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The Pocket Wife

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  9,983 ratings  ·  1,083 reviews
An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her n
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by William Morrow (first published March 1st 2015)
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Jessica Vega Susan Crawford spoke at her book reading and book signing at Eagle Eye Books in Decatur on March 17th that she drew from her personal knowledge of hav…moreSusan Crawford spoke at her book reading and book signing at Eagle Eye Books in Decatur on March 17th that she drew from her personal knowledge of having known people with Bipolar on a personal level. I just got the book, so I can't attest if the character is a realistic depiction of someone with bi-polar, at least not yet. (less)
Nice Costa It's good in the beginning. If you're curious to learn how a bipolar mind works this could be interesting. However, the author says things that are un…moreIt's good in the beginning. If you're curious to learn how a bipolar mind works this could be interesting. However, the author says things that are unreal such as stopping the meds and immediately feeling like her old self. It takes days and the result is not so good. Besides the end lacks impact. She weaves the plot on and on and finally the end is just simple and it does not match the character personality. So it's not THAT good. (less)

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Average rating 3.34  · 
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 ·  9,983 ratings  ·  1,083 reviews

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Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
There are a lot of four and five star reviews for this one...not from me, though. I wish I liked this more than I did. Perhaps I read this too soon after The Girl On The Train. Here is another collection of unlikeable characters, depressing relationships, a narrator that isn't sure of her involvement in the crime and a pretty unrealistic ending. We know from the summary that the narrator has struggled with mental illness yet the tone of the story felt as if something was missing. The story feels ...more
This was a bit of a funny one for me. I went into it knowing most of my trusted friends rated this very much in the middle of the road. I liked the characters, disliked some and was happy with the story line. Which of course is, normal, and good.

The story just did not grab me enough, at every step of the way. I enjoyed the writing style, the themes we saw here – mental illness, fractured families and the like. I just was not drawn in enough by the pacing. It wasn’t exciting enough, and I guess t
Diane S ☔
Dana, can't remember much of the last afternoon she spent with her friend. Much can be blamed on the drinking they both did, but to make it even more difficult, Dana is bi-polar, off her meds and slightly manic. Yet, her friend is dead and she remembers only bits and pieces. Could she possibly have killed her?

Can't say this was the most suspenseful read but it was different and I sympathized with Dana's struggles. Not only is her husband cheating on her, but as she tries to stay ahead of her man
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly good read. I know some have compared it to Girl on the Train. Although there are some comparatives here, I don't think I can relate it to that book. This was far more than man vs. woman and everything in between.

Susan H. Crawford does a fine job with getting into the head of the main character Dana. I felt like the marbles were rolling around inside my own head as well as I read about the actions and reactions of Dana. Dana suspects her husband, Peter, of machine-gun styl
Judy Collins
THE POCKET WIFE by Susan H. Crawford, an absorbing psychological thriller debut-an exploration into the mind of a troubled woman, as she questions her actions of reality versus fiction.

Top 50 Books of 2015. "2015 Best Eye-Catching Cover. Best psycho- contemporary debut (Bipolar)."

Dana Cantrell, is a pocket wife, meaning her husband, Peter is too busy for her. On occasion, when she calls, he has a nasty habit of placing the cell phone in his pocket, until he can excuse himself to speak in priv
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Cannot finish this, unfortunately. I am so uninvolved, it's just a waste for me:-(

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I haven't really been that hooked on any "psychological thrillers" since Gone Girl and the Silent Wife. So, I really wanted to like this. But, I found the writing went into too much detail about the physical surroundings and not enough on character development. At one point, it was raining every day in the protagonist's hometown, as if the reader didn't get the message that the weather represented the woman's mental state of mind.

I also didn't really connect with any of the characters, not even
The Pocket Wife is a standalone, psychological thriller/mystery novel written by Susan H. Crawford. This is her debut novel...and what a debut!! Throughout my reading experience, I remained invested in this story and its characters. My favorite elements of this book were the complexity of the characters's lives and the various relationship dynamics going on. It was sad but also immensely engaging!

The main character, Dana suffers from mental illness and the parts of this story that were shared th
Apr 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Deciding to put down a book part way through is like taking off those shoes that don't fit – the relief is wonderful. What is it about page 161? This is now the second or third book that, having got this far, I have said “NO, I cannot go on!”.

