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The Last Wife

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,690 ratings  ·  519 reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of The Perfect Girlfriend.

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Nina and Marie were best friends—until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her fin
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Graydon House
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Average rating 3.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,690 ratings  ·  519 reviews

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Holly  B
I'm not sure what has happened to thrillers this year! So many have turned out to be family dramas with very little suspense.

Super disappointed.

I so enjoyed her novel last year, The Perfect Girlfriend. It was cray-cray in the best way. I can't say much about her newest (sadly), but I want to be completely honest. I struggled from the beginning and it felt like torture just getting to the 30% mark.  I didn't like any of the characters, the pace was turtle slow and the narrative felt disjointe
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2.5 stars.

Unlikable and unreliable characters within a dramatically implausible plot.

An intriguing premise that piqued my curiosity. I do like books with unreliable, manipulative characters which this novel has plenty of. I can tolerate unlikable characters as long as they are entertaining and unique. Unfortunately I didn’t find any of these characters remotely interesting. Within the first several pages I knew I wasn’t clicking with the narrative.

The main character was extremely conniving and
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
Can't say I'm a fan of The Last Wife.

Let me start by making a fair point...this isn't a suspense or a thriller. It's a domestic drama, with very little in the way of mystery or intrigue. It's filled with not-even-remotely pleasant characters who do nothing but lie and manipulate, yet even that somehow falls flat. It's page after page of Marie's internal dialogue...and Marie is a little cuckoo.

This being my first Karen Hamilton novel, I have nothing to compare The Last Wife to...but the writing
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Here comes another unpopular, exiled to the minority kingdom review! After reading so many things about the book and past works about the author, as a die-hard thriller fan, I went blind to this reading but I couldn’t decide which character was the worst one! Don’t get me wrong! I always enjoy reading unlikable, twisted characters’ adventures but this time: they were unrealistically despicable. They reminded me of 80’s Dallas, Falcon Crest, Dynasty kind of villains: full of clichés and over exag ...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Last Wife takes us into our main character, Marie's head, after the death of her best friend, Nina, who had what Marie wants most. A tangled, messy, twisty web of obsession, jealousy, possession and secrets start to form. Being in Marie's head is intense, and her thoughts are a bit much at times. I wasn't sure how to feel about her, and, at times, I felt empathy for her, and she entertained me and other times I was rolling my eyes at her.

There are a few unlikeable characters here with secre
May 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Harlequin and Karen Hamilton. I've been on a roll the last year with this publisher. "Still befuddled that it's Harlequin! "
I just didn't like what I read of this book. And no, I didn't read far, so take this review with a grain of salt!
I hate these kind of books. I can't blame it on the author. This may just be a great book. But, it is not a book or story for me. I have a tendency to spill my guts. I'm not someone who holds back. So, I often have a hard time putting myself "there.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
 Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin-Trade Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Marie's dying friend Nina asks her to watch over her husband, Stuart and children, Felix and Emily, she takes that vow seriously. When her own relationship falls through, Marie moves to "plan B' and decides that Nina's family will now be hers. But as Marie is about to discover, her best friend had secrets of her own. Will Marie be able to handle the truth?

This was one twisty obsessive trai
Michael David
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Marie’s best friend, Nina, dies from a terminal illness, Marie takes it upon herself to honor Nina’s dying wish to be there for her family in any way. What Nina never knew is that Marie always wanted her life, and now she’s going to have it. What Marie never knew was the secrets Nina carried, and how they might have an effect on her now.

THE LAST WIFE is a slow burn suspense story. I was hooked and invested by the wonderful writing of author Karen Hamilton, who has a way with words and fles
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I absolutely loved The Perfect Girlfriend so I was excited to read the new book from Karen Hamilton. The Last Wife was another twisty and compelling psychological thriller and I was hooked. It was a bit of a slower pace but I really enjoyed it.

