author of Pretty Little Wife (which I thoroughly enjoyed). This book had a lot of gaslighting in it which is a very difficult subject to accurately portray. In this sense, the mixture of gaslighting and self-doubt make more sense as Elisa is battling with her recent tragedy, still working on finding the right mix of medication to feel normal throughout the day. The Replacement Wife had strong elements from both the Netflix series The Staircase as well as the life of Robert Durst, both cases that I found fascinating. Two critiques that I had for this book: The main character's name is Elisa. For whatever reason, it takes me forever to pronounce this name. It would take me just as long to read that name than the entire sentence so I started just calling the character E and my reading speed drastically increased. Perhaps the author could change the name? Second, the ending was not as clean as I would have liked it. Not all of my questions were answered. There is also one suggestion that I would have for the author (and who am I to impinge on an author's literary freedom?). In The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, he tied that book to his debut novel, The Silent Patient. It would have been really lovely to tie The Replacement Wife back to Pretty Little Wife. Overall, a good novel for fans of Pretty Little Wife or arm chair detectives. *Thanks, NetGalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion. 2022 Reading Schedule Jan Animal Farm Feb Lord of the Flies Mar The Da Vinci Code Apr Of Mice and Men May Memoirs of a Geisha Jun Little Women Jul The Lovely Bones Aug Charlotte's Web Sep Life of Pi Oct Dracula Nov Gone with the Wind Dec The Secret Garden Connect With Me! Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lisa_of_Troy YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvmS... Facebook: https://facebook.com/LisaofTroy Email: [email protected]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kat (on semi-hiatus for a bit)

    In the spirit of the season, I’d rather be giving a glowing review to this, but as it is I fear I’ll be more like the Grinch. Unlike her last book, Pretty Little Wife, which was built around two likable strong female characters, in this book she returns to the age-old, worn out chestnut of a weak, mentally unstable, pill-popping wife, Elisa, as the unreliable female narrator who’s doubted and condescended to by the male MCs - in this case her husband, Harris, and brother-in-law, Josh. Long story s In the spirit of the season, I’d rather be giving a glowing review to this, but as it is I fear I’ll be more like the Grinch. Unlike her last book, Pretty Little Wife, which was built around two likable strong female characters, in this book she returns to the age-old, worn out chestnut of a weak, mentally unstable, pill-popping wife, Elisa, as the unreliable female narrator who’s doubted and condescended to by the male MCs - in this case her husband, Harris, and brother-in-law, Josh. Long story short, Elisa suspects Josh of nefarious things regarding the ladies in his life, past and present, and Harris takes turns being supportive and suspicious of her, while frequently showing deference to his younger brother Josh, who he raised after their parents died. Elisa’s efforts to reveal Josh for who he is puts her in his manipulative path, and that of his current girlfriend, Rachel, whose motives, like Harris, can seem supportive and suspicious in turns. So - pretend with me - you’re at home trying to enjoy your day, and your possibly psycho brother-in-law and his girlfriend show up unannounced, let themselves in with their spare house key, or end up having dinner at your house seemingly every other day. Any attempt you make to question their behavior results in chastisement from your husband, gaslighting from your brother-in-law, and an inevitable argument and tension-filled evening for everyone. Got it? Now put that on loop for 400 plus pages with Elisa questioning her sanity at every turn and coming off like yet another perpetual female victim. That is this story for me. The plot had potential but it ended up being too one-note and repetitive, with no characters I could really get behind, and a lackluster ending that ventured close to my much hated Scooby-Doo confessional territory. I admire Elisa trying to make things right, but her stress as a character became my stress as a reader, which I don’t enjoy. The one saving grace for me with this book was the insights it offered into trauma and how it affects people mentally and physically. I appreciated the effort, but it wasn't enough to change my level of enjoyment. This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the right book for me. I believe Darby Kane is a good author, and I’ll still enthusiastically want to read her next book, but I hope the female characters will get a little more love next time around! ★★ ½ (rounded to 2) Edit 12/28/21: After thinking about it, I've changed my rating from 3 to 2, since I can't honestly say I liked it. It was just OK. Thanks to William Morrow and Custom House, NetGalley and author Darby Kane for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. It's due for publication on December 28, 2021.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    Is Josh severely unlucky in love? Or is he a lady killer? His sister-in-law, Elisa, thinks the latter. Josh has a dead wife and a missing fiance. On top of that, he now has a new girlfriend. His missing fiance, Abby, is one of Elisa’s best friends, and she’s certain there’s no way Abby would leave town without saying anything to her. So Elisa hunts for clues, while dealing with PTSD for something traumatic that happened to her a year prior. She becomes friendly with Josh’s current girlfriend, Rach Is Josh severely unlucky in love? Or is he a lady killer? His sister-in-law, Elisa, thinks the latter. Josh has a dead wife and a missing fiance. On top of that, he now has a new girlfriend. His missing fiance, Abby, is one of Elisa’s best friends, and she’s certain there’s no way Abby would leave town without saying anything to her. So Elisa hunts for clues, while dealing with PTSD for something traumatic that happened to her a year prior. She becomes friendly with Josh’s current girlfriend, Rachel, as the rest of her life seems to implode. Is she imagining the worst in Josh...causing herself to have panic attacks over nothing? Or is someone trying to drive her over the edge? This was a mostly entertaining read with short chapters and an interesting premise, but it is definitely not on par with Pretty Little Wife. the debut novel written under Kane’s pseudonym. In fact, I can’t even believe it’s the same author. Pretty Little Wife was one of my favorite reads last year, and this does NOT compare in the slightest. Almost all (okay, actually all) of the characters were annoying and highly unlikable. In addition, the trope of possibly unreliable narrator is taken to the extreme. I don’t mind the trope, but this was a bit much. There’s also a fair amount of gaslighting going on, and it’s unbelievable to me that only one character is aware of it. Apparently, ignorance is bliss. Round that out with corny dialogue (a pet peeve of mine) and a lackluster ending. And yet, as previously stated, I was entertained and eager enough to know how the story would wrap up. