The Silent Wife Review - Who is the real killer?
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
by A. S. A. Harrison
Published in 2013
When I found The Silent Wife, I was interested because I kept hearing it was similar to Girl on the Train. Knowing that this was going to be another psychological thriller and how much fun I always have reading those, I had to purchase. What makes this book so different right away is the fact that they immediately give you the ending in the summary, the wife kills her husband. Instead of the book being about a crazy twist ending, instead you get to read what exactly led the wife up to this point that she would decide to murder her husband.
Jodi and Todd have had a comfortable partnership over the past 20 years. Todd is a real-estate develop while Jodi is a psychotherapist and while they don’t have children, it appears they have a normal quiet life together. That is until we learn that Todd is having an affair with his best friend’s daughter, Natasha. They have been having an affair for a while now, with Todd believing being with her helps his depression. He always promises Natasha that he intends to leave Jodi in order to be with her, even though he never actually follows through. Jodi notices his constant disappearances and guesses that he might be having an affair, but decides to ignore it, assuming it is a “phase” that Todd will get over.
Natasha gets pregnant and now Todd can no longer hide the truth. Before he can reveal the truth to Jodi himself, Natasha’s father Dean calls Jodi and shares his outrage at this affair and pregnancy. Jodi discovers sleeping pills prescribed to Natasha in Todd’s jacket, so when he arrives that night she slips 11 pills into his drink. Even though this knocks him out for most of the night and next day, he wakes up just fine. Natasha continues to pressure him to leave his wife and move in with her, but he procrastinates telling Jodi until the move in date, which enrages Jodi.
To further fuel the fire, Todd and Natasha begin planning their wedding. Todd meets with his lawyer to figure out how to manage this separation with Jodi, meanwhile Jodi still holds on the false notion that Todd will return back to her and life will go back to normal. Since Todd and Jodi were not legally married, his lawyer informs him that he owes no financial obligation to Jodi. He then calls Jodi to kick her out of their home, since Todd is the legal owner of the residence. This is the final straw, and Jodi uses a friend to hire a hitman to assassinate Todd. Todd is killed, and of course, she is the first suspect in the murder case. Right as we think Jodi is about to get caught, we learn that Todd’s best friend/ Natasha’s father also hired a hitman and he ends up going down for the murder instead of Jodi.
Final Rating & Thoughts: 8/10
I really enjoyed how backwards this book was. Even though they immediately spoil the ending by letting us know to expect that Jodi will kill Todd, it’s the anticipation that gets you through the pages to identify what was the breaking point that pushed her to that point. It makes you over analyze every single interaction and conversation to see if this was another factor leading up to it. I also feel like they gave so many different factors that by the end of the book, I found myself justifying Jodi’s decision to hire the hitman. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how naive Jodi chose to be. Even knowing her husband was having an affair, she decided to ignore it. Even when Natasha’s father called her to tell her about the pregnancy, she decided to ignore it. Even when Todd left the house to be with Natasha, Jodi was still holding on to the hope that he would return. Considering she was a psychotherapist, I would think she would take some of the advice she has probably given to patients to “Let him go”. Maybe what the author was trying to achieve was a sense of irony in her decisions, but it made her a really frustrating character to sympathize with even when Todd’s actions were truly wrong.
However, I definitely loved the plot twist at the end! We were led to believe from the summary at the back of the book and the actions and feelings from Jodi during the book to assume that she was responsible and will get arrested for murdering Todd. When it was revealed that the true murderer was Natasha’s father, it made complete sense. Todd was his best friend for many years and of all the things he would do, he had an affair with his college student daughter and then got her pregnant. If anyone was as betrayed as Jodi, it was his best friend. So even with it being such an unexpected ending, it was still a satisfying one. I also liked that even though Jodi had truly intended for the hitman to murder Todd, that the hitman never actually went through it, especially because the second it happened all she felt was immense guilt over Todd’s death. I feel like this way it was a cleaner ending for Jodi and Todd’s story so that she could continue her life without being drowned under guilt. I hated how Natasha managed to get all the attention at the end because she was his pregnant fiance! It wasn’t a problem with the book, I actually felt like I was seeing this from Jodi’s point of view and seeing how she became this sympathetic woman in the news even though she was responsible for this whole mess!
Overall, I would recommend The Silent Wife to others looking for an interesting psychological thriller. The author managed to trick you into thinking Jodi really was the killer, so the whole time you are anticipating that to happen, and they just keep yanking the rug from under you. I think The Silent Wife managed to keep me on my toes throughout the whole book. It made it exciting and thrilling to read especially since they set up Jodi to seem like this serene, calm, level-headed psychotherapist and then turned her to a scorned and enraged woman capable of murder.