The Wife Stalker: A Novel

The Wife Stalker: A Novel

by Liv Constantine

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Overview

The bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish—a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick—returns with a psychological thriller, filled with chilling serpentine twists, about a woman fighting to hold onto the only family she’s ever loved—and how far she’ll go to preserve it.

Named one of the most anticipated thrillers of the year by Goodreads, Bustle, SheReads, and Library Journal; A LibraryReads pick of the month 

Breezing into the upscale seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

12/01/2019

In classy Westport, CT, Joanna is glad to see lawyer husband Leo sparkling again after having nurtured him through a severe depression. Then she learns the reason: he's fallen for gorgeous newcomer Piper. What's worse, she's discovered dark secrets from Piper's past that could endanger her family. Two women at loggerheads, as in Constantine's smash-hit debut, The Last Mrs. Parrish; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Publishers Weekly

03/02/2020

Not even a late-breaking, game-changing twist can quite salvage this disappointing psychological thriller from Constantine (The Last Mrs. Parrish). Much of the fault lies in the story’s two protagonists, alternating (and unreliable) narrators Piper and Joanna, who are vying for the affections of Leo Drakos, a depressed, workaholic—but well-off—Westport, Conn., lawyer and father of two. Glamorous recent arrival Piper, who has bought a local recovery center as part of a new identity to distance herself from the suspicious deaths of her husband and teen stepdaughter in a sailing accident, quickly sets her cap for Leo, never mind that Joanna is already living with Leo. For her part, Joanna is slow to recognize the danger posed by the seductive interloper—and swiftly finds herself on the outside looking in. Though readers may root for Joanna as she delves into the narcissistic Piper’s past in a race to win back the family she loves so fiercely, many of her actions are puzzling if not downright off-putting—for reasons that will only become clear with the flabbergasting final reveals. Constantine has done better. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (May)

Megan Miranda

Compelling and surprising, THE WIFE STALKER is a fast-paced page-turner, full of unexpected twists and an ending I did not see coming. Impossible to put down!

Kimberly Belle

"Oh, you sneaky sisters. Liv Constantine got me in the best possible way with The Wife Stalker, a wicked, whip-smart bag of tricks about a woman fighting to hold onto her family. Read this one in one long gulp, then read it again to see what you missed the first time through. I promise you won’t see it coming."

Portland Book Review

If you’re looking for an entertaining binge-read, this book is for you.  . . . The sister authors do a masterful job telling the story from Joanna and Piper’s points of view. Readers will not see the twist coming, and the nuances of the writing will ultimately come together in not one, but two 'what just happened?!?' moments.

USA Today on The Last Mrs. Parrish

Utterly irresistible. . . . The Last Mrs. Parrish pivots on an enormous and satisfying twist. . . . the pages keep flying, flying, flying by.

Shelf Awareness

"The story's swift pace and twist in the final act should keep domestic thriller fans engaged.

"10 Novels You Should Read This Month" CrimeReads

The Constantine sisters are as astute observers of class as any literary writer I can think of; they understand how people signal their social status both consciously and subliminally. And class is really at the heart of The Wife Stalker, which I don’t want to spoil, so I will just say it’s about a woman who has a habit of marrying rich men who then have fatal accidents.

Washington City Paper

Thrillers with a big twist near the end make for good reading, and that’s what Liv Constantine’s recently published The Wife Stalker provides. It saves lots of its ammunition for the denouement, making it a page-turner—not surprising considering its authors, the sister duo Lynne and Valerie Constantine as Liv Constantine, have written nothing but best-sellers. . . . Both narrators are scarred. Neither is particularly sympathetic, but they keep the reader riveted with their machinations.” 

Matthew Farrell

"Liv Constantine has done it again. THE WIFE STALKER is a masterclass of domestic suspense that keeps you up all night, turning the page, desperate to find out what happens next. Can't recommend this book enough! Fun, thrilling, and an ending you simply won't see coming!"

Book Reporter

By their very nature, thrillers and novels of suspense typically have any number of twists. However, THE WIFE STALKER is teeming with them, and a big one that will leave you totally reeling. You may read this entire book thinking you know what’s going on. At least 99 percent won’t get it right. Once you’ve reached the aha moment, you’ll want to go back to the beginning to see the perspective in a whole new light. Liv Constantine really is that clever with this plot.

Jennifer Hillier

"Liv Constantine has done it again. Suspenseful and mesmerizing, Constantine’s third novel is a breakneck thriller that keeps you riveted from the first page to that explosive, jaw-dropping twist. If you’re looking for an addictive, up-all-night read, The Wife Stalker is as good as it gets."

 on The Last Time I Saw You Booklist

"An absorbing tale . .. fans of Gone Girl and its successors will appreciate an ending that puts a pricey shoe on one foot and then changes it again . . . and again.

