The Perfect Wife

The Perfect Wife

by JP Delaney

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Overview

The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller. . . .

“Dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking . . . a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .
 
THE PERFECT WIFE

Advance praise for The Perfect Wife

 
“A twisty, completely original psychological thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until the very end.”—Karen Cleveland, New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know
 
“Seriously, amazingly, awesomely brilliant . . . speculative fiction mixed up with a mind-bendingly twisty psycho thriller! I devoured it.”—C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
 
“A tour de force . . . The Perfect Wife is a chilling and uniquely disturbing twenty-first-century twist on the unreliable narrator that makes for a compulsive and deeply thought-provoking book. It asks troubling questions about selfhood and ‘souls’ and what makes us human, and plays them out in a compelling psychological thriller.”—Cara Hunter, author of Close to Home

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524796747
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 542
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before and Believe Me, JP Delaney has previously written bestselling fiction under other names.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

You’re having that dream again, the one where you and Tim are in Jaipur for Diwali. Everywhere you look, every doorway and window, there are lanterns and candles, firecrackers and fairy lights. Courtyards have become flickering pools of flame, their entrances surrounded by intricate designs of colored rice paste. Drums and cymbals throb and sizzle. Surrendering to the din and confusion, you surge with the crowd through a market, the stallholders urging platters of sweets on you from every side. On an impulse you stop at a stall where a woman decorates faces with beautiful Hindi patterns, the smell of sandalwood from her brushes mingling with the acrid, savory cordite from the firecrackers and the aroma of kaaju, roasting cashew nuts. As she paints you, deft and quick, a cluster of young men dance past, their faces painted blue, their muscular torsos bare, then come back, dancing just for you, their expressions deadly serious. And then, the final touch, she paints a bindi on your forehead, right between your eyes, telling you how the scarlet dot marks you out as married, a woman with all the knowledge of the world. “But I’m not,” you protest, almost pulling away, fearful you’re going to offend some local sensibility, and then you hear Tim’s laugh and see the box he produces from his pocket and even before he goes down on one knee, right here in the midst of all this noise and mayhem, you know this is it, he’s really going to do it, and your heart overflows.

“Abbie Cullen,” he begins, “ever since you erupted into my life, I’ve known we have to be together.”

And then you’re waking up.

Every part of you hurts. Your eyes are the worst, the bright lights searing into your skull, the ache in your brain connecting with the stiffness in your neck, soreness all the way down your spine.

Machines beep and whir. A hospital? Were you in an accident? You try to move your arms. They’re stiff—you can barely bend your elbows. Painfully, you reach up and touch your face.

Bandages encase your neck. You must have been in an accident of some kind, but you can’t remember it. That happens, you tell yourself groggily. People come around from crashes not remembering the impact, or even having been in a car. The important thing is, you’re alive.

Was Tim in the car as well? Was he driving? What about Danny?

At the thought that Danny or Tim might have been killed you almost gasp, but you can’t. Some change in the beeping machine, though, has alerted a nurse. A blue hospital uniform, a woman’s waist, passes at eye level, adjusting something, but it hurts too much to look up at her.

“She’s up and running,” she murmurs.

“Thank God,” Tim’s voice says. So he’s alive, after all. And right here, by your bedside. Relief floods through you.

Then his face appears, looking down at you. He’s wearing what he always wears: black jeans, a plain gray T-shirt, and a white baseball cap. But his face is gaunt, the lines deeper than you’ve ever seen them before.

“Abbie,” he says. “Abbie.” His eyes glisten with tears, which fills you with alarm. Tim never cries.

“Where am I?” Your voice is hoarse.

“You’re safe.”

“Was there an accident? Is Danny okay?”

“Danny’s fine. Rest now. I’ll explain later.”

“Have I had surgery?”

“Later. I promise. When you’re stronger.”

“I’m stronger now.” It’s true: Already the pain is receding, the fog and grogginess clearing from your head.

“It’s incredible,” he says, not to you but the nurse. “Amazing. It’s her.”

“I was dreaming,” you say. “About when you proposed. It was so vivid.” That’ll be the anesthetic, you realize. It makes things richer. Like that line from that play. What was it? For a moment the words elude you but then, with an almost painful effort, a clunk, you remember.

I cried to dream again.