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this one, but I’m still highly anticipating Kane’s next release. 2.5 stars. Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 12/28/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 STARS A popcorn thriller. Here a wife, there a wife, everywhere a wife! My first by the author, although I am planning to read her debut . If you love an unreliable narrator, you may just be in for a good time. Someone is scheming and they are in the driver's seat (or so they think). Elisa thinks her brother in law is a killer. He has a checkered past, including the death of a wife and a missing fiancee. She decides she needs to put her detective hat on and get to the bottom of her suspicions. You 3.5 STARS A popcorn thriller. Here a wife, there a wife, everywhere a wife! My first by the author, although I am planning to read her debut . If you love an unreliable narrator, you may just be in for a good time. Someone is scheming and they are in the driver's seat (or so they think). Elisa thinks her brother in law is a killer. He has a checkered past, including the death of a wife and a missing fiancee. She decides she needs to put her detective hat on and get to the bottom of her suspicions. You never really know who is being truthful, spying is going on, manipulation, gaslighting, anxiety, and paranoia. I did feel there was a lot going on with a few of the characters (too much really). Nothing ground breaking here, though you'll get your twists and gasps and I know I laughed out loud more than once. The ending was suspenseful, but left me shaking my head. Go ahead grab your far-fetched glasses, bowl of overflowing popcorn and settle in for quick read. Did I say OTT? Thanks to NG and the publisher for my early review copy! OUT 12/28/21

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    Excerpt: “Another family dinner. This one on a random Thursday evening in mid-September. Same kitchen. Same table with the wobbly leg. Same people. One husband. One seven year old boy who hated anything that wasn’t a chicken nugget. One brother-in-law (Josh) who might be a killer. Elisa Wright looked across her kitchen table over the pile of mashed potatoes and the stack of homemade dinner rolls, and thought to herself -MURDERER.” It was bad enough that his first wife, Candace died-but when HER fr Excerpt: “Another family dinner. This one on a random Thursday evening in mid-September. Same kitchen. Same table with the wobbly leg. Same people. One husband. One seven year old boy who hated anything that wasn’t a chicken nugget. One brother-in-law (Josh) who might be a killer. Elisa Wright looked across her kitchen table over the pile of mashed potatoes and the stack of homemade dinner rolls, and thought to herself -MURDERER.” It was bad enough that his first wife, Candace died-but when HER friend Abby, his fiancé, disappeared as well, and he has already moved on to Rachel, less than a year later-she starts to see a pattern. Why doesn’t anyone else? Will Rachel be next when he tires of her? This started out FUN! But, what began with such potential kind of unraveled for me. Elisa had a something happen to her recently which makes her question herself-and I wish that had been fleshed out more, instead of resorting to the often used “pills and gaslighting” as excuses. As she continues to fight through other’s doubt, and searches for answers, she uncovers some interesting things- Turns out, that Elisa may not be the only woman who wants to expose JOSH for what he is-but the lengths EACH of them will go to-to do so- are just TOO over the top-the motivations for their behavior were WEAK. I couldn’t buy in-even with allowing for some suspension of disbelief required for the genre. Engaging writing will keep me reading Darby Kane’s work, but this book left me wanting more. A buddy read with DeAnn-check out her thoughts on her terrific review! Thank You William Morrow for my gifted copy provided through NetGalley. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review! AVAILABLE December, 7, 2021.,

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    I had really been looking forward to reading this one as I was absolutely captivated by last year's Pretty Little Wife. Although Kane's latest book has many twists and turns, its plot is so soap opera-ish and unbelievable that readers will just have to go with it and not expect too much. Elisa has started to believe that her brother-in-law Josh is a murderer. His wife was killed in a home accident, and now his fiancée Abby, a close friend of Elisa's, has disappeared. Everyone, including Elisa's h I had really been looking forward to reading this one as I was absolutely captivated by last year's Pretty Little Wife. Although Kane's latest book has many twists and turns, its plot is so soap opera-ish and unbelievable that readers will just have to go with it and not expect too much. Elisa has started to believe that her brother-in-law Josh is a murderer. His wife was killed in a home accident, and now his fiancée Abby, a close friend of Elisa's, has disappeared. Everyone, including Elisa's husband Harris, thinks Elisa is imagining things and that Abby just walked away from the relationship. When Josh announces he's been dating Rachel for three months and wants to introduce her to the family, Elisa knows that she needs to befriend Rachel to protect her from Josh. This is a book filled to the brim with unlikable characters. Josh is slimy, Harris is a clueless doormat, and Elisa is just too hysterical and paranoid for me to form any sort of connection with her. This is despite some horrific things having happened to her in the past. (view spoiler)[ I really had a tough time with the fact that she had been through SO much only to have her own family members lie, gaslight, and altogether try to convince her she is losing her mind (hide spoiler)] There are definitely a few surprises, but I never really bought the motivations of most of the characters for the things they were doing. And don't get me started on the inept police... If you're in the mood for a suspense novel where you just have to go with it and suspend your logic, then you might enjoy The Replacement Wife. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Whoa! My mind is so dizzy! It’s spinning so fast! I feel the ground move under my feet! What a wild- action packed- crazy ride: filled with manipulation, gaslighting, schemes, lies, delusions! I devoured this beauty in one sit ( sitting on the edge, squirming, biting neighbors’ borrowed cushions cause I already destroyed my cushions during reading the first chapters ) Character development was great! Especially putting an unreliable narrator in spotlight to tell the story from her distorted ver Whoa! My mind is so dizzy! It’s spinning so fast! I feel the ground move under my feet! What a wild- action packed- crazy ride: filled with manipulation, gaslighting, schemes, lies, delusions! I devoured this beauty in one sit ( sitting on the edge, squirming, biting neighbors’ borrowed cushions cause I already destroyed my cushions during reading the first chapters ) Character development was great! Especially putting an unreliable narrator in spotlight to tell the story from her distorted version of truth always helps to build high tension mystery quite fascinatingly. Elise already survived after a traumatic incident at work place ( no more details, you just read the book but I have to admit: it’s something truly devastating, helping you honestly empathize with the heroine) , idolizing her husband Harris, taking care of her quirky, lovely son Nathan. The incident she still suffers affecting her normal life routines, giving her panic attacks, forcing her stay at home, creating her own safe cocoon. This also creates a new kind of obsession: her brother in law’s fiancée Abby was her close friend and she’s missing now! She thinks her brother in law did something to her! We learn more about family dynamics of trio: Harris equally shares his love between his wife and baby brother like a good caretaker. Harris and Josh lost their parents at young ages and Harris became second father of Josh, protecting him from his shameful, problematic past. He cleans everything as his brother keeps screwing things. Nathan also does everything to help his wife Elise after her big breakdown, caring their son, being supportive husband. Josh married with Candace for five and half years,till she died on the stairs of their new house which presumed as accident. Then he started dating with Abby, deciding to tie the knot. But then Abby dumps him, vanishing into thin air. Nobody hears from her. And Elise believes Abby never disappears without saying goodbye to her. She’s worrying about her well being. And now Josh brings a new girlfriend named Rachel to the family. Elise’s obsession about finding her missing friend, protecting Rachel by befriending her and proving the guilt of Josh put her life into whirlwind direction. Even her husband starts thinking something is truly wrong about her! Why Elise is always dizzy? Is she really paranoid as like Josh points out? Is Rachel’s life also in danger? Or somebody from inner circle play games with Elise? What if everything is inside of her head? What if she cannot differentiate the thin line between where the delusions start and reality ends? Overall: the conclusion can be foreseeable but I liked some of twists, engaging writing style, unhinged, unreliable heroine which earned my four well written, suspicious, delicious mystery stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow and Custom House for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jen (semi-hiatus)

    A year ago, Elisa Wright had a picture perfect life. A loving and supportive husband, a wonderful child, and a brother in law engaged to one of her good friends. But after the fiancee Abby vanishes without a trace, Elisa is left wondering why she's the only one who seems to suspect anything is amiss. Josh, the brother in law, is convinced Abby leaving was merely a dramatic way to break up with him. But surely she wouldn't abandon her friends and the rest of her life too, would she? It never quit A year ago, Elisa Wright had a picture perfect life. A loving and supportive husband, a wonderful child, and a brother in law engaged to one of her good friends. But after the fiancee Abby vanishes without a trace, Elisa is left wondering why she's the only one who seems to suspect anything is amiss. Josh, the brother in law, is convinced Abby leaving was merely a dramatic way to break up with him. But surely she wouldn't abandon her friends and the rest of her life too, would she? It never quite sat right with Elisa, but the police investigation didn't turn up anything. It's not until she finds some suspicious items Abby left behind, and Josh shows up with a serious girlfriend that seems to have appeared out of nowhere that Elisa starts to suspect Josh may in fact be a murderer. After all, Abby wasn’t the first woman in his life who is no longer with us… This was a hard one for me to read and review. I really enjoyed Darby Kane's debut and despite a few problems with it, I was looking forward to her next book. So much so in fact that I glossed over the mentions of panic attacks and a breakdown in the blurb. That is my own fault and I own that. If you are like me and do not enjoy "maybe crazy" unreliable female characters and those who gaslight them, I cannot recommend this. I was hoping this would be more about a woman slowly uncovering a mystery and less a fairly one-note main character (does she have a personality that isn't trauma survivor?) wading through panic attacks and possibly on pills she doesn't remember taking. Reading this felt like I was underwater. And I'll give credit where it's due for that. Kane did in fact very effectively evoke strong feelings of panic, confusion, and self-doubt. This reader simply isn't one who enjoys that. I also don't enjoy characters whose actions don't make sense or bond villain style expository monologues, both of which also feature here. So I want to be fair and acknowledge that a lot of my problems stemmed from simply being the wrong reader for the book. I found the whole thing to be predictable, repetitive, and frustrating to read. If it wasn't an ARC, I would not have finished it. Other people seem to have enjoyed it much more than me, so I'd urge you to check out their reviews as a counterpoint. Available December 28, 2021. I do want to thank NetGalley and William Morrow and Custom House for the opportunity to review this title. Hopefully the next one will be a better fit!