Kathleen (QueenKatieMae)'s Reviews > The Pocket Wife

The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford
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really liked it
bookshelves: crazy-female, mess-with-your-head, messed-up-family

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 allows her mind to race and refuses to let her body sleep, is clouding her judgment and forcing her to accept that she might have murdered her friend. And to make things worse, Dana questions what would even drive her to murder Celia?

This well-written debut novel tells the story in a third person present tense narrative. This compelling device prevails upon the reader to experience the thoughts in Dana's head as they unfold. Her perceptions, or misperceptions, and actions are that much more powerful, or crazed, to the reader. Did Dana really see someone in the backyard? Is her husband really cheating on her? Why can't anyone else find that incriminating photo she swears she saw on Celia's phone? Did she kill Celia? These questions plague her as she circles the drain into madness. Even when she finds threatening notes she cannot even be sure that she was not the author. And her husband, Peter, a man who prefers to keep Dana out of his way, on a shelf or in his pocket, ignores her and her apparent anguish.

It's an excellent mystery novel that is advantageously complicated by the main character's inability to trust her thoughts. Even the reader will begin to have doubts concerning the reality of what they are reading and question if this is all in Dana's mind. The author did a brilliant job capturing Dana's fractured mental state with her thoughts racing and ricocheting through her mind. The strength, and likability, of the main character makes up for the one-dimensional husband who is nothing more than a jerk. There are also a few coincidences that are a bit of a stretch but do not detract from the story.

I hope the author continues to write because I enjoyed this book and would gladly read her future work. Highly recommended for mystery readers.
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Reading Progress

November 6, 2014 – Started Reading
November 6, 2014 – Shelved
November 6, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 15, 2014 – Shelved as: crazy-female
November 15, 2014 – Shelved as: mess-with-your-head
November 15, 2014 – Shelved as: messed-up-family
November 15, 2014 – Finished Reading

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