Again Tim’s eyes fill with tears.

“Don’t be sad,” you tell him. “I’m alive. That’s all that matters, isn’t it? We’re all three of us alive.”

“I’m not sad,” he says, smiling through his tears. “I’m happy. People cry when they’re happy, too.”

You knew that, of course. But even through the pain and the drugs you can tell those aren’t everything’s-going-to-be-all-right-now tears. Have you lost your legs? You try to move your feet and feel them—slowly, stiffly—responding under the blanket. Thank God.

Tim seems to come to a decision.

“There’s something I have to explain, my love,” he says, taking your hand in his. “Something very difficult, but you need to know right away. That wasn’t a dream. It was an upload.”

2

Your first thought is that you’re hallucinating—that this, not the dream about him proposing, is the bit that isn’t real. How can it be? What he’s saying to you now—a stream of technical stuff about mind files and neural nets—simply makes no sense.

“I don’t understand. Are you saying something happened to my brain?”

Tim shakes his head. “I’m saying you’re artificial. Intelligent, conscious . . . but man-made.”

“But I’m fine,” you insist, baffled. “Look, I’ll tell you three random things about myself. My favorite meal is salade Niçoise. I was angry for weeks last year because my favorite cashmere jacket got eaten by moths. I go swimming almost every day—” You stop. Your voice, instead of reflecting your rising panic, is coming out in a dull, croaky monotone. A Stephen Hawking voice.

“The damage to that jacket was six years ago,” Tim says. “I kept it, though. I’ve kept all your things.”

You stare at him, trying to get your head around this.

“I guess I’m not doing this very well.” He pulls a piece of paper from his pocket. “Here—I wrote this for our investors. Maybe it’ll help.”

FAQ

Q: What is a cobot?

A: Cobot is short for “companion robot.” Studies with prototypes suggest the presence of a cobot may alleviate the loss of a loved one, providing solace, company, and emotional support in the aftermath of bereavement.

Q: How will cobots differ from other forms of artificial intelligence?

A: Cobots have been specifically designed to be empathetic.

Q: Will each cobot be unique?

A: Each cobot will be customized to closely replicate the physical appearance of the loved one. Social media rec­ords, texts, and other documents will be aggregated to create a “neural file” reflecting their unique traits and personality.

There’s more, much more, but you can’t focus. You let the sheet fall from your hand. Only Tim could possibly imagine that a list of factual questions and answers could help at a time like this.

“This is what you do,” you remember. “You design artificial intelligence. But that’s something to do with customer service—chatbots—”

“That’s right,” he interrupts. “I was working on that side of it. But that was five years ago—your memories are all five years out of date. After I lost you, I realized bereavement was the bigger need. It’s taken all this time to get you to this stage.”

His words take a moment to sink in. Bereavement. You’ve just realized what he’s trying to tell you.

“You’re saying I died.” You stare up at him. “You’re saying the real me died—what? Five years ago. And you’ve somehow brought me back like this.”

He doesn’t reply.

You feel a mixture of emotions. Disbelief, obviously. But also horror at the thought of his grief, at what he must have been through. At least you were spared that.

Cobots have been specifically designed to be empathetic . . .

And Danny. You’ve missed five whole years of his life.

At the thought of Danny, a familiar sadness washes over you. A sadness you firmly put to one side. And that, too—both the sadness, and the putting-aside—feels so normal, so ordinary, that it can’t be anything except your own, individual emotion.

Can it?