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Josh seems to be a man who is very unlucky when it comes to love. His first wife Candace died when she fell and hit her head after they’d only been married for five years. Now his fiancé Abby has disappeared. Josh claims she must have got cold feet about the wedding and run away. However, no one has heard from her for seven months and her best friend Elisa, married to Josh’s older brother Harris, can’t accept that Abby would cut all ties to her too and not answer her calls or emails. When she fi Josh seems to be a man who is very unlucky when it comes to love. His first wife Candace died when she fell and hit her head after they’d only been married for five years. Now his fiancé Abby has disappeared. Josh claims she must have got cold feet about the wedding and run away. However, no one has heard from her for seven months and her best friend Elisa, married to Josh’s older brother Harris, can’t accept that Abby would cut all ties to her too and not answer her calls or emails. When she finds out the supposedly grieving Josh has a new girlfriend, who he has been dating for months, her suspicions that Josh is involved in Abby’s disappearance are fuelled even further. The problem is that no one will listen to Elisa’s concerns. A year ago she was involved in a very traumatic shooting at the hospital where she worked and since then has been prone to panic attacks and scared to leave the house. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and her brain feels foggy even though her medication shouldn’t be having that effect by now. When it comes to younger brother Josh, Harris has blinkers on and doesn’t support his wife’s fears that Josh is involved in her friend’s disappearance. Josh is extremely talented at deflecting blame onto others as well convincing others that Elisa is confused to the point where she also starts to doubt her own perception of events. This all makes her into a very unreliable narrator and leaves the reader wondering what is really going on. Although, the premise for the novel is compelling, the pacing is slow and the plot drags somewhat as Elisa’s is the main voice we hear and it does become rather repetitive. An occasional chapter from an unknown narrator is intriguing and alerts us to the fact that someone else has plans for Josh. Although considering himself a ladies’ man and a smooth operator, Josh is clearly unlikeable and untrustworthy and his continued gaslighting of Elisa becomes annoying, as does Harris’ support of Josh rather than Elisa, especillay in light of further revelations about Josh’s past. While the ending tied up a lot of threads, it felt sudden and contrived and not all that convincing. However, the novel is an entertaining mystery that keeps you guessing and would make a perfect holiday read. 3.5★ With thanks to William Morrow & Custom House and Netgalley for a copy to read. This original review was also posted in Mystery & Suspense Magazine https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/th...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Here we have a tale of Elisa, our unreliable pill popping narrator with PTSD from a past trauma, as she tries to convince anyone that will listen to her that her brother-in-law, Josh, is a murderer. Of course no believes her including her husband, Harris, who just happens to be Josh's brother. I'll admit I was entertained and didn't ever feel like putting this down but it never really wowed me either. While I felt for Elisa's situation I never really grew to care for her. I, personally, didn't t Here we have a tale of Elisa, our unreliable pill popping narrator with PTSD from a past trauma, as she tries to convince anyone that will listen to her that her brother-in-law, Josh, is a murderer. Of course no believes her including her husband, Harris, who just happens to be Josh's brother. I'll admit I was entertained and didn't ever feel like putting this down but it never really wowed me either. While I felt for Elisa's situation I never really grew to care for her. I, personally, didn't think there were any shocking reveals. The most shocking thing was the reasoning behind the motive. I couldn't imagine anybody doing all of this for the reason that was given. In the end this book blends in with so many other books in this genre that I will likely forget all about this story in a few days. I have a feeling that new readers of psychological thrillers will get many more thrills than I did. 3.5 stars! Thank you to Scene of the Crime, NetGalley, and William Morrow for my complimentary copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    3 messy stars Elisa is our main character and she’s a bit of a mess at the moment! She’s married to Harris and has a mostly sweet 7-year-old child Nathan. She keeps close to the house and works from home. I admit that I did like the unique reason why that was in this book. One of her big problems is suspicions about her brother-in-law Josh. Months ago, Josh’s fiancée (and Elisa’s friend), mysteriously disappeared. Elisa is convinced that Josh had something to do with it and thinks that maybe Abby 3 messy stars Elisa is our main character and she’s a bit of a mess at the moment! She’s married to Harris and has a mostly sweet 7-year-old child Nathan. She keeps close to the house and works from home. I admit that I did like the unique reason why that was in this book. One of her big problems is suspicions about her brother-in-law Josh. Months ago, Josh’s fiancée (and Elisa’s friend), mysteriously disappeared. Elisa is convinced that Josh had something to do with it and thinks that maybe Abby is dead. Elisa’s making such