Marie and Nina had been best friends forever. Marie would do anything for Nina and her family. When Nina is diagnosed with cancer Marie promises to do everything that she can for Nina’s husband and kids. But after Nina’s death she starts to learn things ab
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton is a thriller that centers around jealousy and deceit. This one is the story of two women who were once best friends, or so it seemed.

Marie and Nina had been friends forever so when Nina is diagnosed with a terminal illness she turns to her friend Marie and requests that Marie look after her family when she’s gone. Marie of course is more than happy to do so, however, Marie is quick to agree to suite an agenda of her own.

Marie is desperate for a child and after Ni
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

People think that envy is a bad thing, but in my opinion, envy is a positive emotion. It has always been the best indicator for me to realize what’s wrong with my life. People say, “Follow your dreams,” yet I’d say, “Follow what makes you sick with envy.”

…surely everyone fibs? It’s not just me. Lies make life palatable. It’s simply unavoidable at times. I do it to protect myself and others. Surely, it’s not a bad thing to tell people what they want to hear? Sometimes, there’s no
Erin Clemence
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication date: July 7, 2020

Karen Hamilton, author of “The Perfect Girlfriend”, is back with her latest novel, “The Last Wife”. Hamilton is known for her psychologically twisted, suspenseful novels, and I went into this story with those expectations and Hamilton delivered….sort of.

Nina and Marie had been best friends for years, and when Nina was dia
Susan Z
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nina and Marie have been lifelong best friends. Tragically, Marie is left alone after Nina dies following an illness and Marie promises to fulfill her dying wishes. Nina didn't realize that her dying wish put Marie exactly where she wanted to be, living Nina's life. Marie steps in and assumes Nina's life, having no idea that Nina had secrets of her own.

This book started so strong. I expected a fast, highly entertaining read. Unfortunately the thrill faded fast and took my interest with it. Towar
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

‘I’m not stressed, I’m seething, but there are no words, no decent ways of breaking the news to him that his perfect wife seems to have had secrets.’

Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend and now The Last Wife, is a Sunday Times bestselling writer. Hamilton’s new novel is a dark psychological drama, filled with secrets, lies and long held truths. This slow burn domestic fiction title completely ensnares the reader in this complicated tale of promis
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
I didn't love The Perfect Girlfriend but was curious to see how The Last Wife would be...

I enjoyed the first half ... read through it pretty fast. Maria's character was interesting and I was curious to see where her story went. Somewhere along the way it just gets to be too much ... very unbelievable, the storyline takes a weird turn and there's too much going on to keep everything straight. The characters are lacking and I felt as though in many circumstances they needed more. I didn't feel con
Liz Barnsley
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured this. A beautifully portrayed unreliable narrator in Marie, plus the type of twisty unpredictable psych thriller plot that I love based in a beautifully obsessive friendship.
Full review to follow for publication in June.
DNF - I do not rate or review a book I do not want to finish.
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**2.5 stars**

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton. (2020).

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies...
Nina and Marie were best friends until Nina died from a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to make her three promises. Trusting Marie was her final mistake. Because Marie has always envied Nina's perfect life - loving husband, adorable kids, beautiful house. Marie has an agenda of her own, and she'll do anything to get wh

I am so unsure on my feelings for The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton. I loved the author's previous book The Perfect Girlfriend, but there was just something about this one that made it feel a little flat to me. It is a slow burn which is much like her previous novel and something I didn't mind, and I did really like the end, but the middle of the book has me saying hmm. This is another story about obsession, and those are always hit or miss for me, but The Perfect Girlfriend had much of the s
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nina and Marie were best friends. Then Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness and made Marie promise to look after her family - her husband and children. But, we are told that Marie has her own agenda and Marie always wanted Nina's perfect life. 

This was such a twisted story, with an unreliable narrator and unlikeable characters throughout! That said, I usually enjoy both of these things. I went along thinking the story was headed in a certain direction but I was completely mistaken. Secrets
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This book was just as good as the first book I read by Hamilton. I love how twisted she writes. I was not surprised it the turn out but it was a good read.
Andrea Pole
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton is a solid, palatable read, although I must say that I never felt completely invested in either the characters or the storyline. Having enjoyed the author's previous novel, I was very much looking forward to this one but, unfortunately, it ultimately fell a bit flat.