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The Perfect Wife 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous 6 hours ago
First off, very hard to review this book without spoilers, so I'll choose my words carefully. It is a twisting tale that is a combination of a technological thriller and a suspenseful story of obsession that, in a sense, explores what it really means to love. As I was reading and trying to guess the next twist, I was usually wrong, led down one path only to be taken to another. It is a real page turner, I have some doubts about the narrator and the details of the recovered memories after she awakes from her accident, but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of this excellent book.
Aqswr 1 days ago
This is a taut, dynamic, timely thriller that weaves together many current tropes and produces a uniquely disquieting tale. It’s difficult to put the book down as the reader is rapidly engulfed in layer after layer of seemingly well-known science fiction fears: human-like robots, memories that are alive enough to remake a human, a spouse who has recreated his wife in nonhuman form and a robot who thinks it is alive. The only weak spot in this addictive tale is the ending and honestly, it almost doesn’t matter. The ‘why’ of the whole story ultimately seems irrelevant because the romp of it all is fascinating and impossible to interrupt. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Abbie wakes up and realizes she's in the hospital. Very quickly she finds out that things aren't as they seem. This book was very different from my usual books. There's an element of sci-fi, and I'm not usually interested in this genre. However, this book captured my interest quickly. There are many twists and turns in the book! What IS the "Perfect Wife"? Abbie's husband, Tim, believes he can, and has, answered this question. But will his creation be perfect? This is a great exploration of the links between family members and the strong bonds of motherhood.
lsmoore_43 5 days ago
This book surprised me. A lot. I’m not into Sci-Fi at all.... usually! But, this book was a Sci-Fi kind of book and was excellent. From the very beginning I wanted to know what was happening and why it was happening. I wanted to know exactly what happened to Abbie. Why was there a need to bring her back from whatever happened to her? Who is Tim besides being her husband? They have supposedly been very happily married for a long time and have a son who is autistic and the light of their eyes. Tim would do anything for him and Abbie. The best school for their son to help him live as normal a life as possible. A beautiful home for them and a beach house he had built for Abbie that was beyond anything she ever dreamed of. But what happened? Why did Tim tell her she was a “cobot?” Cobot, a companion robot for someone who can’t handle grieving for a lost family member. That is what Tim told Abbie she was now. It was his field of expertise and he loved her so much he could not move on even after she had been gone five years. Something sinister is going on though. Abbie is finding things that are not exactly as he said. She wants him to love “her” but he still can’t let go of “Abbie”. There is more to this than meets the eye. This book was well written and you won’t look at Abbie the cobot as anything other than human. Her thoughts and the way she interacts with others and their son is phenomenal. She seems like a real person with somewhat real feelings. Tim though is a very sick man. Things he does are so perverse. Not to Abbie but to other women. He seems to treat women like they are nothing. He put Abbie up on a pedestal to not be touched after giving birth to their son. Things changed after they had their son, Danny. It was like he only needed a son then their sex life was over. Theirs but not his... He was a sick sick perverted man. This book goes from present day Abbie the cobot to past Abbie the woman. It’s the story of how the cobot came to be and why. It’s a very good book indeed. It kept my interest very well and I loved the characters. Even Tim for a while. But he did finally make me love to hate him. He treated everyone like they were so stupid and inept. Like he was the only person who had any sense at all. This book truly is a good read. You will not think of it as a Sci-Fi except when you think about Abbie the cobot. The ending was truly amazing. I thought I had this one figured out but I sure did not. That ending truly blew me away. I was shocked. I would love to have read a little bit more but the ending was done in a way that fit this story perfectly in my opinion. It all comes together. All of your questions are answered at the end but one..... Which one would that be??? Thank you to #NetGalley and #Random House publishers for this review copy. These thoughts are mine and mine alone. I have to give this book a huge 5 stars. It was well written. The characters well developed. Questions you will have answered. It was just an all around good book. Well done J.P. Delaney. I will be reading more of your work!
SammyReadsBooks 5 days ago