a fuss about it that Josh is starting to tell her that she’s really losing it! This isn’t going over well with her husband either. Elisa is also having weird health issues or are they panic attacks? It all contributes to making her look on the edge of a breakdown. As Elisa continues to dig into Abby’s disappearance and Josh’s past, she seems to be in danger herself. Now Josh is dating someone new, and Elisa is worried about the safety of this new girlfriend. Did I forget to tell you that his first wife died an accidental death? Cue gaslighting and possible drugging trope and things look even shakier for Elisa. I think the setup was great in this one, but the conclusion left me not completely satisfied. It felt contrived and not completely believable. I really liked this author’s first book and I will read her next one, but this one left me wanting more! This one did make for an excellent buddy read with Jayme, I am sure you will want to check out her review! Thank you to William Morrow/Custom House for a copy through NetGalley. This one is scheduled to publish 12/28/21.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    It's Darby Kane for the win again! I loved Pretty Little Wife and couldn't wait to get my hands on this one! What a page turner this was! Elisa knows he is a killer...she is sure of it...she just can't prove it. 🤷‍♀️Why is she the only ones that sees this?? 🤔When her BFF goes missing..she knows darn well that Josh is behind it. 🤨In fact...Josh isn't even concerned that his fiancee Abby is missing. .....He proves it by bringing home a new girlfriend.😳 This really had me from the very first page. Wh It's Darby Kane for the win again! I loved Pretty Little Wife and couldn't wait to get my hands on this one! What a page turner this was! Elisa knows he is a killer...she is sure of it...she just can't prove it. 🤷‍♀️Why is she the only ones that sees this?? 🤔When her BFF goes missing..she knows darn well that Josh is behind it. 🤨In fact...Josh isn't even concerned that his fiancee Abby is missing. .....He proves it by bringing home a new girlfriend.😳 This really had me from the very first page. While Pretty Little Wife is still my favorite...I really enjoyed this one also!! It kept me guessing all the way to the end. Unreliable narrator? Yes please! 😂🙋‍♀️I had no idea if I should be buying what Elisa was selling...but I was all in! ❤️ Thank you William Morrow for my gifted copy.🥰🥰🥰

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I really enjoyed Darby Kane’s Pretty Little Wife, so I was very excited to read this new domestic thriller with what seemed to be a similar theme. While I was entertained by the book, for me it lacked the constant suspense and tension of Kane’s previous book. The book starts with a great premise. You know those guys in the news who have wives or girlfriends who just seem, repeatedly, to meet a horrible fate? Or disappear? Josh is one of those guys. But he’s so charming and attractive he manages I really enjoyed Darby Kane’s Pretty Little Wife, so I was very excited to read this new domestic thriller with what seemed to be a similar theme. While I was entertained by the book, for me it lacked the constant suspense and tension of Kane’s previous book. The book starts with a great premise. You know those guys in the news who have wives or girlfriends who just seem, repeatedly, to meet a horrible fate? Or disappear? Josh is one of those guys. But he’s so charming and attractive he manages to keep hooking the ladies. Enter Elisa, the close friend of Josh’s most recently “missing” wife. She’s going to get to the bottom of why Josh’s romantic interests keep meeting accidents and disappearing… and why nothing ever seems to be done about it. I liked the premise and the characters a lot, but for some reason, this book didn’t hook me like Pretty Little Wife did. There were also a few plot points that seemed implausible including some questionable police work. The conclusion also felt easy to see coming. Overall, while this book was entertaining, it didn’t have the intensity and “unputdownable” factor of Kane’s previous book. I still really like Darby Kane as a writer and am excited to see what she comes up with next. Thanks to William Morris and Custom House, NetGalley and the author for the ARC!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    What would you do if someone in your family might be a murderer? Someone who has been in your home, someone you trusted?? That’s exactly the question the main character is dealing with in The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane. Elisa Wright is a wife and a mother who now suspects that maybe her brother in law is a murderer. Josh had once been married until his wife was died one night by a mysterious fall. The death at the time had been ruled an accident but now Josh’s girlfriend, Elisa’s good friend, What would you do if someone in your family might be a murderer? Someone who has been in your home, someone you trusted?? That’s exactly the question the main character is dealing with in The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane. Elisa Wright is a wife and a mother who now suspects that maybe her brother in law is a murderer. Josh had once been married until his wife was died one night by a mysterious fall. The death at the time had been ruled an accident but now Josh’s girlfriend, Elisa’s good friend, has gone missing. Elisa has found some incriminating evidence hidden in Josh’s home that leads her to believe her friend did not just pack up and leave. To top it all off Josh has also begun dating yet again. With a new woman in Josh’s life Elisa becomes even more determined than ever to find out just what her brother in law has been hiding. The Replacement Wife is Darby Kane’s second book and having read her first, Pretty Little Wife, and enjoying it I was looking forward to this one. Just as with the first book I found myself easily drawn into the story in The Replacement Wife and completely engaged. The narrator in the story is the unreliable type so I of course had my eye on all kinds of outcomes which is always fun. There were plenty of twists to keep the pages turning and after finishing and enjoying this second novel I will certainly come back for more from this author in the future. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  15. 4 out of 5

    JaymeO