The premise of this novel is quite good – Dana and her friend Celia have spent the afternoon drinking in Celia's house - as you do – or, to be more accurate, as they do. Dana totters home and passes out. She awakes some time later, disturbed by a pounding h
Ray Palen
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Debut novelist Susan Crawford comes from a pedigree of award-winning short fiction and poetry. THE POCKET WIFE has received comparison to BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, TURN OF THE MIND and THE SILENT WIFE.

To begin with, let me just say that this novel is nowhere near those three I mentioned. Especially, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP which is one of the best thrillers of the past ten years. THE POCKET WIFE has an interesting but familiar premise. A woman who is battling bi-polar disorder wakes up to commotion acr
Dana Catrell woke with a blinding hangover – she couldn’t remember a lot of the afternoon but she knew she had been with her neighbour Celia Steinhauser and they had both consumed a large amount of alcohol. She also felt they'd had a dreadful argument – but she couldn’t remember anything else…

Dana’s shock when she discovered Celia had been bashed to death was numbing – and the realization that she was the last person to see her alive was even more shattering. Dana suffered from a bipolar disorde
Liz Barnsley
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant family drama/psychological thriller. Loved it,terrific writing and an excellent protagonist or two. Full review to follow.
Veronica ⭐️
Oct 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022, crime
When Celia Steinhauser is found murdered in her own home it sends friend and neighbour Dana Catrell into a frenzied spiral of paranoia and hallucination. She was the last person to see Celia alive but all she can remember is the few too many drinks they had and then passing out at home...... and the blurry photo Celia showed her of her husband with another woman.

Jack Moss is called out on a murder case, he's due home for his and his wife's anniversary dinn
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think I read this one too soon after reading The Girl on the Train. I'm weary of these types of books of late; Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, The Pocket Wife. They all put women into these roles of destruction and manipulation, and honestly, it's wearing on me. The men are misogynistic, apathetic adulterers who (granted that the women have severe mental illnesses) manage to manipulate all of these other women into despising each other for the sake of a pig's heart. There is no solidarity among th ...more
Beth  (YA Books Central)
The Pocket Wife is an debut novel by Susan Crawford that has all the perfect ingredients for a phenomenal psychological thriller with plenty of murder and suspense....

The main character, Dana Catrell, is thrown into a murder mystery when her next door neighbor is murdered and she is the last one to have seen the victim. Dana suffers from a mental illness called Bi-Polar disorder and usually deals with the manic side more than often. This causes her to have short term memory loss and she has issu
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A neighbour that Dana has been having drinks with is found murdered shortly after Dana's visit to her house, but she can't remember her entire visit or if she's responsible for the murder. Who can you trust if you can't even trust yourself?
I have to admit that the first few chapters didn't grab me, they felt a bit farcical and melodramatic, but perhaps the tone of the book was echoing the narrator's bipolar disorder and the mania of the phase she was in.
There are a cast of deplorable characters
May 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Mmmmm ...confusing , busy and rushed. Didn’t feel the characters evolved , I really just didn’t care enough and skimmed to the end
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction, 2015
This book had such an intriguing premise - a woman struggling with bipolar disorder isn't sure whether or not she murdered her neighbor - but... that was pretty much it. The writing, dialogue, character development, and ensuing plot (and conclusion) all felt lacking and definitely didn't meet my expectations of a strong and compelling psychological thriller. I was hoping for more of a Gone Girl-style page-turner, but instead was only hurrying through just to get it done. Not a memorable read for ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Started out with such promise and intensity and then ... I don’t know ... kind of coasted to the end in a sea of superficial insipidness. Two stars might be too harsh but three stars feels like a stretch. I’ll be back with details after I work through my sense of disappointment.

Sunday May 10, 2015

3 Stars (begrudgingly!)

This book began with such promise and intrigue. The story’s differentiating plot twist from a basic, garden variety murder mystery is t
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because one it sounded good and two because this book was compared to The Silent Wife and Before I Go to Sleep. Two books that I have read. I did not care for The Silent Wife but I really liked Before I Go to Sleep. If this is Susan's debut novel then I can't wait to see what her second one will be like. She writes like a professional with years of experience under her belt. This book does mess with your mind a little. While I would not say there are any really big surprise ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford will be released in March 2015 and is an absolute must read for those who enjoy a deeply intense psychological thriller. Dana Catrell’s neighbor is murdered and Dana was the last person to see Celia alive, but could she have murdered her friend? Dana suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder and tends towards mania, which unfortunately has left holes in her memory, and she cannot clearly recall what happened that day. As Dana struggles internally, she also must deal with t ...more
Patricia Williams
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Won this book and the author attended my book club meeting. Lots of fun and great chance to meet her. I enjoyed the book and it held my interest. Thought she did a very good job for her first outing. Everyone in the book club enjoyed the read also.
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here's another great read for those who love psychological fiction - The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.

