A lagging thriller with so much unrealized potential

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kitcatgirl2006 Avatar


Lizzie has made it at last: she's a successful lawyer with a successful marriage. However, husband Sam's behavior has put her in a precarious position in the legal world and Lizzie is still grappling with the fallout. She is shocked to get a phone call from an old lawyer chum, Zach, who has shockingly ended up on the wrong side of the law: he is in Riker's on suspicion of the murder of his wife Amanda. Zach is desperate to get Lizzie to defend him, though the case is out of her normal jurisdiction, and she reluctantly agrees to aid in the case. When she begins the process of discovery, however, Lizzie finds a tangled web of gossipy moms in Amanda and Zach's fancy pants neighborhood, all with secrets and pointing fingers...and Lizzie finds out the scene of Amanda's murder was a swap party, no less. Between this shuffling commentary and shifting blame, Lizzie finds some evidence that truly shocks her: could her own husband have something to do with this horrific crime? And can she stand to take the fall for him once again, or is her own marriage doomed too?

I had such high hopes based on the premise of the story and the early excerpt I got to read several months ago, but it became clear to me about 30% of the way through this story that the pace was not going to keep at a steady clip, but rather a sloooow crawl. I understand all of the references to Big Little Lies on a basic level (group of catty rich mothers all present the night of a crime), but where Moriarty's book had me constantly guessing and desperate to know more about the night in question, this story just seemed to bounce around aimlessly, not allowing me to fully know or care about the characters the way I would have liked. Amanda's back story was very interesting, but I feel like the glimpses of this I got to see got completely buried by several side plots that I didn't find too interesting and just felt designed to muddle the truth rather than to ultimately lead to an exciting end. There were some 'red herrings' tossed in, but I didn't feel 'had' by any of the twists particularly and didn't find the plot too interesting overall. I don't mind a good dramatic legal thriller, but as a reader, I like to feel incredibly invested in the case and I wasn't too worried about how this one turned out.

While A Good Marriage had its moments, I don't think this is one I'll remember going forward. However, I am hopeful that perhaps the film adaptation will completely change my mind because I really do think there was so much potential here! 3 ⭐