    “Josh. The man literally had women tucked away everywhere. Some dead. Some alive. Some missing. Elisa needed a scorecard because keeping track was becoming somewhat daunting.” My thoughts exactly, Elisa! The premise of this book was completely unbelievable and the reveal even more absurd. After surviving the shooting of her friend and colleague at work, Elisa is suffering from PTSD. However, instead of focusing on healing, she convinces herself that her brother-in-law Josh murdered his multiple w “Josh. The man literally had women tucked away everywhere. Some dead. Some alive. Some missing. Elisa needed a scorecard because keeping track was becoming somewhat daunting.” My thoughts exactly, Elisa! The premise of this book was completely unbelievable and the reveal even more absurd. After surviving the shooting of her friend and colleague at work, Elisa is suffering from PTSD. However, instead of focusing on healing, she convinces herself that her brother-in-law Josh murdered his multiple wives and girlfriends. She is also followed and spied upon by a red-headed woman. Or is she? No one believes her story. Is she just paranoid? Is Josh really just a victim of bad luck and a series of unfortunate accidents? This book was absolutely ridiculous. It was way too long and the writing was very simplistic and overly repetitive. Literally nothing new happened for hundreds of pages. Dinner after dinner with Josh and Rachel. I basically forced myself to get through this book so that I could write an honest review. I am trying to find something nice to say about this, but the only positive things were the adorable cats named Fuzz and Buzz. I am shocked that this book is by the same author who wrote Pretty Little Wife, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, The Replacement Wife really missed the mark for me. 1/5 stars Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow publishing for the ARC of The Replacement Wife in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    Unpopular Opinion Alert Oh my goodness.... this was a a tough book for me to read and review. I haven't read anything by this author but heard that her debut was very good. Unfortunately, after reading this I won't be going back and reading her debut. There was a whole lot of gaslighting and paranoia with female characters in this one. I cannot stand the female characters described as "I'm having panic attacks but don't remember taking these pills." I found it way too repetitive, frustrating and Unpopular Opinion Alert Oh my goodness.... this was a a tough book for me to read and review. I haven't read anything by this author but heard that her debut was very good. Unfortunately, after reading this I won't be going back and reading her debut. There was a whole lot of gaslighting and paranoia with female characters in this one. I cannot stand the female characters described as "I'm having panic attacks but don't remember taking these pills." I found it way too repetitive, frustrating and honestly annoying to read. I found it way too long and honestly I should have stopped reading after 20 percent. Unfortunately, this one really missed the mark for me. 2/5 stars Thank you so much to William Morrow and Darby Kane for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Pub date: 12/28/21

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars The book gets off to a great start as it hooked me from the get-go. By the midway point though, I was getting an inkling I was in for a less than satisfying conclusion. It turned out I was half-right or half-wrong depending on how you want to frame it. While I don't love everything about the final chapters in the book, I finished with a smile on my face which doesn't happen all that much with psychological thrillers. Elisa Wright is convinced her brother-in-law, Josh, is a murderer. Josh 3.5 stars The book gets off to a great start as it hooked me from the get-go. By the midway point though, I was getting an inkling I was in for a less than satisfying conclusion. It turned out I was half-right or half-wrong depending on how you want to frame it. While I don't love everything about the final chapters in the book, I finished with a smile on my face which doesn't happen all that much with psychological thrillers. Elisa Wright is convinced her brother-in-law, Josh, is a murderer. Josh has a dead wife and his fiancée recently went missing. Elisa can't believe Josh has already moved on to his next relationship. Fearing for his new girlfriend, Elisa sets out to prove once and for all Josh is a killer. The story has a good premise and I loved the mini bombshells at the end of some of the chapters. The author kept me on my toes for awhile but eventually some fairly big breadcrumbs were dropped that will most likely be picked up by any frequent reader of this genre. In the book's favor though there are enough moving pieces so it doesn't feel like the ending is phoned in, if that makes sense. I'm slightly disappointed how things unfolded but the last few pages made a bit of a comeback so I can't complain too much. To sum it up, a decent domestic thriller but doesn't quite make my favorite list. Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with an advance copy. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Elisa believes her brother-in-law is a murderer. She now believes that the dead wife in his past and missing fiancée in the more recent past are to be blamed on Josh. Her husband Harris and Josh's older brother seems ready to support Josh. Not only is Elisa recovering from a violent incident at work, but now she finds herself feeling nauseated and dizzy more frequently and her life seems totally out of control. Is she headed for a breakdown as her husband seems to suspect? As she attempts to unr Elisa believes her brother-in-law is a murderer. She now believes that the dead wife in his past and missing fiancée in the more recent past are to be blamed on Josh. Her husband Harris and Josh's older brother seems ready to support Josh. Not only is Elisa recovering from a violent incident at work, but now she finds herself feeling nauseated and dizzy more frequently and her life seems totally out of control. Is she headed for a breakdown as her husband seems to suspect? As she attempts to unravel the facts regarding the two women who are gone from their family, she discovers more complicated facts and confusing allies. There are some great aha moments in this book as well as twists and turns in the plot. The pacing seemed off, however, and the whole workplace thing seemed to be a distraction rather than a help to the narrative. I did not enjoy this one as much as Pretty Little Wife, but I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book from Darby Kane. Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angie Elle

