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The Loving Husband

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  3,052 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Fran Hall and her husband Nathan have moved with their two children to a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens - a chance to get away from London and have a fresh start. But when Fran wakes one night to find Nathan gone, she makes a devastating discovery. As questions about her husband and her relationships start to mount, Fran's life begins to spiral out of control. What is s ...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Sphere
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,052 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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Emily May
When the email came through from the publisher about this book, it said "for fans of domestic thrillers" and I was like: is that me? That's me, isn't it?! I must read it.

I won't mention the book that this is obviously being compared to (two words, rhymes with John Swirl) or the bestseller from last year that it's also being compared to (five words, rhymes with The Twirl in the Rain), but these books are like crack for us unromantic people. They're like the opposite of romance books. Instead of t
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
* Thank you to for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

*4.5 STARS*
Swirling snow across the Fens, only adds to the chill factor already present in this well crafted psychological thriller from Christobel Kent. In just a few pages I was completely hooked.
Fran and Nathan Hall live in a fairly rundown farmhouse on the edge of the British Fenlands. Surrounding them is a damp flat landscape with big wide skies. In the summer it may appear to be an idyllic location,
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
I'm very disappointed not to be giving "The Loving Husband" by Christobel Kent five stars as I really did enjoy the interesting and intriguing story to the book. However, the writing style really let it down for me, there was constantly unfinished and stuttering sentences and a narrative I just couldn't take to. This really frustrated me as there were times I thought I couldn't take any more of the dialogue but because I actually found the story quite compelling I had to finish it. Along with bo ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
You know back when I first started reading Linwood Barclay I thought now here is a guy that pens what I would call domestic thrillers.  I had never really put those two words together before when describing a book.  Now it seems that there is  glut of books on the market that fit that description and The Loving Husband is one of them.

The story opens with Fran laying in bed.  The reader gets the sense that she may be semi awake or still  hovering in a dream like state.  There is an intimate act t
Andrew Smith
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The book opens with a scene that is shocking and strange. It grabbed me. I knew I’d learn more of the people involved and I wanted that; I needed to make sense of this bewildering event.

First I’d learn of the past. Fran was once a dedicated career woman, writing for a magazine in London, but she didn’t have much luck with men. Her last boyfriend, Nick, was a shady character: a good looking bad-boy, involved with nightclubs and clandestine deals. But her luck might be changing, she recently met
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: two-star
Domestic thrillers have slowly become a genre in their own right, and when they feature a strong storyline and good writing they are almost impossible to put down. Unfortunately this just didn't live up to my expectations; I thought the cover art was inspired but that was perhaps the best part about the entire thing.

Fran and her husband Nathan have recently upped sticks to rural Cambridgeshire with their two young children. When Nathan is found brutally murdered on their vast property, Fran is
Louise Wilson
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fran and Nathan Hall live in a farmhouse with their two children. One night Fran is wakened by her baby crying but the bed was empty next to her and Nathan was gone. She searches the house for him and makes a devastating discovery. The police start searching for Nathan but as their suspicion mounts the questions for Fran grow.

Is Fran keeping a secret? Was Nathan the loving husband she thought she knew?

A phycological thriller where family life is not what it seems.

I would like to thank Net Galley
Sep 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Here we go again – a book that promises to be “utterly compulsive” and “eerily menacing” - and fails miserably.

Fran and Nathan move with their two small children from the hustle and bustle of London to the desolation and loneliness of the Fens. Nathan occupies himself with his work as a project manager while Fran mopes around most of the time with nothing more exciting than hanging curtains and looking after a baby and a small child. One cold night, having awoken to find Nathan's side of the bed
Fiona MacDonald
Was the general consensus that this was a good story, or not?
I was extremely torn, mainly because although the story had the makings of a good plot, the bloody thing went on so long I was starting to lose the will to live. Why did it need to be so long and bulky?
The plot and the finale could've been wrapped up in half the time. I was also under no impression whatsoever that all the characters were horrible, or dodgy or stupid. There was nothing redeeming about the husband whatsoever, and Fran wa
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers, arc
 photo tumblr_nvbxqdgUL81uh0cj8o1_500_zpszshmfjnf.gif

