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Pretty Little Wife

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  49,621 ratings  ·  5,278 reviews
Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems. A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible
Paperback, 403 pages
Published December 29th 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  49,621 ratings  ·  5,278 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such a brilliant, mind crushing, moving, surprising debut!

Characters are flawed, inaccurate, complex, realistically portrayed and eventually you may find a way to connect with them. Especially the quirky, unique but also stone-faced, tough, determined heroine Lila Ridgefield. She seems like small college town resident, ex lawyer, a brand new, competitive real estate agent, always stylish, looking good, happily married with her charming teacher husband Aaron.

But as you may guess, nothin
May 05, 2021 rated it liked it
His gaze held hers as his mouth twisted in hate. "You did something to him."
Ah yes, I always know when I'm in the midst of a domestic thriller: everyone acts extremely guilty even when innocent, every small word and action is blown out of proportion, and accusing each other of murder is the neighborhood hobby.

Welcome to Ithaca, New York, the bucolic college town where Lila and Aaron have been living for the past several years. When Aaron goes missing, the spotlight naturally falls on Lila.
Lisa of Troy
Nov 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10/10 Storytelling....Wow! What a debut novel!

Lila discovers what a swine her husband really is, but never fear. Lila has an in-depth plan to get rid of her husband, Aaron. Only nothing is going to plan. Why isn't Aaron where she left him?

Pretty Little Wife was quite a page turner, and it was told across various short chapters with flashbacks to prior time periods. This format was flawlessly executed to the extent that I was shocked to discover that this is Darby Kane's debut novel. If this is
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Books with an unlikeable main character aren't my favorite but this story did a great job of grabbing and hanging on to my interest. Lila Ridgefield, with great preparation and planning, has killed her husband, Aaron, and parked his body and SUV in a field near the school where he taught. She planted his vile sexual videos in the car so people will know that her well liked husband was a horrible predator. But, no one finds the car and the body because both have go
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
She was the perfect wife....pretty, perfect and smart. She did everything that her equally handsome husband Aaron asked of her. She quit her job as a lawyer, she rarely worked her real estate deals, so she could stay home and be the perfect little pretty wife..she always did what Aaron told her to do..except the day she murdered him....😳

Lila was a clever girl, with an ice cold demeanor, she could pull off most anything, probably even murder. 😬That is what she thought, until her husband's body di
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

4.5 stars

Holy smokes, that was good!

Pretty Little Wife, Darby Kane’s thrilling novel of domestic suspense, has kicked off my 2021 with a bang. A very loud, kick-the-door-down kind of bang. A bang that will be ringing in my ears for quite some time, unable to be forgotten.

Lila Ridgefield is the quintessential pretty little wife. Married to Aaron, a beloved high school teacher in Ithaca, her life is enviable to those on the outside. Bu
Michael David (on hiatus)
HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to one of my favorite books of 2020!!

5 stars for this perfectly-plotted, unputdownable thriller!

Lila Ridgefield seems to have it all. She’s married to Aaron, a high school teacher, works whenever she wants as a real estate agent, and is always impeccably dressed.

Things are definitely not always as they seem. Beneath the facade of a perfect life, Lila learns something very disturbing about Aaron. Things take a turn for the worse when he goes missing...but how is that poss
Frank Phillips
Hmmm. How this was November's BOTM selection is kind of baffling to me. It was an average suspense/thriller, at best. Nothing bad about it don't get me wrong.. but, nothing stood out and made me love it either. Maybe it was the writing style (not written in first person), which made it hard for me to connect with our protagonists, and I also found it hard to keep the characters straight at times, and there weren't even that many!!
At the beginning of this story we meet Lila Ridgefield, who is unh
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, buddy-read
Lila is a lucky lady. She has the perfect marriage. Until she discovers a shocking secret her husband was keeping. What’s a wife to do?💁🏻‍♀️

When her husband mysteriously vanishes, suspicious eyes turn toward her. But Lila knows she isn’t responsible for his disappearance…even though she was the last to see him. Well that doesn’t look good!

This is a debut thriller from a new talent that I’m sure will be rocking the thriller world over the next many years.
The characters were colorfully brought to
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone in the small town of Ithaca, New York is worried about the whereabouts of beloved high school teacher, Aaron Payne.

For most people, it's because Nia Simms podcast, Gone Missing, has speculated that his disappearance could be linked to the three students who had “gone missing”from the area, in recent years-Karen Blue-Julie Levin-and Lara James.