    No blurb? ASK ME IF I CARE! I'll be reading it no matter what it is. No blurb? ASK ME IF I CARE! I'll be reading it no matter what it is.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    I was completely blown away by Pretty Little Wife so I was pretty dang excited to read Darby Kane's sophomore suspense novel The Replacement Wife. I do have to say I liked this one less, but ultimately, I still really enjoyed it! The majority of the story is told from Elisa's viewpoint with the occasional chapter from an unknown narrator. Elisa is very unreliable as she is dealing with the aftermath of something terrible that happened, and I spent the whole book wondering if she was right about I was completely blown away by Pretty Little Wife so I was pretty dang excited to read Darby Kane's sophomore suspense novel The Replacement Wife. I do have to say I liked this one less, but ultimately, I still really enjoyed it! The majority of the story is told from Elisa's viewpoint with the occasional chapter from an unknown narrator. Elisa is very unreliable as she is dealing with the aftermath of something terrible that happened, and I spent the whole book wondering if she was right about Josh or if there was something else at play. This is a story FILLED with unlikable characters and even Elisa grated on my nerves, so I would go into this one with that in mind. The biggest frustration for me was that it felt like Josh and Elisa's interactions were just the same thing repeated over and over again so the story ended up being really repetitive to me in that respect. I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room multiple times, but it is also impressive that Kane was able to make me feel that much emotion. Plus, despite my annoyance with all of their interactions, I still didn't want to put the book down and had a very strong compulsion to keep reading. The Replacement Wife is definitely domestic suspense combined with a psychological thriller, and while it isn't SUPER twisty, there are a few things that I wasn't expecting, especially at the end. It ended up being pretty satisfying which was nice, and I liked Elisa a bit more by the end. Read this if you are looking for a book to keep you guessing and one that you won't want to put down. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    4.5/5 Checkout this tagline 👇🏻 “A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices?” That’s all I needed to know before I started this one, it sounded like a juicy popcorn thriller and that’s exactly what it was. So an intriguing premise that sucked me in and add some untrustworthy characters, lots of twists and turns and some great tension that kept me on the edge of my seat. There’s really not much more I want when I’m reading a thrill 4.5/5 Checkout this tagline 👇🏻 “A domestic suspense novel that asks, how many wives and girlfriends should disappear before your family notices?” That’s all I needed to know before I started this one, it sounded like a juicy popcorn thriller and that’s exactly what it was. So an intriguing premise that sucked me in and add some untrustworthy characters, lots of twists and turns and some great tension that kept me on the edge of my seat. There’s really not much more I want when I’m reading a thriller, I loved this one and can recommend it when you want a fun, fast paced binge read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Elisa Wright is a busy mom who also happens to think her brother-in-law is a murderer. One of Josh's past wives is dead and his fiancee is missing. And now he's dating someone new, without showing much grief. As Elisa starts to investigate Josh's past, she uncovers some terrifying information about him and the family. She also befriends his current girlfriend, who gives off mixed messages about how she feels about Josh. Meanwhile, events start to happen that have Elisa wondering about her own sa Elisa Wright is a busy mom who also happens to think her brother-in-law is a murderer. One of Josh's past wives is dead and his fiancee is missing. And now he's dating someone new, without showing much grief. As Elisa starts to investigate Josh's past, she uncovers some terrifying information about him and the family. She also befriends his current girlfriend, who gives off mixed messages about how she feels about Josh. Meanwhile, events start to happen that have Elisa wondering about her own sanity--and her husband seems to be questioning her as well. The premise of this book was interesting, but it just did not work well for me. Most of the plot was Elisa entertaining Josh and his girlfriend, then an argument with them or her husband, rinse and repeat. Or pick up her kid, some angst, and an argument. It felt slow and repetitive and the tension and intrigue that should exist did not. There were no huge surprises or twists there. In addition, the characters were so whiny and just irritating. The ending was kind of fun and all in all, the book kept me just curious enough to keep reading. 3 stars. I received a copy of this book from William Morrow/Custom House and Netgalley / Scene of the Crime in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Smashbomb ~ Instagram