When I read the description of The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney, I thought the plot sounded great. I was really looking forward to reading it. Then when I started the book, I was so confused and wasn't even sure I had the right book. Tim Scott, a tech billionaire, has lost his wife Abbie, but is she missing or dead? In an effort to bring her back, he creates an emotionally intelligent companion robot, or a cobot, in her image with her memories. Did Tim create her as a replacement for the wife he loved, to act as a mother to their autistic son, to launch his career even further, or for some other reason entirely? When I read the first chapter and learned that Abbie was an AI I was so confused. Sci-fi isn't really my genre, and I don't think I would have requested this book had I realized that's what it was. However, I did find it intriguing and wanted to keep reading to see where it was going. I almost DNF this book, but decided to stick with it. The plot was well paced and moved quickly, and the chapters were shorter which I prefer. This book is told from two different perspectives, one from Abbie, the cobot's point of view, and one from the point of view from someone who worked at Tim's tech company. We don't learn who is telling the second point of view until the end, and it was a big surprise. I honestly didn't see the ending coming which was nice for a psychological thriller. What this book does is question is the difference between being human and being a self-aware AI. The author has a child with autism, and brings up some different teaching methods for Danny, Tim and Abbie's son throughout the book. The biggest question is could the cobot possibly be the one to help Danny with his learning and behavior and could it do it better than an actual human? I think this book would be good for anyone who likes thrillers with some sci-fi mixed in. Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Teri1957 7 days ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was kind of "out there" for me. I don't usually enjoy books like this but it was interesting and I did enjoy to a point. I felt the deception and narcissism presented were distracting from the plot. It was thought provoking for sure. Would you like the "perfect" mate? Enjoy!
Anonymous 7 days ago
Abbie Cullen-Scott has been missing and presumed dead for five years. One day she wakes up in a hospital like setting feeling like she’s been in a car accident. Except she is not in a hospital nor has seen been in a car accident. Abbie is in a room at Scott Robotics, her husband Tims company. This is not the missing Abbie, this is Artificial Intelligence version of Abbie also known as Cobot. This is short for companion robot. Once devastated and heartbroken after his wife’s disappearance, Tim worked tirelessly to bring a robotic version of Abbie back to life. He even went so far as to giving the AI version his former wife’s memories. While adjusting to life as a wife of a tech billionaire and a mother to Danny, a child with autism, Abbie quickly learns the former Mrs. Cullen-Scott was keeping her own secrets. Although Tim was acquitted of murder charges, Abbie feels something is not right. She starts her own secret investigation to uncover the truth as to what really happened to the former Mrs. Cullen-Scott. The chapters alternate between the former Abbie’s life with Tim and Scott Robotics to the AI version of Abbie trying to uncover the truth about her disappearance. This is my first J.P. Delaney book, and in all honesty I wish I would have started with The Perfect Wife. I was looking for the perfect blend of sci fi and thriller, and I didn’t find it. I would classify this book as being more suspenseful than a thriller. Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books #partner for the digital ARC of The Perfect Wife!
Alfoster 7 days ago
This was an awesome look at the near future of robotics. When wife and mother Abbie mysteriously disappeared years ago and no body can be found, the police assume either suicide or murder. Then her iconic tech billionaire husband is charged but released as there is no real evidence to suggest foul play. The novel opens when Abbie awakens with little knowledge of what happened and then discovers that she is actually a cobot (companion robot) that her husband built because he was so devastated by her death. She can upload memories of their old life and functions much like the real Abbie (except of course she has no need for food and has no female anatomy). Told from her perspective in 2nd person as well as others who knew the couple, the book explores the nature of love, obsession, and of course, robotics, as Abbie finds clues and uncovers secrets that will reveal the true nature of her husband and their relationship. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
Anonymous 7 days ago
I very rarely give a 5 star to a book, but this one I feel is such a high 4, IMO, it just seems natural to go with the 5 star! This book is more than a mystery/thriller. It makes us think about Artificial Intelligence(AI) and its anticipated role in our world, how over-bearing love can affect a relationship, and the affect of a life-challenging diagnosis for a child. I believe the book gives some insight into having an autistic child that we might not otherwise understand, and by reading the author's Acknowledgments at the end of the book, the reader will understand why that is. The author keeps us informed of the tech-stuff of what is happening to the characters without becoming so geeky that it is difficult to keep track of....which should be appreciated. The main gist of the story is the development of a female cobot (companion robot) to take the place of a missing wife/mother. Just how far does AI go with replicating a person......can that cobot replace someone physically, mentally, emotionally? I loved that the book was told in a 2nd person narrative.....it kept me wondering just who was telling the story...and kept me wondering until the surprise ending! The twists and turns kept me reading longer than I wanted to in order to find out what was happening to everyone! And the reader will be kept guessing, right up through the last words of the book. Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Ballentine Books for the opportunity to receive an ARC in return for an honest review, which this has been. #NetGalley, #BallentineBooks, #ThePerfectWife