Samantha Downing

The Wife Stalker is a daring, dastardly story with complex characters and a sinister plot. A read-through-the-night thriller that mesmerizes to the final page. An absolute must for your 2020 list!

“Best Books of 2019 So Far Newsweek

Murder, threats and forgotten friendships come together in this thriller, from the author of the 2018 hit book The Last Mrs. Parrish.

on The Last Time I Saw You Bustle

An Addictive & Thrilling Follow-Up To 'The Last Mrs. Parrish'”

Gilly Macmillan

Tense and deliciously twisty, THE WIFE STALKER is a hall of mirrors in which Liv Constantine delivers sinister surprises with characteristic sleight of hand."

Riley Sager

"Wickedly entertaining. With THE WIFE STALKER, Liv Constantine proves once again to be a master of domestic malice."

Lisa Unger

A twisty, engrossing house of mirrors...smart, propulsive, and tricky-in-all-the-best-ways psychological suspense."

New York Journal of Books on The Last Time I Saw You

From murder and madness to secrets and fraught family relationships, the non-stop glitz gives this tale soapy sheen that makes for perfect escapist summer reading.

Providence Journal on The Last Time I Saw You

Elegantly constructed. . . . [A] terrific tale of brooding noir that echoes Patricia Highsmith and her classic Ripley series, as complex as it is ambitious.

Reese Witherspoon on The Last Mrs. Parrish

A fun and fast-paced psychological thriller about two determined women who play a high stakes game of deception that only one can win.

People on The Last Mrs. Parrish

[A] wicked debut thriller… you’ll relish every diabolical turn.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Exciting. . . . Strong storytelling draws in the reader — hook, line and sinker.  . . . Constantine keeps the suspense high. A clever twist pulls The Wife Stalker in a unique direction that readers will savor.

Suspense Magazine

"In true Liv Constantine fashion, this story wraps with a twist that you just won’t see coming, no matter how hard you try. This one is definitely a must-read!"

New York Journal of Books

“The Wife Stalker is skillfully constructed and fast-paced—a mischievously tense and engaging novel filled with plenty of twists and turns that keep readers spellbound and guessing until the very final page.

Good Morning America

"This psychological thriller told from multiple viewpoints had me gasping in surprise."

Providence Journal

Liv Constantine plants her flag squarely in land staked out by the likes of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter with The Wife Stalker, a romantic thriller of rare depth and poise. . . . The Wife Stalker keeps you reading, and guessing, from the first page to the last. A sumptuous and scintillating read that disguises its secrets with a master’s touch.

null New York Journal of Books on The Last Time I Saw You

From murder and madness to secrets and fraught family relationships, the non-stop glitz gives this tale soapy sheen that makes for perfect escapist summer reading.

Booklist

"An absorbing tale . .. fans of Gone Girl and its successors will appreciate an ending that puts a pricey shoe on one foot and then changes it again . . . and again.

Bustle

An Addictive & Thrilling Follow-Up To 'The Last Mrs. Parrish'

Kirkus Reviews

2020-03-02
A dual narrative pits a New Age beauty with a checkered past against an old-fashioned gal fighting for her kids and her man.

Piper Reynard has moved to Westport after the mysterious deaths of her husband and stepdaughter on the West Coast, and actually he was dead husband No. 2. Now she has changed her name, erased her internet footprint, and opened Harmony Healing Arts on the premises of a failed recovery center: “Maybe things were really going to be different here. They had to be. She couldn’t keep starting over and finding new places to hide.” In short order, Piper fixes her gaze on a handsome married lawyer named Leo Drakos. Leo has “always been a loyal and faithful husband,” so his wife, Joanna, is taken by surprise when he responds to Piper’s charms and almost immediately kicks her out of the house and cuts her off from their children. Neither her therapist nor her awful mother seems very sympathetic as Joanna’s whole life goes up in smoke. As Piper ruthlessly maneuvers her way into the family, having hot sex with Leo on her sailboat and forcing the children to drink green smoothies, Joanna turns private investigator in order to find out who this creepy platitude-spouter really is. A woman who hates children was a strong element of the author's first book, the very successful The Last Mrs. Parrish (2017); a somewhat watered-down version is in play here. In general, Constantine’s (actually two sisters writing in collaboration) third suspense novel relies on many of the same strategies as the first two, and they feel a bit mechanical at this point. The prose, too, is flat and the characters, thin.

Readers who love to be tricked by an unreliable narrator may forgive the shortcomings of this fast read.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062967305
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/19/2020
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 5,111
File size: 2 MB

Customer Reviews