But, for his wife, Lila Ridgefield, it's because she killed him and left him for dead in his car, in the school parking lot, and both have vanish
Lila Ridgefield is a woman who’s had enough. She’s survived traumatic family events from her past, only to find out that her husband, Aaron, a popular high school math teacher, is involved in sordid activities with some of his female students. Emotionally, she’s pretty numb to it all and just plain over it.

Most women, at this point, would just leave their husband, right? Not Lila. She plans a more permanent solution - only, things don’t quite go as planned when his SUV with his body inside goes
Nicole Bertsche
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Around page 188 I decided I simply must start writing this review, to capture my evidence that a human woman DID NOT write this book, it must have been an algorithm. Between many grammatical errors, misspelled words and a litany of over worked metaphors that add nothing to the experience of reading this novel, I am convinced my theory on a bot being the true author is the only logical explanation. Call it occams razor or an outright denial that this author has a (multiple?) published work(s), bu ...more
Happy publication day Darby Kane! Now available (29/12/20)

A dark, twisty, addictive thriller, where nothing is as it seems!

Lila is confused because her husband has gone missing, but she's sure that she definitely killed him, and left him somewhere where he could easily be found! So where on earth is his body?!


Wow! I really enjoyed Pretty Little Wife, and couldn't stop reading so that I could find out what happened! Did Lila really kill Aaron, or did she not manage to finish the job? I was sucked
Holly  B

Loved the first half!

I was hooked and just had to know what happened to pretty little Lila's hubby, Aaron.

We know who the killer is, she tells us early on....

BUT could he possibly still be alive? She felt his pulse, there wasn't one?!

I just had to know what happened and even thought about flipping to the end, but I kept reading.

Loved the build up, wasn't a fan of the second half or the conclusion.

I felt similar with both her novels in that the premise was super intriguing, but the expl
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Pretty Little Wife here has had enough, and she is not to be underestimated. When she finds out what her husband has been hiding, she takes matters into her own hands. Things get complicated for her and us in more ways than one.

When Lila's husband goes missing, she is under suspicion, of course. Lila is one smart woman, and so is the detective on the case, Ginny. They are not going to let the other one outsmart them. This added some fun dynamics and banter between the characters, and I had t
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars.

Lila’s husband, Aaron, teaches at the small town local high school where a student went missing. Months later Aaron disappears without a trace. Lila was the last person to see Aaron. Police investigate to determine if there could be a link between the disappearances.

This one started off strong! I loved Lila’s character and what her perspective brought to the story. The writing and storyline gripped me initially and had me curious to see how it would all play out. The podcast was a fun
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
Marriage. It’s so idyllic isn’t it? Then again, I guess that depends on who your spouse is.

When Lila Ridgefield’s husband Aaron goes missing she is the prime suspect. Of course, she’s guilty as charged.

The problem is that she thought she planned the perfect murder until his body disappears from where she dumped it and now she’s up a creek without a paddle.

That, of course, is not the only problem.

Oh boy. Lila is in deep doo doo! Luckily for her, she’s not the only one!

Hang tight my friends,
Sheyla ✎
I breezed through this book!

Pretty Little Wife had two excellent female characters. The cool aloof Lila Ridgefield and perseverant Ginny, the detective investigating her.

Lila becomes the center of an investigation when her husband goes missing. Lila learned something terrible about Aaron, her husband, just a few weeks before he disappeared. Did she kill him and if she did, why?

In addition, through a popular podcast, a total of three women have disappeared in the area. Are the cases connected?

Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Pretty Little Wife is a winner of a domestic suspense novel. It took me about 15% in before I became completely invested. At the start I will admit to some confusion but that is likely on me and not the author. This is seriously unputdownable. The character of Lila Ridgefield had me riveted to the pages. I found her fascinating and I continually swayed back and forth in my feelings for her. In the end, I should let it be known, I loved her. I also very much enjoyed the character of Ginny the pol ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Oh look, it's a stealth read! I've been reading this on the DL for the last week or so because I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to continue it. This book was a gift to me from my sister who knows how much I love my fucked up lady thrillers, as I call them, and PRETTY LITTLE WIFE had such a fascinating premise that I was really hoping it paid out. Plus, all I want to read lately is thrillers, apparently, and this totes fit the bill.

Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Great hook, sizzled, and then picked up again near the end.

I had a really hard time with the first half connecting to the way the story was written. I thought it was a bit choppy and didn't flow all that well for me. I almost called her quits around the halfway mark but decided to keep going. I thought the end was much better than the beginning even if the ending didn’t all add up.

I received a copy through Edelweiss.
Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve.

And the universe is filled with evil, bad deeds, animosity, and just plain murder and mayhem. We humans can shake the dirt out of any situation and breathe it all in. Again and again....

Lila Ridgefield, from all indications, is the exquisite wife without a hair out of place. She's a lawyer and successful realtor in the beautiful background of Ithaca, New York. Her husband, Aaron, is a well-loved high school math teacher. But there's a chill in L
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Wow, what an opening chapter!

No seriously. Quite possibly the best opening to a thriller I’ve ever read. And I read a lot of them.

Lila Ridgefield has found some very incriminating evidence against her husband. Over the years he’s gradually molded her into his perfect “pretty little wife” who bit by bit has lost her say in the marriage. But not anymore. Slights against herself, those she can tolerate, but this: evidence of him harming others… that cannot stand. What’s a woman to do? Well murder
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
"My taste in men sucks."

Yes, Lila, it really, really does.

Pretty Little Wife is chock full of excellent writing, believable characters, effective dialogue, and pulse-pounding pacing. The one thing that prevented me from giving this book five stars was that I'd mostly figured it out by the 17% mark, and had completely figured it out by the time I'd reached 30%. Thankfully, the fairly obvious red herrings didn't detract from my enjoyment of this story. And, oddly enough, I actually quite love
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane is a twisted domestic thriller.

Pretty Little Wife had so many twists, I could not figure out what actually happened. All of the characters are very complex. Ginny is the lead detective on the case and Lila’s only concern. Lila thinks she knows what happened to Aaron. Is she wrong? The story is told from the perspective of Lila and Ginny. There is also a True Crime Podcast featuring Aaron’s disappearance. Lila’s point of view switches between past and present.

I li
Nov 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Geez this was so intense and a lot more dark than I was expecting! Here’s the reading vlog where I read it: https://youtu.be/IqiMeVjpQfA ...more
Joey R.
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.0 stars— When I saw that this was Darby Kane’s debut novel and it received numerous positive reviews, I decided to read “Pretty Little Wife”. “Wife” tells the story of Lila who is married to a popular local school teacher and coach, Aaron. When Lila finds numerous sexually explicit videos of Aaron and his students on his phone, she decides to take matters into her own hands and comes up with a plan to make Aaron disappear... for good. When Lila’s plan goes wrong and Aaron disappears after she ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I'm just rating my experience with the audiobook. I am a few hours into it and I just really don't like the narrator. Her voice grates on my nerves and the main character propels the story so I really won't be finishing listening to this one. This was a library Overdrive book so I don't feel badly abandoning it!!!

The book may be great but I would advise against the audiobook :(
Aug 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredible mystery. Dual timelines told from the wife’s perspective, both leaving us with more questions than answers until the very end. I dont think any one character ended up being how I thought they’d be, and I love that about this. The twists were unexpected and the ones you did expect, ended up not being so (at least for me).
TW: cheating, assault, statutory rape, rape, murder, gaslighting, ptsd.

Lila is an incredible person to follow, so intelligent, takes no shit, refuses to
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Darby Kane is the pseudonym of HelenKay Dimon a former trial attorney and current award-winning romantic suspense author. A native of Pennsylvania, Darby now lives in California and runs from the cold. When she’s not writing she can be found watching suspense, thrillers, and mysteries.

Articles featuring this book

When author Gillian Flynn published Gone Girl in 2012, her book tweaked the entire trajectory of domestic thrillers as a kind of sub-subgenre...
147 likes · 27 comments
“People thought silence meant the absence of noise, and sometimes it did, but other times it screamed so loudly she had to fight not to cover her ears.” 8 likes
“The idea of having a useless husband sounds like a nightmare.” She had friends who put up with that nonsense. Not her. She wanted a partner, not another child in a grown-up body. He’d always been steady. Present. Supportive. Driven. A little too set in his ways, but a loving dad and husband. As a child of divorce, he fought hard for their marriage. They’d hit rough patches and lived through a painful year filled with yelling and disappointment when they both hated their jobs and their expenses didn’t allow for a change.” 2 likes
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