WendyGo 7 days ago
What a great beginning, Abbie wakes up with her devoted and beloved husband, Tim, who tells her she just woke up from a bad accident she had 5 years ago. Great premise until it is explained to you that Abbie is a robot. I'm just not into sci-fi but, I was curious what the 'accident' was and what happened to the real Abbie and I did enjoy the telling of the story #theperfectwife #netgalley
Bonnie Franks 7 days ago
I am not a big fan of sci-fi and did not consider this book to be sci-fi, but rather a domestic thriller. This book touches on so many questions that we have in today's society. I am into reading psychological thrillers, but I have to say this one has a quite refreshing premise and kept me reading for sure. It delves into autism and has some sad parts, and it delves into AI, with some tender moments in that category, and it has the love story theme as well. If that sounds like too much, trust me, it isn't. It all keeps you loving the characters you love, hating the characters you hate, and eager to turn the pages. I am so impressed with this book. I really can't get into detail, but I can tell you to mark your calendar for the day this one comes out.. Wow. You will love it. My copy was provided to me by NetGalley.com and the publisher. A sincere thank you to them.
BigReader7860 7 days ago
I thought this book was very well written and fascinating. Kudos to the author for writing such a different book- techy but easily understood. I think this would be a good fit for a lot of different readers. Part romance, part mystery, definitely sci-fi and worth reading. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book!!!
brf1948 8 days ago
I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, J. P. Delaney, and Quercus, Ballantine Books, publishers. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. What would you do if you could erase the memory of your spouse, add back only the parts of your relationship where you were cast in a good light, and control the way your future was presented to said spouse? Or what if you were on the other side of that equation - your brain was only exposed to those thoughts and memories approved by your spouse? How long would this take to make you a little crazy? Tim is a Silicone Valley shining star. His wife Abbie has been missing for several years, leaving Tim - once he is cleared of murdering his missing wife - as the single parent of their autistic son, Danny. Tim and his crew of geeks have managed over those years to come close to perfecting a companion robot amidst their sales person robots, and Tim has carefully adding into the software of one that looks remarkably like Abbie only those memories from her past and their relationship that he wants her to have. Her software is the first trial run of a newly written program that allows the bot to develop compassion and empathy, make educated guesses, or research things mentally on-line when she doesn't know something about the subject. Within days Abbie has learned to pause when puzzled, knowing that wiki might just provide the information she needs to make an educated decision. It tales a little longer for her to see that Tim is up to something, and that he is much too controlling, but there is so much missing from her recollections of their personal lives that she is for a time lost. Surely she, an independent artist with a firm set of values and a healthy self worth, couldn't have lived like this. And the ABA techniques of praise and punishment practiced by Danny's specialized school, using electric shock as a deterrent for unsociable behavior for a boy diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder before his 4th birthday, is untenable. Unfortunately she apparently has no say in his care. Unless she choses to take the reins of their lives into her own hands... And somehow, it all feels very familiar... I thoroughly enjoyed Annie and Danny, and found the details of both autism treatment choices and robot development interesting and at times entertaining. This was a fascinating read, one I am happy to recommend to family and friends. pub date August 6, 2019
Tricia384 8 days ago
This book is terrific! It is a very well done thriller that kept me guessing. I can honestly say that every time I thought I had figured things out, I was surprised again. When you start the book, you are instantly drawn into the story and guessing about what has happened and who can be trusted. I can't say a lot without revealing too much about the story, and this is one book that shouldn't be ruined for anyone. In addition to the suspenseful plot, the issues about relationships, parenting, technology, and more had me thinking about these topics and I can't wait to discuss this with friends! This would make for an amazing book club selection, as there is a LOT to discuss. The author does a wonderful job of giving clues to what happened without giving too much away. Once you finish the story, the clues given all make sense and you find yourself thinking "Aha!". For the record, I didn't guess the end of the story, and that made me like this book even more.
Momma_Becky 9 days ago