Fran and Nathan are like any married couple or are they?
They decided to move back to where Nathan grew up with their two small children. Nathan chooses an isolated farmhouse. The farmhouse is pretty bleak and not quite what Fran had hoped for.
In the middle of the night, Fran is woken by their baby and finds her husbands side of the bed empty.
She goes to look for him downstairs and makes the shocking discovery.
The police seem to think she may be involved, she feels so isolated, alone. But i
Zuky the BookBum
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 3-stars, 2-stars
Also read my review here:


Firstly I’d like to thank Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

This has a very samey storyline, how many books have you read where a husband has a secret second life?

I did enjoy this for a good while but it got to the point where the subjects of the novel got to me in a negative way and I found it really hard to continue reading. For som
Margaret Madden
Jul 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Had to surrender. The sampler was really good, but that was before any dialogue started. Constant use of unfinished sentences and one or two line replies from main characters drove me crazy. Very weak and rude police detective and a wishy-washy FLO did not help. I had zero feeling for the protagonist as she was practically dead herself! Bizarre experience.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read The Crooked House and quite enjoyed it, so I thought I'd try this one. In some ways it's quite similar, focusing on an isolated woman in a remote community, but I didn't think that this worked so well. Fran is living in the fens with her husband Nathan and their two children, having given up her work in London to bring up the kids. One night, she finds Nathan's body in a ditch outside her house, and discovers that he had a secret life she knew nothing about. The is set partly in the prese ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This isn't my usual choice of read but I was intrigued by the synopsis. Fran Hall is married to Nathan he's a builder a project manager, or so he says. He moves Fran and their two children to a run down farmhouse on the Fenlands. Then one night Fran wakes to the baby crying, there's no sign of Nathan so she ventures outside and makes a grim discovery.

Right from the very first page I was confused, the writing is all over the place, the flipping between the past and present plus the constant chang
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Firstly I would like to thank TBC and the publisher as I won a copy of this book in a giveaway.

Unfortunately this book was just not my cup of tea at all. The whole storyline just seemed to drag and unfortunately it didn't grab my interest in any way. I had heard some good things about it and was determined to see it through until the end but alas even by the end it still hadnt grown on me. Sure this book will appeal to some other readers who likes a plot to be more drawn out but it just didn't
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
thanks to netgalley and publisher for a copy of this book for an honest review.
I couldn't get into this book and struggled all the way until the end and just felt like the characters weren't real and felt the storyline going off on tangents. maybe it was just my feeling of this book.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A gripping spooky thriller. You trust your husband with your life wouldn't you? After all your married have children and wouldn't mind moving to a remote farm house to please your husband. But what if your husband is hiding secrets from you. Fran finds her husband dead and it seems that the police have their suspicions that Fran killed her own husband. Fans of Apple Tree Yard and The Silent wife will know that marriage is nothing as it seems. For me I think that The Loving Husband by Christobel ...more
Renita D'Silva
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good but I found it hard to warm to Fran.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Review on

I have to say that although I’m usually a fan of ‘domestic noir’, which this book fits into, this story fell flat for me. However I still thought it was an entertaining read.

The main protagonist Fran was irritating and unlikable. Now, it doesn’t automatically mean I’m going to dislike the book because of this, but the rest of the story wasn’t enough of a hook to make me care what happened, and I struggled to really care about any of the characters.

The writing style
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had all the right ingredients for a thrilling story but sadly, the ending fell flat for me. I loved the tension and I loved trying to work out what was going on; what was behind the motive for Nathan's death. On the downside, I think there was way too much going on overall and at times it did get a bit confusing. Perhaps most irritatingly, having finished the book, I'm still trying to piece together some of the events and their relevance. Perhaps it's just me, but I felt the ending was ...more
Tracy Fenton
Could not finish. Couldn't get to grips with the characters, the storyline either. ...more
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Not as good as I had hoped.