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a decent book, though I had a bit of an issue fully immersing myself in the story, maybe due to the writing style. It centers on Elisa, whose friend disappears, leaving Elisa convinced that her brother-in-law, Josh, did something to her. Josh starts dating a new woman and Elisa wants to warn her off while also getting to the bottom of what happened before. I love a story with an unreliable narrator and the author does a great job with that aspect of the book. Elisa is somewhat likable b This was a decent book, though I had a bit of an issue fully immersing myself in the story, maybe due to the writing style. It centers on Elisa, whose friend disappears, leaving Elisa convinced that her brother-in-law, Josh, did something to her. Josh starts dating a new woman and Elisa wants to warn her off while also getting to the bottom of what happened before. I love a story with an unreliable narrator and the author does a great job with that aspect of the book. Elisa is somewhat likable but has some skeletons in her own closet which leads the reader to question whether she can be trusted. The storyline got a little convoluted at parts but I do think that the ending pulled everything together in a way that was satisfying. Overall, pretty good read even if it wasn’t my favorite. I liked this book more than this author’s other book, though both have a writing style that seemed somewhat perfunctory and wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    For the reader who loves domestic suspense with a twist on the unreliable narrator trope. This page turner explores gaslighting in a way that makes you root for the protagonist. I found it to be an easy read with some good twists, some of which I figured out easily and maybe one I didn’t have entirely figured out. This was, in my opinion, a step up from Pretty Little Wife, for which I cannot remember anything about for the life of me. 😮😬 3.75 stars

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is my kind of thriller! Elisa suspects brother-in-law Josh of having something to do with his wife's death...until she discovers there's more to the story than she knows! His new girlfriend, Rachel tries to be friendly but Elisa is suspicious of her too. And of course her husband takes his brother's side so she's alone in trying to figure out the truth. What really happened? Is Josh a murderer or is he being set up by someone? This had me tearing through the pages to figure out what happene This is my kind of thriller! Elisa suspects brother-in-law Josh of having something to do with his wife's death...until she discovers there's more to the story than she knows! His new girlfriend, Rachel tries to be friendly but Elisa is suspicious of her too. And of course her husband takes his brother's side so she's alone in trying to figure out the truth. What really happened? Is Josh a murderer or is he being set up by someone? This had me tearing through the pages to figure out what happened. Loved the pacing and the story! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

    QUICK TAKE: this was actually surprisingly good. I thought Kane did a great job with a simple idea: what if you thought your brother was a serial killer, and how would you protect his new girlfriend, who you believe is in danger of becoming his next victim? Good twists, solid character relationships, funky family dynamics...here for it. Definite recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    3.5 Stars! Fun fun fun! I loved the humour and the paranoia, manipulation and lies here which is making my head dizzy but in a good must keep reading way. Oh and I love me an unknown narrator as well as some unreliable ones. Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada for my physical review copy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt Chisling (MattyandtheBooks)

    Whatever this is gonna be- it’s gonna be perfect.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    2.5 stars I was so excited to receive an ARC of this one after Kane’s debut last year was such a pleasant surprise. However this one didn’t really click with me as much as Pretty Little Wife unfortunately. We’re following Elisa, a maybe-unreliable narrator (think Woman in the Window), who thinks her brother-in-law murdered his wife and tries to uncover the truth before his new girlfriend gets too involved with him. I felt like it had a good storyline and a few good twists but the biggest reason it 2.5 stars I was so excited to receive an ARC of this one after Kane’s debut last year was such a pleasant surprise. However this one didn’t really click with me as much as Pretty Little Wife unfortunately. We’re following Elisa, a maybe-unreliable narrator (think Woman in the Window), who thinks her brother-in-law murdered his wife and tries to uncover the truth before his new girlfriend gets too involved with him. I felt like it had a good storyline and a few good twists but the biggest reason it didn’t work that well for me was that as an ‘unreliable narrator’ Elisa has some psychological issues going on and I felt like a lot of her paranoia was so overly and unnecessarily detailed, I found myself skimming through paragraphs because they were just redundant details of her being scared or in shock. It made the book a lot longer than it needed to be and I think it would benefit from a bit of editing. Also while Pretty Little Wife went surprisingly dark (kind of light Karin Slaughter vibes), this one is a much tamer, pretty standard domestic thriller, more in the vein of Greer Hendricks/Sarah Pekkanen’s books. I will continue reading Kane’s thrillers because I enjoyed her previous book so much but this one was a disappointment for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    When is too many wives/ girlfriends dead or missing too many for a family member to believe they are all accidents? And when you do start to realise you’re brother in law could be a killer how do you convince you’re husband and everyone else that the affable,charming Josh may not be all he seems? Elisa is trying to cope with all this when yet another girlfriend appears on the scene,plus she is being followed and to boot strange things are happening to her,her life is spiralling whereas Josh’s see When is too many wives/ girlfriends dead or missing too many for a family member to believe they are all accidents? And when you do start to realise you’re brother in law could be a killer how do you convince you’re husband and everyone else that the affable,charming Josh may not be all he seems? Elisa is trying to cope with all this when yet another girlfriend appears on the scene,plus she is being followed and to boot strange things are happening to her,her life is spiralling whereas Josh’s seems to be flourishing,again,as always,she needs to prove who he is really is and the book follows this unenviable life she has found herself leading An easy read and much in ‘conversation’ writing ( between Elisa and various others ) it was enjoyable in the main and I did like Elisa and felt for her with all she was trying to deal with,concluded well and was a solid thriller that kept its pace throughout 8/10 4 Stars

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