The Perfect Wife centers around AI without all the science-y stuff. Thankfully, the author gives us the gist of it without getting too technical. The story is told in second person point of view, which isn't a favorite for me, and that combined with an unknown narrator did create some confusion at times. According to the acknowledgments, the author's aim for this book was psychological suspense, and there is a speculative element. For me, it's a little more on the speculative side than I care for, and parts of it stretch the suspension of disbelief quite far. Some of my favorite parts of the book centered around Danny and Abbie's interactions, especially as the parent of an autistic child. Those parts had a ring of truth about them, and most times were incredibly sweet moments between parent and child. The conclusion does have a pretty good twist, and I certainly didn't see all that coming, but some of it was also part of the above mentioned confusion. In the end, I found The Perfect Wife to be a little bit strange but still compelling enough to keep me reading. JP Delaney does have an interesting writing style and I'll be interested to see what's next from this author.
nookerCB 10 days ago
Abbie is the perfect wife, a selfless human, always doing and saying the right thing. This thought provoking thriller of sci-fi proportions will have you falling out of your seat. Just when I thought it was going one way it went another. Just when I really wanted to dislike a character I came to love them. But most of all, I learned to have empathy for Abbie, even though she was not what she seemed, she truly was human in the end, for all she did was love her son, just as any mother should. Just read it already!
Anonymous 10 days ago
Tim Scott is the head of Scott Robotics. His wife, Abbie, had died in a surfing accident 5 years earlier, but her body was never found. They have a son, Danny, with a complex form of autism. He has a nanny/teacher, Sian, who is with him all the time. Now, Tim has developed a companion robot which is just like Abbie. However, she does not need to eat and has no genitalia, just like a Barbie doll. Abbie “woke up” in room where Tim had created her and now she lives at home. But, she wants to know what happened to her and why/how she died. I applaud the author’s creativity, but I found myself rolling my eyes at a lot of this tale. Yes, robots are fine as an aide in industry, but to replace humans in a personal capacity is not something I support. Not much different from a blow-up doll. If you are a huge techie, you will absolutely love this story! I don’t think it belongs in the thriller genre, but more in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. However, technology is changing and growing every day, so maybe not too many years from now you will be able to duplicate a loved one you have lost. A bit creepy, but to each his own. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Jaruwa 11 days ago
Extraordinary book! JP Delaney, one of the pseudonyms of a well respected author of other genres, has only written a few mysteries and I’ve loved all of them. He/She does everything right. Clever, original plot. Admirable prose. Perfect pacing. Memorable characters. One of the best books in this genre that I’ve read. You will not regret being introduced to this author. Abbey is a free-spirited artist who is married to Tim, the brilliant but socially inept head of a tech corporation that builds “shop bots” and sells them to stores to use as staff. Tim and Abbey are as different as night and day, but somehow they fall in love and seem to be living a happy life. One day, Abbey disappears while surfing near their beach house at night, as she often did. No body is ever found, and police are suspicious that Tim might have killed her, but are unable to prove it. After several years, it is assumed that she is dead. Inconsolable, Tim builds a sophisticated replica of his wife, who is designed not only to have many of the memories of the original Abbey, but also to be able to learn and develop into a more complex personality. “Why’s it called Galatea syndrome?” “From an ancient Greek myth. About a sculptor called Pygmalion, who rejected all the women of Cyprus as frivolous and wanton. Until one day, he carved a statue of a woman so beautiful and pure, he couldn’t help falling in love with it. At which point the statue came to life and loved him right back. He called her Galatea. I guess today we’d say he fell in love with an ideal, rather than a person.” What could go wrong? You’ll have to read this book to find out. Very highly recommended. This would be great for book club discussions as it brings up questions about artificial intelligence and how we will interact with increasingly sophisticated androids in the rapidly approaching future. Are they merely property to be used, abused, or thrown away by their human owners? Do they have a “soul”? Are they a danger to our society since they will eventually be far superior in many ways to humans? What problems might arise as robots take over even more of the functions of human beings, as is being experienced in manufacturing today? Note: I received an advance copy of the ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
SevenAcreBooks 11 days ago
A deliciously dark and chilling take on obsession and twisted love. I loved this fast paced and thoughtful gripping story of greed, wealth, and desire. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions are my own.
SheTreadsSoftly 11 days ago