Rating : 2.5 stars

What started out as a tricky and difficult read, (which I considered adding to my DNF shelf at 5%, 12% and again at 20%!), turned out to be good-ish. I gave this my best shot, but it certainly wasn’t all smooth and flowy, so I couldn’t get really engrossed into its storyline at any point throughout. It's a shame, because I was looking forward to this one. Trouble is, I’ve been spoilt with Crime/Psychological Thrillers of late, with the likes of The I
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I was very taken with Christobel Kent’s last book, I meant to explore her backlist, but before I could do that a new book appeared and I had to read it.

It’s a psychological thriller, asking questions about how well we really know the people who share our lives, and about what happens when we don’t tell ourselves the truth.

Fran Hall and her husband Nathan lived in a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens with their two children. She used to have a job she loved and a group of friends, but she left all
Listened to in audio format.

I have read other people's reviews. and I am glad I am not the only person who found this book confusing.

Fran Hall lives with her husband Nathan and two children on the edge of the Fens. One night Nathan disappears and Fran finds him dead in a ditch at the bottom of their garden. Two male detectives are assigned to the case who are sure that Fran murdered Nathan.

As the investigation continues the reader realises that Nathan was not a loving husband at all, he was m
Vikki Patis
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Whenever I’m unsure about a book, I always read a few reviews on Goodreads, to see how it’s gone down in general. The Loving Husband has received a mixed reception; some reviewers love it, others aren’t impressed. And I’m probably in the middle, so I’d agree with the average 3* review.

One cold winter night, Fran Hall is awoken by her husband, Nathan, getting into bed beside her. A few hours later, she wakes up alone, and wanders downstairs to find her husband. Find him she does, but he’s in a di
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books-read
I quite enjoyed this book - I did want to know what happened, but something was missing. The story jumped about from the present to the past and back again. The story is somewhat far-fetched partly because of the timescale. I know it is fiction, but fiction has to maintain some hold on reality.

Fran is not a particularly likeable character and yet I didn't get the impression she was so weak as to be manipulated by Nathan. She had had the strength to break up with her previous partner when she saw
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: family, crime, fiction
I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, somehow the writing was too fervid but is really smart. Without giving too much away the premise would be dismissed as fanciful if it was not based on a real occurrence.
Val Robson
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I wanted to like this book but have finally finished it after twice as long as I'd expect to read such a book and am left frustrated and confused. The book opens with Fran Hall finding the body of her husband, Nathan, who has been murdered. Fran and Nathan moved from London back to the Fens a few years before the story takes place. Nathan was brought up in the area and the unravelling story to find his killer introduces the reader to many of his childhood friends and acquaintances along the way. ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
What. The. Hell. The Loving Husband is a train wreck of a novel.

Characters have no background, no distinguishing characteristics. No one is likable; this would be fine if it were a good book and there was a reason for everyone to be unlikable...but it isn't, and there wasn't.

It's hard to believe a copy editor ever saw the manuscript. I could complain about the myriad grammatical offenses, but that's low-hanging fruit, and it's much more interesting to note that the structure is an utter mishma
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

Fran is woken up by her baby crying and she realises her husband, Nathan, isn't in bed beside her. They have moved to an isolated farmhouse on the edge of the Fens in order to make a fresh start away from the rat race in London but Fran has not been altogether happy with her new surroundings. When she makes a shocking discovery her life is turned upside down. Who can she trust? Can she even trust herself and her own memories?

While th
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Christobel Kent was born in London in 1962 and now lives in Cambridge with her husband and four children; in between she lived in Florence. She worked in publishing for several years, most recently as Publicity Director at Andre Deutsch. Her debut novel A Party in San Niccolo, was published in 2003.

* Sandro Cellini

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