Nina and Marie are the best of friends, so when Nina dies, Marie naturally steps into the role of caretaker for the family she left behind. Suddenly Marie is living the life that she has always coveted
Claire- Louise
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
I loved The Perfect Girlfriend so was looking forward to picking up The Last Wife. It was another unstable perspective but milder with a slow-burn pace. It was easy to get into with enough layers to keep you reading. In comparison to The Perfect Girlfriend, it didn’t have the same addictive pace but it definitely still had it’s cringeworthy moments delivered through the clingy perspective. It also at times reminded me of a Ruth Ware type of modern mystery. It was altogether an entertaining read. ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
I love me an unreliable, unlikeable character but I have to enjoy or at least be entertained by the bad guys' antics. The Last Wife is full of the most boringly unpleasant nitwits I just couldn't finish it. Truly did not care. Which is interesting because the other book I read by Karen Hamilton also featured a total psychopath narrator but that one was fun! This is a draaaaag. ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed the author's debut, The Perfect Girlfriend, and Karen Hamilton has created yet another unreliable and to my mind, thoroughly unlikeable, narrator here with the main character, Marie.

Nina and Marie were best friends, all through school days, university and beyond and Marie thought she knew everything about her friend. They were so close that when Nina asked Marie to fulfil her final wishes and look out for her family following her death, Marie didn’t hesitate to agree. What
Shelleen Toland
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read
This was a roller coaster of a read. Nina and Marie had been best friends for many years. On Nina's deathbed she asked Marie to watch out for her family and be there for them. Marie had always wanted to be like Nina and have Nina's life. A husband and children. As she gets close to Nina's husband and some of their friends then some lies come out and things that Nina had been hiding. I wasn't sure what to think as we kept finding out something that had happened and who was really involved and who ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Well... I have heard amazing things about Karen Hamilton's first novel The Perfect Girlfriend. I haven't read that one yet but well...... where do I start with this one?

I felt that the novel was very disjointed. I loved the crazy obsessive stalker Marie character and I wanted to see more of her! I wanted to see more of her whacked out relationship with Nina. I thought the novel was going to pursue that avenue and it just took on a completely different plot line. I wish Hamilton would have chosen
May 01, 2020 marked it as not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, but this one's a DNF for me...

20% of the way in and I want to throttle the main character 😬 I'm all up for unlikeable characters. Done well, they can make a book. Unfortunately, Marie is just too irritating for me and I couldn't care less about the outcome for her.

I went in expecting a thriller, but I found that there's nothing there to hold your attention or grip you to the story. No mystery, just slightly withheld information about the best friend's dying wishes. Whoop de doo 🙄

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Would you be able to carry out a dying friend’s wish to be sure to protect her family?

Marie takes Nina’s request to heart and perhaps to an extreme.

Marie moved into Nina’s home to get closer to Stuart, Nina’s husband, and assume care of the children.

Marie also found out some things that a best friend like Nina should definitely have told her and didn’t.

Then a mutual friend from many years ago appears on the scene and still rubs Marie the wrong way. Marie doesn't know what Camille is up to in al
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow burn thriller with great suspense at opportune times. Author Karen Hamilton wrote a twisty thriller which had many loops, especially at the end.

Marie had promised Nina that she would look after her family, especially the kids. She had always wanted Nina's life hence was happy to do so. Then came the reality and secrets...

My first book by this author, I was led down a merry chase with an unreliable narrator, Marie, who would keep me on my toes. To trust or not to trust was the basic questi
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Karen Hamilton caught the travel bug after an early childhood spent abroad (Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy) and having worked as cabin crew for a major airline.
In 2006, she and her husband put down roots in Hampshire UK and four years ago, she later gave up flying to raise their three sons and concentrate on her writing.
In 2009, she decided to 'become a writer.'

The Perfect Girlfrien

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