The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney is a recommended domestic thriller featuring artificial intelligence. Five years after her death, Tim Scott, the founder of Scott Robotics, has created a cobot, or companion robot, of his wife, Abbie Cullen-Scott. Abbie, the cobot, has memories, but not all memories, only those Tim has chosen to download. She knows she was an artist, mother, good cook, and a surfer. Tim, however, won't tell Abbie how she died. Abbie, while trying to regain whatever memories or knowledge she can, learns that she supposedly drowned in a surfing accident, but a body was never recovered and Tim faced murder charges in her death. After starting out as an intriguing premise with the possibility of The Perfect Wife becoming a compelling addition to the science fiction genre, it soon became clear that little significant sci-fi evolution in the plot was actually going to happen. The novel, after the exciting opening, suddenly becomes a domestic thriller along the lines of the "new" woman researching the former wife. Few facts and little real usage was made of the AI needed to make a cobot and program one to resemble a dead person. In order to continue reading, I had to set my love of hard sci-fi aside. The narrative unfolds through the points-of-view of Abbie the cobot and the Scott Robotics employees. The chapters alternate between the past and present and are told in the second and third person omniscient. It feels awkward when reading. What does work is the depiction of Danny, Tim and Abbie's Autistic son. Danny is the only character who felt real, believable. I'm afraid the rest of the characters fell a bit flat for me. Viewing The Perfect Wife as a domestic thriller, with the new wife researching the previous wife, is what kept my interest in the plot. In that aspect, the writing certainly kept things moving and propelled the plot forward. The ending, however, was a let down, as were the many plot points left hanging. This novel is okay - a good airplane book. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.
Rhonda-Runner1 11 days ago
I requested this book because it was listed as a psychological thriller but it really is more of a sci-fi genre which I really do not read. I tried to get interested in it but failed as it just did not hold my interest. I think sci-fi fans will really enjoy this. I did think the book was very well written. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
bamcooks 11 days ago
*4.5 stars rounded up! This is such a cool book! I always enjoy J.P. Delaney's speculative fiction. This one is about artificial intelligence and how it might be changing the world to come. Tim Scott and his partner Mike run a hugely successful start-up in Silicon Valley working in Artificial Intelligence. Their biggest success to date has been a 'shopbot' which works in retail helping shoppers make selections. But when Tim's beautiful and talented wife, Abbie, disappears, he sets about designing a companion robot, or cobot, that looks exactly like his wife and shares most of her memories. Many find this appalling and it unleashes a storm of legal questions--who owns a person's memories after all? Would you jump at the chance to have your memories permanently transferred to an A.I. if it meant you could then be immortal in that way? Does a robot have a soul? The story is told from two perspectives: the Abby cobot's (but she always refers to herself as 'you'); and from Tim's office staff, told in the plural 'we'. These alternating chapters are oddly numbered as well. And nothing is what it seems as 'Abbie' tries to figure out what happened to the woman whose memories she has stored in her memory banks. Is she really dead or did she choose to disappear? Would she have left her autistic son behind? Lots of twists and turns to this story. As the popular saying goes: I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend. I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks for an enthralling read.
Steve Aberle 11 days ago
The Perfect Wife is an original and imaginative combination of technology and suspense. What could go wrong when your wife disappears but comes back into your life? Abby and Tim are married when suddenly, she goes missing. Tim is distraught and finally realizes that he might be able to recreate her using robotic technology that his firm makes and markets. It sounds bizarre, but it seems to work. However, after some time, Abby realizes that her husband may not be what he appears to be. The story is captivating and highly original. Suffice to say, there is more than enough to keep the reader flipping quickly through the pages until the final and unexpected denouement.
harlichic 12 days ago
This is the 3rd book by JP Delaney that I have read. And it's made me a fan forever. The Perfect Wife kept me wondering all through the book on how it was going to turn out. The ending was a total surprise!!! It doesn't take too long to get to the heart of the story, but then it's just a crazy guessing game about how it might turn out. The characters are great. I didn't like some of them, but then, I don't think I was supposed to. Great editing on this book! Can't wait to see what he writes next.
CLynnT 12 days ago
This is an eerie warning for the not-too-distant future. Compassion and love for human life loses its value as the ability to create the perfect companion increases. Beautiful, talented and smart Abbie is disgusted and revolted when she realizes her rubber skin can be peeled away to expose plastics and circuitry. But don’t let this instantly turn you away from the story; it’s not science fiction or fantasy. It’s very much a psychological thriller. So very much that you will identify with robotic Abbie much easier than identifying with 95% of the other human characters in this novel. As Abbie tells you her story, a third-person perspective gives you some previous history of when Tim met Abbie and the effect their relationship had on his work ethic. You’re continually guessing who’s sharing this perspective and where their unique opinion of the relationship will lead. Surely the two will cross paths at some point, right? What an addictive page-turner and an imaginative look at what our future may hold. Or maybe it’s not so imaginative and our future is already here? (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks so much to Random House-Ballantine and NetGalley for making it available.)