Dana's neighbour Celia has been found murdered - and Dana was apparently the last person to see her. Apparently - because Dana can't remember much of their visit. Sure, they were drinking, but....

But, Dana is also bi-polar and off her meds. And she's scared - because what if she's the one who killed Celia? But her husband is acting oddly as well. And so is Celia's husband. What about the nosy
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: march-2015
“Dana is a ‘pocket wife’ because her lawyer husband barely gives her the time of day. One afternoon, she drunkenly argues with her neighbor Celia, takes a nap, then wakes to find Celia dead. Could she have murdered Celia? Dana, suffering from manic episodes, tries to solve her friend’s murder before she loses all self-control. Highly recommended for fans of Gone Girl.”

Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, MN
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For many years, ever since her college days, Dana Catrell has had ups and downs. Her manic episodes and her depressions, all part of the diagnosed bipolar disorder, take over her life, especially when she is off her medications.

There are times when she can maintain, can control the ups and downs.

But the day that her neighbor Celia Steinhauser was bludgeoned to death in her home was not one of those days. That day, she felt very much out-of-control. And she was drunk. Her memory has blank spots,
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it

A dead neighbor, the last one to see her alive, and Dana can't remember anything about that afternoon she spent with Celia.

Did she handle the heavy vase that killed Celia the day she died or does she remember that from when they bought it at a garage sale? Was Celia alive when she left that afternoon? Could she have killed her neighbor?

Dana keeps questioning herself about what happened that afternoon and has herself convinced that she did kill Celia. Dana wishes she could remember. If this wasn'
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford is a highly recommended psychological thriller. The suspense in this debut mystery novel is going to sneak up on you and become quite intense by the end.

After spending an afternoon drinking too much at a neighbor's house, Dana Catrell goes home and naps, only to wake up and discover her neighborhood, Celia Steinhauser, is now dead. Dana was the last known person to see Celia alive, but Dana can't remember much of what happened that afternoon. Between the alcohol
Kathleen Minde
When Dana Catrell wakes up one evening with a monster hangover and sirens blaring down the street from her house, she is scared. When she realizes her friend and neighbor Celia has been murdered, Dana is terrified. She's terrified because she was the last person to see Celia alive and she cannot remember what happened. And, Dana does not trust her present sense of reality, as she has not been taking the meds she needs to control her bipolar disorder. This manic phase she is in, the one that allo ...more
Thomas Duff
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pocket Wife: A Novel
Susan H. Crawford

Susan Crawford's debut novel The Pocket Wife is an outstanding read that is dark, tightly written, and full of suspense. It's a great addition to the psychological thriller genre, and I hope that she continues to write novels such as these.

The main character, Dana Catrell, is bi-polar and struggling to keep from descending back into the darkness. She goes over to visit her neighbor Celia one afternoon, and they both get very drunk. She remembers coming ho
Carol Boyer
I was totally engrossed in this book that is full of suspense, a real page turner. Dana suffers from Bi-Polar disorder, and she struggles with her upside down, out of control world, wondering if what she is experiencing is truth or her illness. Lights, sounds images, crashing together in a vivid sensation haunt her. The book begins with the sound of an ambulance, Dana rushing from her neighbor's house with stumbling steps, spinning thoughts and fear raging inside her. Dana needs to call Peter he ...more
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Susan grew up in Miami, Florida. She later moved to New York City and then to Boston before settling in Atlanta to raise three amazing daughters and to teach in various adult education settings. A member of The Atlanta Writers Club and The Village Writers, Susan works for the Department of Technical and Adult Education and is a member of her local planning commission. She lives in Atlanta with her ...more

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“Lately she can read a novel in two hours. She has always been an avid reader, but these days she can read much faster. The colors, the conversations, everything is much more vibrant and inclusive, as if opening a book releases genies trapped inside. The scenes and people between their covers sometimes seem more vivid than real life, with their sunny, pearl-toothed characters, the witty conversation, the handsome stranger squeezed into a subway car or knocking about on the street. Sometimes, when she finishes a book at record speed, Dana feels a slight letdown, as if a good friend has hung up the phone in the middle of a conversation.” 8 likes
“is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whisper. No, she thinks, it wasn’t whisper; it was something else.” 3 likes
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